Comptroller Stringer Audit Finds Subway WiFi and Cell Service Fully Functioning at 150 Stations
Auditors tested WiFi and cell service at subway stations in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx
A new audit released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer showed that WiFi and cell service equipment installed in 150 underground subway stations by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Transit Wireless is fully functioning. The stations tested, which had service installed as part of Phases 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Transit Wireless’ contract with the MTA, serve 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.
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.
“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. “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.”
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.
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.
To read the full audit – and see a list of subway stations that were tested – click here.