L train tunnel is first to have full cellular connectivity, Cuomo announces

L Train Getty
Photo credit Getty Images
By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The L train line tunnel under the East River is the first with full cellular connectivity in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday.

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The MTA and New York-based company, Transit Wireless,  launched full connectivity allowing AT&T customers to use their phones and other devices between 1st Avenue and Bedford Avenue on the L line.

"The L Line project was proof that when we are confronted with a challenge we can build back better and stronger," Cuomo said.

"The L Train is now equipped with cellular service so New Yorkers can stay connected even when underground. We challenged those who said this project couldn't be done, and as a result, the MTA has delivered a more resilient tunnel with 21st-century technology," he added.

The work was for this project was done concurrently with the post-Superstorm Sandy repairs and other upgrades performed as part of the L project and came at no cost to the MTA.   

"We were able to piggyback on the work already being done in the tunnel for the L Project to provide this cellular connectivity to our customers without additional impacts on service," MTA Construction & Development President Janno Lieber said. "This is a nice benefit for our customers and it's the sort of work we will look to do at our other tunnel crossings."

The rollout of wireless broadband in the Canarsie tunnel advances the MTA's existing wireless connectivity initiatives.  

The agency will continue to expand its broadband connectivity in the Long Island Rail Road's tunnels under Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, and the tunnels the LIRR will use to access Grand Central Terminal when East Side Access by 2022. 

"Even with the challenges the MTA is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to enhancing and modernizing the subway system, especially when it comes to tools that enhance customer and employee safety," NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said,.

"Giving our riders the ability to use 21st-century connectivity in more parts of our system is a huge part of those efforts," she added.