Being late and stuck underground and unable to send a “Hey-I’m-running-late” is the worst. Memorize this map from WNYC’s New Tech City blog and next time you find yourself tardy on the train, you can get your text pre-typed and hit send as you approach these stations. [Technically for Wi-Fi, you’ll need to login and get through the sponsored ad in time, of course]
Useful, yes, but is this what the MTA should be spending money on? The comments on this map were just as interesting as the map itself. The consensus seems to be no, and cell service in the subways seems a lot less innocuous than it sounds:
“This is like putting some icing on a moldy, crumbling cake.”
“What does happen often is people who are texting stop walking or paying attention to what is happening around them. Subway riders already stop in the subway doorways – what’s going to happen now that they will be even more self involved?”
“Shouldn’t the MTA be spending its limited budget on fixing up the many dilapidated and dirty stations throughout the system rather than adding this frill? It’s putting lipstick on a pig.”
Governor Cuomo stated about the project, “Customers now know that when they see something, they can now say something using their device to call 911. And now with all the major carriers on board, the vast majority of MTA customers will have the ability to do so.”
But as one commenter on New Tech City noted: “Obviously the myopic MTA does not think there are business or emergency needs in the other boroughs sufficient to even pilot there. Where does the MTA think most of the people who make Manhattan function live?”
“The MTA has been on a clearly defined mission to bring our mass transit system into the 21st century,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Thomas F. Prendergast. It will supposedly be equipped with all-over wireless and WiFi by 2016.
See more maps in our Fun Maps Column.