Coming soon (maybe): Wi-Fi and cell-phone reception on the subway
Yesterday the MTA announced its concrete ambition for NYC subway riders to never, ever disconnect from their phones.
Wed Sep 18 2013
Photograph: Shutterstock/Pan Xunbin
Wi-Fi may soon be coming to a subway near you. We're not just talking about the 36 stations connected since April (and whose connection is debatable); the MTA is planning to bring cell-phone service and Internet to moving, underground subway trains. Okay! It seems that someday we'll be caught up to cities like London and Stockholm, which already offer this service on their underground transit (never mind the fact that the MTA has offered no timeline as to when this might happen, or whether they would charge for it).
The ambitious move seems to be a way to curry favor with the young. “[Wi-Fi and smartphone access] is one of the features that the X’ers and the Y’ers and the millennials consider an expectation or an entitlement, not a luxury,” said MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast at a public forum yesterday.
Just one concern: With the rate of cell-phone–related injuries nearly doubling since 2005, how can we ensure that subway riders take their eyes off their screens long enough to ensure that they're not stepping into other commuters or onto the wrong train?
Here's one idea: