Making a phone call on London's tube? No problem. Playing Candy Crush on Stockholm's tunnelbana? Done. But, New York City's subway? Despite being known as a thoroughly modern city, the Big Apple's connectivity underground has not come easily. Thankfully, a handful of Manhattan subway stations have finally started offering free wi-fi and cellphone service. MTA chairman Thomas F. Prendergast says they're doing it for the kids: "It is one of the features that the X’ers and the Y’ers and the millennials consider an expectation or an entitlement, not a luxury," Pendergast said.
Of course, these wi-fi ports are all in Manhattan and all between 14th and 96th streets — oh, and only at the actual stations, so make that email/text/phone call brief! Everyone outside this zone will continue to be trapped in the Guilliani years. (Incidentally, this era also marks when many of the MTA trains and stations were last upgraded, at best. The trains on the A and C lines are actually half-century old.)
Like the G train's so-so service, these MTA upgrades are moving forth at a "glacial" pace, despite the fact that plans — and hidden taxes — for such development have been in place for more than a decade. In fact, it won't be until 2017 that the MTA plans to have all 277 stations offering wireless coverage. By then, you'll probably be able to click, point, design and 3-D print your basic commuter needs (like umbrellas) on self-guided trains in other leading international cities, but with the MTA, we'll be happy being able to make an undropped call from the Lorimer stop. Who says New Yorkers aren't thankful? [NYMag]