by Kritzie Roberts
Late last month, the City of New York MTA announced the long anticipated wiring of subway station cell phone service. The MTA hopes to have all 271 stations wired within the next five years, but for now, cell service is only available for T-Mobile and AT&T customers at six subway stations in Manhattan. Other subway stations have service without the wiring like the 1, 2 & 3 stations at 96 Street and 79 Street and the 1 Station at 137 Street.
Many New Yorkers were thrilled to be able to use their cell phones, answer emails, and text messages while waiting for the train on subway platforms. And many of our students welcomed the news since so many commute. Brauley De La Rosa, a City College junior and T-Mobile customer, was happy to hear the news. In an interview with De La Rosa he said, “It’s great man, I can talk, text, shop, and do everything else while I wait for the train.”
But not everybody is excited by the news. Chris Toro, a City College junior, didn’t seem too happy since the company he uses won’t offer the service. “What’s the point? I have Sprint,” says Toro. “It’s not like there will be service in the tunnel, and it’s only for T-Mobile and AT&T customers.”
Others are worried about another drawback: being forced to listen to the loud, nonstop conversations of other passengers. “I take the 7 train and people are always telling their life story on the phone,” says Zulai Romero, a CCNY junior. “I just hope they won’t put service in the tunnels. Then the chatter would really never stop.”
Freshman Stephanie Salazar says she’s annoyed by the MTA’s budget priorities. “Didn’t the MTA just have budget cuts and raise the price of metro card fare?” she says. “They don’t have money to give us better and reliable service but they have money to give us cell phone service?”