It is the end of an era. Last October the MTA announced a plan to bring AT&T and T-Mobile customers platform cell service and now the MTA has confirmed that, after four years of anticipation, the next level of subway douchery is almost upon us. Brace yourselves people, the cell service start Tuesday.
The MTA (which is really into technology this month) is staying mum on the details but here's what we know: Starting Tuesday AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers riding along the 14th Street corridor should be able to use their phones on the A, C, E, F, L, M, No. 1, 2 and 3 platforms. There is also expected to be service on the C and E platforms at 23rd Street. It it not clear yet if service will also work between stations, but we're sure we'll all find out soon enough. Perhaps this is part of what all that recent construction on the L has been about?
Of course cellphone service on the trains won't only mean annoying conversations (though boy is this going to make crowded train rides worse). There are some potential upsides, too! Having service on platforms will not only make it easier to contact authorities in case of an emergency, it will also make it easier for riders to figure out why/if there are delays (since conductors aren't always very forthcoming). The packed platforms after Monday's water main break, for instance, might have been a little less crazy if people could have checked their phones for service updates without leaving the stations.
If the 14th Street corridor pilot goes as planned, contractor Transit Wireless hopes to have all underground subway stations boasting cell service by 2016. No word on when Verizon customers can expect service.