Update on effort to provide cell service in subway

We frequently hear from readers and riders who want to know if Metro will be providing cell phone service and/or wi-fi in the Red and Purple Line subway.

Answer: the agency is working on it and has recently received proposals from several firms. The hope is to choose a winning firm in late summer.

The Metro staff report to the Board of Directors is below (pdf here):

Cell service in subway report

8 replies

  1. I spend about an hour a day on the metro, five days a week. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to fire up my computer and catch up on some quick emails while riding. I would prefer that to simple cell phone service, although either would help. I’m often trying to meet someone at the other end, and it would be nice to do a quick call to connect before I get above ground again. The world is more connected, and I hate to have to break that for my 30 minute ride each way every day.

  2. Please Metro, No! No! No! cell and/or wifi service. First off, from ground level to rail car most of us are in a rush, and there is a huge obstacle we must “rush” around, that’s all of the other people. If people are texting/talking/wifi”ing” I am most likely going to knock them over if they are in my way slowing me down. Second, from NoHo to Union Station, its a :30 min. ride, long enough for humans to relax a bit, even knap, and (way) short enough that communicating can wait. I read that for safety issues there should be cell / wifi service in case of an emergency; what does that mean anyway? If an emergency occurs such as medical reason, there are plenty of emergency intercoms on board and on the platforms, simply push only one button. If the unfortunate happens such as a derailment, a cell phone will not save our lives, in fact it might cause deaths because rather than people helping people, it will be people talking/texting people. And lets say a hostage situation occurs, well believe me I sure do not want to be sitting next to the person on the cell phone, because that person most likely is the first targeted to be murdered. I am sorry to make world public transportation sound so scary, but it is the truth. Ironically, on Today In L. A. NBC 4 news reported today that Virgin airlines will soon allow cell / wifi services. The only compromise for the airlines that I could think of is have cell/wifi and non-cell/wifi seating, like the old days of smoking, or non. If this service goes into Metro service, is it possible to have every other car with / without cell/wifi service. Its seems so silly, but it is a compromise. Thank you

  3. Please do this! The Metro in Washington DC is packed with lawyers checking email on their smartphones and kids texting their friends. Very few people actually making calls because it’s noisy. It’s a no-brainer to make the subway a more attractive place for everyday people of all walks of life.

  4. Going back and fixing things is always harder than doing it right to begin with.

  5. I’m really hoping it is wifi and not cell service. The subway is loud enough, and the last thing we need is people trying to yell over the screaching steel and movement in the tunnels(The subway is not exactly a peaceful ride, however well worth it). Wifi I think is a great option, especially since metro just launched a really nice realtime app that does not work whilst underground.

  6. Please dont. The one thing that is nice about the Red Line is that no one is talking or yelling on their phone on the train. There is no need to phone service in the subway. Anyone can deal with not getting calls for 36 minutes.

  7. I can receive signal deep inside the Santa Monica Mountains (in the Red Line using AT&T). I can get singal in all the red line tunnels. I just that it is too noisy to talk. Texting & Surfing should be OK. Can Metro lower the noise when the trains are traveling in high speeds?