All 277 underground stations in the subway system are to be wired for cellphone use, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced yesterday.
An interview with TA spokesman Paul Fleuranges on WNYC this morning revealed that text message alerts for subway disruptions will also be in the plan.
Transit Wireless, a consortium of companies, will pay New York City Transit $47 million over ten years, and will recoup this outlay along with the cost of constructing the infrastructure estimated at $150 to $200 million by billing the cellular carriers who use this service.
Here are the details on the Transit Wireless consortium:
Transit Wireless is a joint venture involving Nab Construction, Q-Wireless, Dianet Communications and Transit Technologies. Nab Construction and Transit Technologies have done other large-scale construction projects in the subway system, and Dianet has been involved in designing and installing cellphone antenna systems in buildings and airports. Q-Wireless makes software for wireless systems.
This system is long overdue, despite all the complaints about the "loudtalkers."
UPDATE: The report mandated by Gov. Eliot Spitzer about last month's subway problem due to the heavy rain finds: MTA failed in the flood.