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Cell Phone Service Coming to MTA Subways

The new service will be launched Tuesday at six stations, as a part of a pilot program

Beginning Tuesday, cell phone and WiFi service will be available in six subway stations in Manhattan, according to the Daily News.

The new service will be launched next week, as a part of a pilot program. However, don't expect to be able to make calls while the trains are in transit; service will be available only on platforms.

"I think it's about time," said Bed-Stuy resident Karen Torres while waiting at the Classon Avenue Station. "Sometimes you're waiting for the train a very long time, and you need to get in contact with people to let them know you're late. And the emergency side of it, people are in emergencies all the time. We should be able to get in touch with family or friends in those situations."

Subway riders will be able to use their phones beginning next week through the end of the year on platforms at Eighth Avenue and 23rd Street and at 14th Street and Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

Under the $200 million contract between MTA and Transit Wireless, 277 underground stations eventually will be equipped for wireless service by 2016. Riders will have cell phone service on platforms, mezzanines and in other parts of underground stations.

But there's a catch: Down the line, the service may not be free for users. Transit Wireless plans to cover the cost of the service by charging service providers a fee-- one that could fall right back into customers' laps.

Officials say AT&T and T-Mobile have already signed up.

Canchita September 26, 2011 at 11:59 AM
A nightmare come true!

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