NYC Subways Will Have Wireless Soon, But at a Price…

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    Brooklyn subway riders are preparing for the next six months of a station shutdown.

    A string of subway stations along the R line will be closed for six moths at a time for renovation makeovers. According to Spectrum News, the 53rd Street station is the first of the 31 station shutdowns across New York City. The makeover projects are expected to last over the next three years and include two other Brooklyn stations.

    “It’s not just a paint job and a few bulbs,” said Fernando Ferrer, acting Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman. “This is pretty much a major renovation of those stations and a major reimagining of those stations.”

    Street level station entrances will be getting new digital overhang displays, mezzanine levels will now be equipped with countdown clocks and brighter lighting, metal barrier will be replaced by glass structures, and USB charging ports will be installed throughout the stations. Starting in 2008, tech companies have started using USB 3.0 cables, which offer higher bandwidth and are still compatible with USB 2.0 devices.

    In addition, Wi-Fi and cell service will also soon be available on NYC subways, even deep under the streets.

    “By bringing Wi-Fi and cell service underground ahead of schedule, we are reimagining our subway stations to meet the needs of the next generation,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced the subway renovation projects last year.

    The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports that Transit Wireless invested over $300 million in a 27-year contract with the MTA. The stations that receive these renovation treatments will come online immediately upon conclusion of their makeover projects.

    The next Brooklyn station set to shut down is the Bay Ridge Avenue stop on April 29, followed by the closing of the Prospect Avenue stop on June 5.