Cell Phone Coverage Coming to Metro

by Will Smith

“I’m going into the Metro. I’ll have to call you back.”

How many times have you had to cut short a cell phone conversation with a line like that? Well, according to an announcement this week from WMATA, those words will likely become a thing of the past within a few years. Metro has begun installing hardware from the four major wireless carriers in its 20 busiest underground stations with the aim of enabling cell phone coverage by this fall. Riders in those stations will finally be able to use the downtime waiting for a train to make calls, send texts, and surf the web. The scheduled date that these stations will be live with access is Friday, October 16th.

Image courtesy of DC Metro Transport

After the initial 20 stations, equipment will be installed in another 27 to enable coverage by October 2010. WMATA plans for the entire Metro system — stations and tunnels — to have coverage by 2012, meaning you’ll be able to spend your entire commute surfing on your iPhone.

The deal between WMATA and the carriers (Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, AT&T and T-Mobile) to install coverage in the underground stations was originally announced in February. Currently Verizon subscribers, as well as Sprint customers that roam onto Verizon’s network, do have coverage in underground Metro stations, thanks to infrastructure installed through a deal made between WMATA and Verizon back in the 1990s.

The 20 stations that will go live in October are:

  • Ballston
  • Bethesda
  • Columbia Heights
  • Crystal City
  • Dupont Circle
  • Farragut North
  • Farragut West
  • Federal Triangle
  • Foggy Bottom-GWU
  • Friendship Heights
  • Gallery Pl-Chinatown
  • Judiciary Square
  • L’Enfant Plaza
  • McPherson Square
  • Metro Center
  • Pentagon
  • Pentagon City
  • Rosslyn
  • Smithsonian
  • Union Station

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/cell_phone_coverage_coming_to_metro/1256


  1. Brandon Green said at 1:37 pm on Thursday August 20, 2009:

    About time Washington DC’s Metro got this feature!

  1. Michael said at 1:18 am on Friday August 21, 2009:

    Really?  Why?  This is the worst thing to come to Metro since the suggestion of hot drinks being sold in the train stations. #$^*&  Metro was a rare remaining place of peace where one didn’t have to listen to inane cell phone conversations…  I guess all that’s left for the time being are planes now.

  1. maria said at 7:59 am on Friday August 21, 2009:

    Yes, finally! No more lost calls!

  1. Cindy said at 3:23 pm on Monday October 19, 2009:

    Yes, you all can thank my hubby for all of this.  He has been working countless hours so that you commuters can keep busy!

Comments are closed.

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