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NYFI hopes to give free Wi-Fi to NYC trains

updated 10:35 am EDT, Tue June 15, 2010

Ad-supported service would be free to riders

A private telecommunications company has proposed adding Wi-Fi service to two New York City area train lines. Mobilitie, which operates the free Wi-Fi service NYFI, submitted the proposal to build a wireless network for the Metro North and Long Island Rail Road lines. The service would be free to riders. The network and service would be built and supported by revenue from ads.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York (MTA), which operates the commuter lines, issued a Request for Proposals for this service in March (pdf). MTA required that the wireless network be constructed and operated at no charge to the agency.

Cablevision is the only other bidder known to have responded, submitting a similar proposal on June 3. No details from either proposal have been made public.

Cablevision is the service provider in those areas of New York, and provides Wi-Fi hotspots in MTA train stations along those lines. Cablevision's current Wi-Fi service is free to its subscribers and available to other commuters for a small fee.

Wi-Fi service is very popular with commuters. A trial offering free Wi-Fi on Amtrak's Acela Express trains in the New York City area earlier this year was so well received that the service is being implemented nationwide.

By Electronista Staff


  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Yeah, sure. Free WiFi. Not holding my breath for

    I think about four or five years ago there was going to be a massive push for free WiFi paid by ads on the MTA subways and all around Manhattan. Nothing ever materialized. I believe all major cities in the U.S. had dreams of free WiFi and they all failed, too. I doubt if the economy can handle anything like this yet.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003


    Wifi price....

    The cost of this system would be well within even the lowered budget of the MTA can handle, and you'll get more riders as well hopefully.

    - A

  1. facebook_Michael

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2010


    Agree with OP

    They've been talking about cell service and wifi in the nyc subway system for YEARS and yet nothing has ever materialized. I'm all for wifi and data service but please don't ever put cell service underground. People have no manners and no regard for their fellow transit riders. I don't want to hear how "u & ur boyz downed hennie, smoked, and holla'd @ flos" or any baby daddy drama from Shaquishwa.

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