What’s not to love about taking the subway? The inexplicable delays, the sea of noise, the dingy walls covered in who-knows-what, that guy over there who keeps staring at you and oh god, did he just move closer? Well, if you’re somehow still strapped for reasons to fall in love with the NYC Metro, we’ve got a sure-fire winner for you – finding out what every passenger’s ringtone is! That’s right – cellular service is a go in New York City Subway stations.
Before you run off to get your tissues and/or jumbo-size bottle of Aleve, know a few things first. This marks the beginning of a two-year limited trial period. Service, for now, will only be available along the 14th Street corridor on the A, C, E, F, L, M, 1, 2 and 3 platforms and on the C and E platforms at 23rd Street. Also, vendor Transit Wireless only has a deal signed with AT&T and T-Mobile, so Verizon and Sprint customers are, for now, out of luck. Negotiations are said to be ongoing, but there is no timetable for when those two wireless carriers will come on board.
All subway stations will be wired for cell service by 2016, under the current plan. If you’re dreading the impending apocalypse of inane phone conversations and text message received jingles, at least take solace in the knowledge that service should still be lacking in the tunnels. The trains themselves will still be dependable havens of silence and comfort.
In all seriousness, cellular service in the subway stations might be for the best. Meeting friends in those cavernous stations should be a little easier now, and the benefits in emergency situations shouldn’t be ignored. It’s a case of taking the good with the bad. How much of both will there be? If you catch the subway at any of those stations mentioned above, you’ll find out on Tuesday.