New York subway to launch wireless coverage

Commuters prepare to board the F train at the Jay Street subway station Aug. 29, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Jeremy Hobson: New York City is the kind of place where business is being done all the time. Well -- except on the subway, where there is no cell phone reception. The dealmaking stops when you walk underground. At least it did until today, when the Big Apple
begins testing cell phone service on subway platforms. It's a big investment for AT&T and T-Mobile, but it'll also mean a big change for many New Yorkers' commutes.

Sally Herships has more.


Sally Herships: New York City is loud. But when you go down into the subway, it's almost quiet, which Pollyana Rose really values. She was waiting for the L train to head home from her job as a customer service rep.

Pollyana Rose: That five, 10, 15 minutes is really, really important. I appreciate it. 'Cause I deal with people all morning. I just want a little quiet time, honestly.

Chris Tokar said she's fine with the idea, until she realized other passengers might be using their phones as well.

Chris Tokar: Well, yeah, that might be a problem.

Then there's the issue of always being available, which is what instantly came to mind for 26-year-old web designer Rachel Blische.

Rachel Blische: Oh yeah, absolutely. So my work day is going to start an hour earlier and will end an hour later.

The only passenger I found who likes the idea wasn't a New Yorker. She was visiting from Washington, D.C., where the metro is already wired for cell phones.

In New York, I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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