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NYC's next subway cars have WiFi and USB ports built-in

Engadget Engadget 19/07/2016 Andrew Dalton
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The New York City subway system is gearing up for a major overhaul meant to bring a "modernized look and feel" to lighting, wayfinding and subway cars by the year 2020. At a press conference on Monday, Governor Andrew Guomo announced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $27 billion, five-year plan to add 1,025 new subway cars, more informative digital screens, better security features and -- most importantly for anyone who needs to get some work done underground – WiFi and USB charging ports in the cars and stations.

"People want to work, and they want their device to work 24 hours a day," Governor Cuomo during the event at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. "They don't want to have to look up. There has to be WiFi, and there need to be charging ports."

In addition to free juice and an internet connection, the new subway cars will sport "full color digital customer information displays," as well as new digital ad space. On a practical level, the cars will offer wider doors to expedite boarding times and up to 750 of new cars will feature an open-ended design that allows for more passenger space.

Governor Guomo's announcement also included plans to create a new, unified design standard for all subway stations, starting with some extensive renovations at 31 key stations across the city. Like the train cars, those stations will be getting amenities like WiFi, improved cellular connections and new digital signage with real-time updates at entrances and count down clocks on the platform – all while being careful to consider each station's "architectural legacy." If the first phase of renovations is successful, there are plans to upgrade another 170 stations in the future.

While the plan is still in the proposal stage at this point, the MTA did manage to meet their goal of rolling out a new generation of WiFi-equipped buses on the streets of Queens earlier this year. And if the city's LinkNYC smart kiosk plan stays on track, there will be a total of 4,550 WiFi public WiFi hot spots above ground by the year 2020 as well.

NY.gov

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