New York City subway system to offer WiFi

Transit Wireless is building New York City a subway Wi-Fi service for all 418 miles of tunnels and 281 stations

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New York City's sprawling subway system will be fully wired for cellphone and Wi-Fi service within about 10 years under a plan approved by transit officials this week.

Riders will be able to use their phones throughout the 418 miles of subway tunnels under the plan approved by Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members Wednesday.

The $600 million project will be built by Transit Wireless, the telecommunications company that already provides cellphone service in the city's 281 underground subway stations.

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A subway station entrance in New York, New York. The subway system will offer WiFi in the near future.

A subway station entrance in New York, New York. The subway system will offer WiFi in the near future. (Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Subway riders can now use their phones to text, call or access the internet at underground stations but usually lose service once the train starts moving. Transit Wireless plans to expand service to trains in the tunnels and also to the system's 191 aboveground stations and to 21 Staten Island Railway stations.

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"Bringing cell connectivity to the tunnels between stations and Wi-Fi to above-ground stations is a major step forward in enhancing transit riders’ experience," MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in a statement.