NEW YORK (AP) — Cellphone service and free Wi-Fi have arrived at another 30 New York City subway stations, officials announced Thursday.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced the expansion Thursday of a program that started with six stations in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood in 2011.
Phone and Internet service are now available at busy stations including Times Square, Columbus Circle and Rockefeller Center.
"It's a big deal for the millions of MTA customers who pass through these stations every single day," said Thomas Prendergast, the agency's interim executive director. "It means you can check your email, surf the Web, or do just about anything you do upstairs while you're waiting for a train."
Prendergast said rider safety will be enhanced at the wired stations, because "help is just a 911 call away."
The wireless equipment is being installed by Transit Wireless, a subsidiary of Broadcast Australia, with Boingo Wireless operating the Wi-Fi. Cellphone carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon are participating.
"It's going to really change the way we commute on subways going forward," said Tom DeVito, AT&T's vice president for New York and New Jersey, who joined officials from the other companies and the MTA at a crowded news conference in the Times Square station.