Now social media editors can finally afford to leave their desks and shower. The MTA is announcing later today that it’s rolling out cell and Wifi service to 30 additional subway stops, including Times Square, Columbus Circle, and Rockefeller Center. Prior to today, the only stations that offered the free service included the C & E platform at 23rd Street, two stops on the L line, and several platforms at the 14th Street station.
Other stations that went online today include stops from 18th Street to 96th Street on the West Side. The rollout was expected to debut by the end of 2012, but it was delayed because of damage from Superstorm Sandy. The network is being built by Transit Wireless, which currently only has deals with AT&T and T-Mobile, so those using other telco networks are SOL for now. (There’s always the Wifi to piggyback off!) (Update: Verizon Wireless emailed us writing that the company is working to “finalize an agreement” with the MTA to bring cell service to some stations.)
Today’s announcement is phase one of the MTA’s and Transit Wireless’ grand plan. Stations in Queens and Midtown Manhattan are expected to be wired sometime in 2014, followed by the East Side and the Bronx the year after. It’s part of the transit authority’s promise to have all of its 400+ stations wired by 2016.
Now, if that “totally harmless” gas that the MTA is releasing soon is Bahama Breeze scented, then we might never complain again.