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Work Starts on Bringing WiFi and Cell Service to Metro Tunnels

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Work began last month on bringing WiFi and cell service to Metro's underground tunnels, reports County Supervisor Zev Yaroslvasky's website, though the system won't be completely outfitted until January 2016. Metro hired InSite Wireless, the company that set up Boston's subway system with service, and they're starting by trying to figure out where to put a 2,000-square-foot contraption that will house equipment needed by cell phone companies that join Metro's network. Downtown stations will likely get service first—before 2016—and Union Station could have it as early as this year. The remainder of the Red and Purple Lines, as well as underground sections of the Expo, Blue, and Gold Lines, will roll out later. (Plus the future Crenshaw Line, which has barely started construction.) People without data plans will be asked to pay a nominal charge, which will help offset costs for Metro—the agency should make at least $360,000 a year from the program, though that's probably lowballing it. Metro says the WiFi/cell service will also make the system safer, making it easier for security to respond to distress calls and for sheriff's deputies to spy on riders with real-time video feeds.
· Dial M for Metro WiFi [Zev Yaroslavsky]