Cell phones in the Subway

News this morning includes a plan by the MTA to wire all underground subway stations with cell phone and WiFi coverage. Six stations will be wired first for a two-year pilot program, and if approved, it will be expanded to all the other 271 stations over the following four years. The full station, including platforms, mezzanines, and transfer hallways will be wired, allowing for seamless communications between the subway and the street. The company installing the communication equipment, Transit Wireless, will in turn sell access to the system to mobile phone providers, which means that if yours doesn’t sign up with them, you’ll be left in the dark (so to speak).

Having access to all four of the major providers, I have gotten cell signal on some station platforms, but that really depends on the line, how deep the station is, etc. I can say that I am often surprised when my cell phone rings while I’m waiting for a train, and I’ve felt a little self conscious about having a conversation while on the platform. Some people are going to be against this sort of thing, where the subway is just about the only safe-haven from cell phone conversations, but if someone is talking too loud on the platform, you could always just walk away. It’s not like New Yorkers wouldn’t shush someone who’s talking too loud, would they?

These days, I’ve found that most people who have cell phone conversations are a little more polite in enclosed public spaces, so I don’t think this is really going to bother me. How does everyone else feel about this?

1 Comment so far

  1. irina (unregistered) on September 24th, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

    Yes yes yes!

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