Subway stations will be wired for cellphone use in the coming years, but the actual trains will not. The Metropolitan Transit Authority sold the job to Transit Wireless for almost $47 million, and the wiring will begin at six stations in two years. Over the course of the next decade, all 277 stations in the system will be wired for cell use.
Oddly, there appears to be a lower-west-side bias to the initial recipients of the wiring. The first six stations to get hooked up will be 23rd and 8th, 14th and 8th, 14th and 7th, 14th and 6th, and then both 8th Ave. and 6th Ave. on the L line.
The lack of communication during the recent subway flooding debacle precipitated, so to speak, the MTA’s decision.
Straphangers’ reactions were mixed in the local media. “I think it’s going to be more stressful, especially in the morning when you’re just trying to get with it,” 7 rider Ellie Rodriguez told AM NY. “People don’t have a concept of manners or rudeness when it comes to cell phones.”
MTA chairman Peter Kalikow, meanwhile, told the NY Times the “inconvenience quotient” would be low, as you can (almost) always scuttle off to a different part of the platform.
“Inconvenience quotient.” I like that. I may just take a moment to see how all the people, places and things in my life rank in terms of my inconvenience quotient.