The MTA has inaugurated the first cellphone service in subway stations since the system opened more than a century ago.
But phone capability applies only to subway stations — they will not work in trains speeding through tunnels.
Transit officials said straphangers can use the new phone service at six Manhattan stations: the A, C, E and L station at Eighth Avenue-West 14th Street; the C and E station at Eighth Avenue-West 23rd Street; the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 station at Seventh Avenue-West 14th Street; the F and M station at Sixth Avenue-West 14th Street; and the L station at Sixth Avenue-West 14th Street.
The Transit Wireless company said it expects to provide service to the remaining 271 underground stations within four years and has already begun designs on the next 30 stations on the west side of Manhattan, including Times Square, Herald Square and Columbus Circle. The stations are expected to be operational within the next year.
The transit police have had access to phone service in the subways for many years.
“Bringing wireless service into our subway system is the latest milestone in the MTA’s effort to use technology to improve the service we provide for our customers,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder.
Speaking at the Eighth Avenue-14th Street A, C, E and L station on Manhattan’s West Side, he said, “Whether you’re checking your e-mail, calling your kids or looking for emergency assistance, wireless service will bring the conveniences we’re used to throughout our lives into the subway system.”
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledge
©2011 Community News Group
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