The New York City subway system is the world’s biggest, but it is not the most technologically advanced, especially when it comes to ticketing systems and connectivity. But New York governor Andrew Cuomo plans to change all that with his goal to bring it “into the 21st system”. And part of that plan is for all the subway stations to have WiFi connectivity by the end of this year, despite the original plan by the Metropolitan Transit Authority to have it by the end of 2017.
Transit Wireless is the company contracted by the MTA to make this possible, but now they would have to speed up their timelines to meet the governor’s deadline. They previously said that all 278 stations would be wired by 2017, but Cuomo wants it done this year, as well as installing cell service the year after. The governor says that aside from maintenance and repair of the trains and the stations themselves, it needs to become “the 21st century transit system New Yorkers deserve” through these modernization plan.
Aside from the WiFi, they are also planning to replace the current MetroCard system with a mobile, contactless one so that passengers need only to wave their phones or bank cards at the turnstiles. But that would take a little longer, by 2018. They’re also looking at having USB charging stations around the 278 stations they have now.
But aside from the logistics and technical aspects of it all, probably the bigger question is where will he get the money to fund all the modernization and renovation. It is priced at $26 billion dollars, and even though they were able to get a little bit of money from the New York City government, they still have to come up with something more.
VIA: The Verge