Oct. 16, 2014 By Michael Florio
The MTA announced today that it had completed Phase II of its seven-phase plan to bring WiFi service to all 277 underground stations in New York City.
The second phase has brought WiFi service to an additional 11 Manhattan and 29 Queens stations–including several in Astoria and Long Island City. The total number of underground stations with WiFi service has now reached 76.
Phase II provides WiFi service to the underground stations in Astoria and Long Island City.
Astoria residents who take the R train will now receive WiFi service. The service—under Phase II—is now available at the Queens Plaza, 36th Street, 46th Street and Steinway Street stations.
Meanwhile, in Long Island City, the Vernon/Jackson and Hunters Point Ave. stations are now covered by Phase II, as well as Grand Central and 42nd Bryant Park, which are key stations for No. 7 train riders. Times Square was part of phase I.
The Court Square station (which caters to the E, G, M and 7) was also added under the wireless plan.
“Subway riders will now always be connected with our WiFi,” said Bill Bayne, CEO of Transit Wireless, which has partnered with the MTA. “We as consumers expect to be connected 24/7 no matter where we are.”
The WiFi, which provides voice and data service, is also viewed as increasing public safety—since people will be able to make calls from these station.
“Whether you’re checking your email, calling your kids or looking for emergency assistance, wireless service will bring the conveniences we’re used to above ground into the subway system,” MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said.
“This is a win for the riders in my district and all over the city,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Riders will now get the convenient and comfortable ride that they look for every day.”
Phase three will bring WiFi to another 105 stations and is expected to be completed by spring 2015.
The entire seven-phase project will cost upwards of $300 million.