Ha ha ha. Gothamist had a good laugh over this one: Various cell phone service providers have asked the MTA for a second extension in giving them bids for wiring the subway stations for cell phone usage because it's difficult to recoup money. Recouping money? Who said anything about making money when it comes to the MTA? Please. The MTA's RFP only asked for how providers would wire subway stations - not tunnels, so our fears of chatty Cathies on the train were misplaced. Newsday has the providers' perspective:
The companies figure a commuter could use 40 minutes of talk time during a commute but only about 10 minutes at a station -- not enough to recoup the estimated $250 million investment. Companies were also upset the MTA wants them to lease space for their equipment.
"Everyone is disappointed at the [MTA's] lack of flexibility," David Snyder, co-founder of Snyder & Snyder, a law firm that specializes in telecommunications told the paper. "We have here a prescription for failure."
Again, prescription for failure? The MTA knows something about that! We're being very harsh, of course, but it just seems like the MTA is very slow-footed when it comes to technology - awesome new subway cars aside. Just having the subway stations wired would be funny - everyone would be desperately looking for service during that minute you're waiting there.