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Cell Service In First LA Metro Tunnels Delayed Again

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Subway riders won't be able to take calls until at least April

Transit riders have been eagerly anticipating cell service becoming available in the first few Metro subway tunnels (between Union Station and Seventh St./Metro Center), but now the expected arrival of that service, previously set for late March, has been pushed back to April at best. The blame for the delays rests on "protracted negotiations between the agency's contracted service provider and the cellular networks," KPCC reports.

Work to bring Wi-Fi and cell service to Metro subway tunnels has been underway since 2014, and at the end of that year, Metro anticipated that 2015 would be the year of the underground phone call. It hasn't worked out that way.

The second wave of cell service in subway tunnels will stretch to the Purple Line's current terminus at Wilshire/Western and, along the Red Line, to Vermont/Sunset. That phase should be up and running this fall. Metro officials are hoping that by 2017, the whole system will have cell service.

It seem that Wi-Fi's not really getting talked about at this point, though it's no wonder, since cell service is proving to be so tough. "Officials could not say when Wi-Fi service would be expanded to other stations and to subway trains due to ongoing negotiations with service providers," KPCC said.