Commuters in NYC and Austin Get Some Techy Upgrades
Starting this week, Verizon Wireless service is now available in 35 New York City subway stations on the west side of Manhattan, a stretch that covers busy stops like Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park.
The rollout is part of the Metropolitan Transit Authority's goal to completely outfit the 110-year-old subway system (which Mayor Bill de Blasio recently called "the eighth wonder of the world") with wireless access by 2017. The $200 million project is being implemented by Transit Wireless, in partnership with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and Boingo Wireless.
New York isn't alone in making Wi-Fi a priority; its neighbors are getting on board as well. In June, New Jersey Transit announced a public-private partnership with Cablevision to build a dedicated wireless network for the entire system by 2016.
And it's not just the East Coast getting in on the innovation game when it comes to public transportation. Capitol Metro, the transit system that provides service for Austin, Texas, worked with mobile ticketing startup Bytemark to develop a free CapMetro App.
The app, which was released this week, allows commuters to store passes and tickets on their smartphones. Austin is, of course, home to South by Southwest (SXSW), the ever-expanding interactive, film and music festival that descends upon the city every March. It would seem that this feature will help a number of visitors get around come spring, just so long as they remember to bring their chargers.