MTA Announces Plan for Transformative Wireless Connectivity Across All Stations

August.01.2022

Orrick’s Infrastructure team is advising Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in connection with a public-private partnership (P3) to provide cell coverage throughout all 418 miles of New York City subway tunnels in addition to an expansion of Wi-Fi service to all 191 above-ground subway and 21 Staten Island Railway stations. Currently, transit customers have cell and Wi-Fi service at all underground subway stations through Transit Wireless and the proposed expansion would transform the MTA subway system into a fully digital transit network. This project will have a tremendous impact on the millions of daily riders, including commuters and tourists in the largest public transportation agency in North America and one of the largest in the world.

The project is expected to result in over $1 billion in benefits for the MTA and its customers over the term of the license. Work on the project will begin immediately and be completed in 10 years, with cellular and Wi-Fi services available to commuters as sections of the subway system are completed. Transit Wireless would design, build and operate a neutral-host network for every subway tunnel in the system. This project is MTA’s largest communications project and following completion the MTA subway system will become one of only a handful of public transportation systems in the world to offer cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity both in the underground tunnels and above-ground stations.

Additional information is available in MTA’s announcement.

The Orrick team previously advised MTA with the extension of cellular voice and data service within the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), Metro-North Railroad (MNR), the Canarsie Tunnel and in Penn Station. Our team was led by Vincent Casey and Victoria Boyne and included John Grant, Crissi Berger and Eric Brannock.