Coming Soon to Your Subway: Status Update Screens for All, Cell Phone Service for Some

10/05/2010 9:44 AM |

mta subway service screens
  • Dan Brinzac/NYPost

Yesterday Jay Walder, MTA chief, announced a plan to put nifty status-updating screens in every subway station, train, MTA bus, LIRR train and businesses near stations and stops. The screens (Grand Central Station prototype pictured) look like the “Current Service Status” section of the MTA website. Walder told the Post that the massive screen roll-out, for which there is no start or completion date, could be paid for by, you guessed it, selling ads on the screens. One thing that is definitely coming to a few subway stops in Chelsea within 14 months or so: cell phone service, for some, probably. Hooray!?

Citizens of other world cities have long laughed at our puny subway system’s lack of cell phone service, but by January 2012 AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers who only ride the subway in Chelsea will have the last laugh. City Room reports that a firm by the name of Transit Wireless will be bringing cell phone service and wireless internet to subway stations at 14th Street and Sixth Avenue, 14th Street and Seventh Avenue, 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, and 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue. As of right now Verizon subscribers will be left in the digital dark, and wireless transmitters likely won’t cover most of the tunnels between stations, so there will still be a few places in the city where you aren’t subject to strangers’ phone conversations. Progress!

One Comment

  • So far, this makes for good, flashy PR for the MTA. Let’s see how it is in practice. Ads are fine if they don’t interfere with the information. Also, it needs to be more timely than the website- detailed information on delays, interruptions or changes needs to be shown within no more than 5 minutes of it taking place.
    I don’t have much confidence- the F train still has announcements and electronic sign references to the non-existent V train. Are they really that inept? (Don’t answer that as it it’s obvious.)