New York Gets Cell Phone Service in the Subways... Sort of... Someday Soon...

<p> It&#39;s the talk of the town today. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, after years of dithering has finally signed a contract to build out a shared cell phone infrastructure inside the underground portions of the subway system. Sort of. </p><p> According to the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/20/nyregion/20cellphone.html">New York Times</a>, &quot;[t]he cellphone network will start in six downtown Manhattan stations in two years. Once it is shown to be working properly, Transit Wireless will have four more years to outfit the rest of the underground stations.&quot; </p><p> Thats six years to completion, folks. Awesome. </p>

September 20, 2007, 8:54 AM PDT

By Anthony Townsend


It's the talk of the town today. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, after years of dithering has finally signed a contract to build out a shared cell phone infrastructure inside the underground portions of the subway system. Sort of.

According to the New York Times, "[t]he cellphone network will start in six downtown Manhattan stations in two years. Once it is shown to be working properly, Transit Wireless will have four more years to outfit the rest of the underground stations."

Thats six years to completion, folks. Awesome.

By 2013, I'm sure I'll be able to get 3G data in Shanghai's subway or London's underground, and 5G or whatever is state of the art while rocketing through Seoul and Tokyo's massive systems.

Even more lame, the service won't be available on trains moving between stations. Apparently, this is a new twist on the "New York minute" - talk fast because that's all the time you'll have to finish your call. The irony of the M.T.A.'s spokesperson's comments is striking:

"The idea is people can stay connected," said Paul J. Fleuranges, a spokesman for the transit agency.

Yes, you can stay connected. As long as you are not actually RIDING THE SUBWAY.

It's a lack of innovation, execution, and forward thinking like this that continues to make transit a second-rate place, even in New York, where the alternatives aren't very attractive.

Technorati Tags: information technology, infrastructure, mobility, New York City, transportation


Anthony Townsend

Anthony has been researching the implications of new technology on cities and public institutions for over a decade.

Gentrification

What We Really Mean When We Say Gentrification

The focus on gentrifying communities has, in many cases, eclipsed the similar problems facing more stagnant neighborhoods.

September 14, 2021 - Vox

High-Speed Rail

Democratic Legislators Obstruct Funding for California High Speed Rail

Voters approved a $9.9 billion bond for the California High Speed Rail project in 2008. State legislators would like that money to be spent in other ways in 2021.

September 10, 2021 - Sacramento Bee

Rendering of aerial view of Telosa city

Why Tech-Utopian City Plans Fail

Like others before him, e-commerce billionaire Marc Lore wants to build the ideal city from scratch. Urban experts don't have much faith in his chances.

September 9, 2021 - Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.