MTA Metro-North Railroad partnered with Penguin Random House to bring literature celebrating New York authors, New York City, and Grand Central Terminal directly to commuters and visitors with “Grand Central Reads.” The partnership will utilize recently expanded and improved free Wi-Fi and wireless service activated by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.
Starting on the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement of its decision in Penn Central Transportation Co. versus New York City, which saved Grand Central from redevelopment, and continuing through August 31, customers can use their mobile devices to download free Penguin Random House book excerpts from inside Grand Central Terminal, Terminal platforms, and the Park Avenue Tunnel. The Grand Central Reads program features a platform created by Penguin Random House that offers visitors free access to extensive excerpts from the publisher’s award-winning catalog of adult fiction and non-fiction titles spanning all genres, including thrillers and romance; children’s and young adult; and a variety of political, self-help, and cookbooks. Public seating is available in the Terminal’s dining concourse, where readers can relax and browse titles while grabbing a bite to eat.
Grand Central Terminal activated improved wireless service in the Terminal’s platform areas and the Park Avenue Tunnel. It also added a free open public Wi-Fi network, called “GrandCentral-FreeWiFi,” covering the entirety of the Terminal, including public areas, retail spaces, and Grand Central North Passageways. The wireless service and Wi-Fi were built by a consortium of four wireless operators: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. In addition to boosting connectivity for passengers and visitors throughout the Terminal, the updated wireless system will also improve communications systems used for Metro-North operations and emergency response activities by the MTA Police Department and New York City Fire Department.
“We create partnerships and experiences like Grand Central Reads to help us consistently evolve and improve how Grand Central Terminal serves the 750,000 people who pass through and visit daily,” said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “We’re excited to give people an opportunity to ignite their passion for reading, connect with each other, and experience the heart of New York City in new ways.”