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40 NYC subway stations get Wi-Fi service, carrier coverage

17 October 2014, 7:47 am EDT By Menchie Mendoza Tech Times
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Subway riders left in the dark after train derails in Harlem

The second phase of expansion of the Wi-Fi and wireless service in New York City's subway is complete, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced.

The expanded service by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transit Wireless now connects 11 new stations in Manhattan and 29 more in Queens where 47 million subway riders are seen monthly.

With the latest expansion, there are now 76 stations that are connected. The second phase includes major hubs such as Grand Central 42nd Street, 34th Street Herald Square, 42nd Street Bryant Park, Court Square, Jamaica Center and Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue.

The first phase was completed 18 months ago where 36 Midtown Manhattan underground stations were connected.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 expansions are part of the seven-phase project that aims to connect all 277 subway stations by the year 2017. Work for the 3rd phase has already started, which will provide connectivity to 39 more stations by the spring of 2015.

Apart from the Flushing Main Street station in Queens, the third phase of the project includes stations in West Harlem, Lower Manhattan and Washington Heights such as 125 Street, Fulton Street and the soon to open 34th Street 7 station.

Extending the wireless service to more subway stations enhances the riders' experience and gives them an added level of security in one of the world's busiest and oldest subway systems.

"A more stable network below ground ensures that riders and first responders can seamlessly communicate in events of emergency, which is essential in a system that carries millions of passengers every day," says Cuomo.

Mobile users with Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T will have service in the added stations. Those who are on any carrier can access the free Wi-Fi service sponsored by Royal Caribbean. There are two simple steps in order to gain access. The first step is to connect to the SSID Transit Wireless. Once connected, the user will have to view a short Royal Caribbean International video. The Transit Wireless Wi-Fi will also deliver daily news on New York City and informative content on what's happening in the city courtesy of the citybuzz.

"Bringing wireless service into our subway system is the latest milestone in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's effort to use technology to improve the service we provide for our customers," says Thomas F. Prendergast, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Riders are now able to check their email, send text messages or make calls. Whatever conveniences that riders have been used to above ground, they can now take advantage of while on the subway.

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