Starting tomorrow (Sept. 27th), four of the 271 subway platforms in New York City will have cell phone service and Wi-Fi. Subway platforms will have service, but the tunnels won’t, so you can’t really use your phone in between stops. As of now, this will only be available to those with AT&T and T-Mobile.
These are the four subway stations where service will be available:
C/E at 23rd St. and 8th Ave.
A/C/E/L at 14th St. and 8th Ave.
F/M/L at 14th St. and 6th Ave.
1/2/3 at 14th St. and 7th Ave.
This is a bit of a mixed blessing. Sure, it will be great to stay connected while endlessly waiting for the Q train at 4am on a Sunday Morning. But I believe one of the nice things about the subway is the brief respite from the constant hammering of your phone’s network connection. When you’re in the subway, you’re free from annoying text messages, calls, push notification, friend requests, and twitter mentions. It allows time to relax, regroup, and focus on other non-connected tasks. For me, this mainly consists of catching up on reading (albeit using the Instapaper iPhone app), and listening to podcasts and audiobooks (again, still on the iPhone). Now, as you’re able to get a more consistent internet connection in the subway, I think these brief moments of mandatory sanctuary will begin to fade. On the other side, it will be nice to be able to stay in touch while running late, and I’m sure that we’ll all get to overhear a decent amount of bizarrely interesting phone conversations – amongst the barrage of annoying ones.
Possibly related: A photo I took in the Atlantic Avenue Subway Tunnel.