New York's subway tunnels will soon be home to cellular service. A 10-year project to wire all of the underground track underneath the city was announced this week by the MTA. As part of an ongoing public-private relationship between the two organizations, transit wireless will build the necessary infrastructure and foot the bill.
The MTA has an underground wireless network that Transit Wireless operates. BAI Communications has completed similar projects in Toronto, Hong Kong and other parts of the world. All of the MTA's aboveground stations and Staten Island Railway stations will be wired with transit wireless. Work on the project won't lead to more subway service disruptions for New Yorkers and visitors
According to The New York Times, the project will be paid for through data collection and fiber-optic cable lease. The company will start sharing revenue with the MTA once it makes a profit. After Transit Wireless earns its money back, the agency can expect a 20 percent cut before it increases to 40 percent in 15 years.
There are other transit agencies that are working to provide cellular service to their riders. The Underground would get full mobile access by 2024. The systems in place in other cities have been in place for a long time.