Once upon a (dark) time, commuters didn’t have the luxury of connecting to Wi-Fi or cellular data while underground. That seems like ages ago, but Transit Wireless, the company established to develop the shared wireless infrastructure within all of New York City’s subterranean subway stations and platforms (now 282 in total), only recently celebrated its one year anniversary of bringing coverage to the public. In the time since then, we data-hungry smart phone users have collectively made over 280 million cellular calls and logged onto Wi-Fi over 120 million times. The fun infographic below, created in January 2018, provides a snapshot of Transit Wireless’ service one year later.
One of the four finalist in the MTA Genius Challenge, an international competition seeking solutions to modernize and improve the reliability of the New York City subway, Transit Wireless holds a 27-year partnership agreement with the MTA, which called for the company to not only design and build the network, but also to operate and maintain it. The connectivity isn’t solely to appease the demands of listless riders, who rely on their phones to listen to music, read an eBook or Yelp their next restaurant destination; it’s also revolutionizing the way the MTA communicates with commuters underground. The network provides dedicated bands for emergency and operational services, and supports improvements like Help Point Kiosks and handy countdown clocks.
Today, the average Transit Wireless WiFi customer consumes more than 500 terabytes of data on a monthly basis. (That’s the equivalent of 5.4 billion cat memes, the company reports.)
Some other fun facts: Times Square boasts the highest number of Wi-Fi network logins, trailed by Union Square and the 34th-Street-Herald Square stations. In the other boroughs, Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center tops the list in Brooklyn; Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, and 149th Street-Grand Concourse in The Bronx. The network also received the most logins of the year on September 14th, which Transit Wireless guesses is the result of news surrounding Hurricane Irma.