The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), in partnership with InSite Wireless Group and T-Mobile, now provides underground cell phone service for T-Mobile customers on the Metro Red/Purple Lines between Union Station and Wilshire/Western in Los Angeles.
“We are excited that three of the biggest cell phone providers have now come on board to offer their services to our riders using the Metro subway system,” said Metro Board Chair John Fasana. “This is another technological enhancement for our subway riders who can stay connected while traveling underground.”
Metro and InSite Wireless Group, the firm under contract with Metro to provide the needed equipment for the service, announced in April the launch of Verizon cell phone service to subway customers followed by Sprint in July. Negotiations are underway with AT&T to provide underground cell service.
“The availability of cell phone service by these carriers is a big bonus for our riders and we look forward to expanding the service throughout our subway system in the months ahead as we strive to enhance the customer experience,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.
In addition to regular cellular service, emergency 911 calls can also be made by Metro riders. In the event of an emergency, riders are reminded to first contact the train operator via the emergency intercom system located on board trains and on station platforms. Riders also can use the text feature on the Transit Watch app on their smartphones to report issues directly to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
T-Mobile cell phone service is accessible throughout the busy Metro Red and Purple Line subway system including tunnels and station platforms from Union Station to Wilshire/Western. This also includes the platforms for Blue Line and Expo Line trains at 7th Street Metro Center Station.
Verizon and Sprint cell phone service is accessible from Union Station to 7th Street Metro Center Station, with work underway to expand to the Wilshire/Western station later this year.
Subsequent phases of the program will expand the service on the Red Line from Wilshire/Vermont Station to the North Hollywood Station in the San Fernando Valley. Service will also be provided on Metro Gold Line underground stations in Pasadena and in East Los Angeles. Those expansions should be completed in 2017.