MTA promising Wi-Fi in a mere … Six years

The L is the only lettered line that currently has countdown clocks; the clocks have been installed in 24 L stations.

Subway riders who clutch their phones throughout underground commutes may want more than just music to listen to — maybe to check email or even make a call.

But these days for every subway rider are far off, an MTA representative told the City Council yesterday — 72 months away, in fact.

Craig Stewart, senior corporate management officer of the MTA, briefed members of the City Council on Wednesday about ways to bring more technology to the city’s transportation lines, from countdown clocks to train updates.

One initiative that is ever-so-slowly on the rise is wi-fi access in subway stations.

Stewart told the Council that AT&T and T-Mobile service kicked off in six stations in August.

Next up? The remaining 271 underground stations, to be completed within 72 months from that date.

They promise 30 stations within two years, Stewart said.

The project aims to set up wireless access only in stations, not in the tunnels between stations.

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign told Metro wi-fi is an amenity that a lot of people want, young riders in particular, but he is cautious about potentially annoying consequences like yakking fellow riders.

“We wouldn’t support wiring the tunnels so people could be acting on trains the way they do on the LIRR and Metro-North,” Russianoff said.

Council members peppered the MTA representatives with requests for concrete deadlines for several projects, lamenting that many details were unclear.

“It’s like we’re always five years behind,” Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera said.

More iPhone thefts?

Some Council members expressed security concerns that wireless access would lend itself to increased cell phone use at a time when cell phone snatching appears to be on the rise.

The MTA assured Council members that they are working in collaboration with the NYPD to install more cameras in “around 140″ out of a total of 460 stations.

Which stations are online?

C, E @ 23rd St
A, C, E @ 14th St
L @ 8th Ave
1, 2, 3 @ 14th St
F, M @ 14th St
L @ 6th Ave

How does NYC compare?

San Francisco: SF’s BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) offers “a mostly continuous mobile signal … on your wireless phone from Balboa Park into downtown SF, through the Transbay Tube and all throughout the Oakland underground,” according to their website.

Philadelphia: A media official at SEPTA in Philadelphia says Philly has wireless in their five transit hubs in the center of the city, which has been available for a little over two years.

Chicago: A CTA media rep said that Chicago riders already have 3G access underground, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel called in July for Wi-Fi in all tunnels.

Washington, D.C.: Cell service providers have been setting up service for transit riders in D.C. for the past three years. The first 20 stations were enabled in 2009, and they expect to have all 86 in a matter of months.

Boston: The MBTA currently has internet access by service carriers in 26 stations and 13.1 miles of tunnel.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.