A new audit released by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer shows that WiFi and cell service is now fully function in 150 underground MTA subway stations, including the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, L, M, N, Q, R, 42nd Street Shuttle, and Z lines in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.

Between June 28, 2016 and November 6, 2016 auditors visited 150 underground subway stations and tested internet access and cell service on laptops and cell phones. Tests included placing phone calls, sending text messages, visiting social media websites, streaming online video and audio content, sending emails, and downloading content from the “Subway Reads” program.

“This audit shows that New York City is moving into the future, that we can be underground but don’t have to disconnect from the world,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said.

The audit also found that the “Subway Reads” program – a partnership between the MTA, Transit Wireless, and Penguin Random House that allows subway riders to download short stories and book excerpts – was functioning in all 150 stations that auditors visited. 

Under its contract, Transit Wireless has until the end of 2017 to install WiFi and cell service in the remaining underground subway stations. In its response to the audit, the MTA indicated, as well as recently announced publicly, that the agency was on schedule to bring wireless communication to the remaining stations by the end of December 2016 – a full year early. The Comptroller’s Office plans to test the entire system once final installation is verified.

“Bringing WiFi and cell service into our mass transit system will boost productivity, increase safety and make commutes more enjoyable. Right now, the MTA’s program is on track, and that’s no doubt something to celebrate,” Stringer said.

To read the full audit – and see a list of subway stations that were tested, go here.


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