NYC Subway Stations Ramp Up with Cell Phone Service and Wi-Fi Access

Efforts to expand subway cell phone service and wireless access makes it easier to stay connected. See which New York City subway stations are offering free Wi-Fi!

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Free Wi-Fi is officially here at several more New York City subway stations!

Commuters can now use their cellphones for making calls, e-mailing and texting at certain stations.

This is the first phase of plans to provide Wi-Fi and cell phone service to all underground stations. As of today, 36 stations are wired. All of these stations are located in Manhattan. The service will extend to the remaining 241 underground stations over the course of the next four years.

The next set of stations to come online will be in the first quarter of 2014, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. There will be an additional 40 stations to go online at that point, mostly located in Midtown East and Queens.

The cost of wiring the subway system is approximately $200 million at the expense of Transit Wireless. Transit Wireless is handling the design, build, operation and maintenance of the system. It is shouldering the capital cost and handling contract signing with cellular carriers, according to reporting from The Wall Street Journal.

Cellular carriers currently on board include AT&T and T-Mobile. Verizon and Sprint are also participating and finalizing agreements with plans to be up and running in the coming months. Boingo is also a Wi-Fi hotspot provider partner.

An upgrade to cell phone and Wi-Fi access in the subway helps to improve communications for police and emergency responders. It also assists in providing commuters with an additional level of security and more productivity in terms of access to communication.

Plans for Wi-Fi access at certain subway stations were initially supposed to go live in 2012. It was delayed, partially as a result of superstorm Sandy.

The subway stations with Wi-Fi access and cell phone service now include:

23rd St./8th Ave. C,E

14th St./8th Ave. A,C,E

14th St./7th Ave. 1,2,3

14 St./6th Ave. F,M

14 St./8th Ave. L

14 St./6th Ave. L

96 St. B,C

86 St. B,C

28 St. 1

18 St. 1

81 St./Museum of Natural History B,C

72 St. B,C

79 St. 1

23 St. 1

96 St. 1,2,3

66 St./Lincoln Center 1

72 St. 1,2,3

57 St. F

47-50th Sts./Rockefeller Center BDFM

57 St./ Ave. N,Q,R

28 St. N,R

50 St. 1

50 St. C,E

23 St. N,R

49 St. N,R

5 Ave./53rd St. E,M

59 St./Columbus Circle 1

59 St./Columbus Circle A,B,C,D

7th Ave. B,D,E

Times Square/42nd St. 1,2,3

Times Square-42nd St. N,Q,R

Times Square-42nd St. 7

Times Square-42nd St. A,C,E

Times Square-42nd St. S

5 Ave./59th St. N,R

86 Street 1

The next set of 40 stations expected to go online in the first quarter of next year will include key locations like Flushing-Main St., Grand Central/42nd St., and 34th St./Herald Square.

There’s a lot more work to be done considering there’s still the 660 miles of publicly traveled tracks, but it’s a start.