The three quick takeaways:
•Cell Service for Verizon customers is now available between Union Station and 7th/Metro Center on the Red/Purple Line subway. 9-1-1 calls can be made.
•Sprint and T-Mobile have signed up to provide service and negotiations continue with AT&T.
•The next phase will extend service from 7th/Metro to Wilshire/Western on the Purple Line.
Here’s the news release from Metro:
Cell Service Now Available to Verizon Customers in Metro Subway Stations and Tunnels along the Red/Purple Lines
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), in partnership with InSite Wireless Group and Verizon, now provides the first phase of underground wireless service for Verizon customers on the Metro Red/Purple Lines between Union Station and 7th Street/Metro Center Station in downtown Los Angeles.
“We applaud Verizon for being the first of what we anticipate will be all wireless network providers to come on board and provide cellular service in our subway tunnels,” said Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This reflects a significant technological enhancement for our Metro Red and Purple Line riders who can enjoy staying connected while traveling underground.”
Metro and InSite Wireless Group, the firm under contract to provide the needed equipment for the service, also announced that Sprint and T-Mobile have signed-up to provide service which will be available in two to three months. Negotiations are on-going with AT&T.
“After a lot of planning and coordination, Metro is pleased to offer the first phase of cell service to our riders,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “More will be coming over the next few months and will enhance our customer experience.”
Verizon customers with 4G LTE devices will have access to HD Voice and data services. Emergency 911 calls can also be made. In the event of an emergency, riders are reminded to first contact the train operator via the emergency intercom system located on board trains and on station platforms. Riders also can use the text feature on the Transit Watch app on their smartphones to report issues directly to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“Verizon customers depend on their mobile devices to stay connected throughout their busy days. Bringing our 4G LTE network to the LA Metro system is part of our continued effort to provide a best-in-class network experience for our customers wherever they live, work and play,” said Greg Haller, Pacific Market President for Verizon.
The wireless service is accessible throughout the busy 7th Street/Metro Center Station, including the platforms for Blue Line and Expo Line trains.
In the next phase of the program, wireless service will be provided on the Purple Line between 7th Street/Metro Center Station and Wilshire/Western. The service is expected to be up and running on by fall 2016.
Subsequent phases of the program will then expand the service on the Red Line from Wilshire/Vermont Station to the North Hollywood Station in the San Fernando Valley. Service will also be provided on Metro Gold Line underground stations in Pasadena and in East Los Angeles. Those expansions should be completed in 2017.