New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is accelerating efforts to bring the city's subway into the 21st century — parts of it, anyway. The plan was outlined at a press conference held Friday morning.
The first effort being sped up is adding Wi-Fi access to every station in the nation's largest rapid transit system. Over 140 stations already have Wi-Fi and cell service, but that's only about half; the team expects to bring Wi-Fi to all of them by the end of this year, and cell service by the next.
Hundreds of subway cars will receive USB ports to charge your devices with this year, and rail cars and buses will receive tech upgrades as well. The original Metropolitan Transit Authority plan to redo 20 of the city's 469 metro stations by 2020 has also been upped to 30 — most should be done by 2018.
Contactless ticketing, another feature planned by the MTA, will now be introduced in 2018, two years ahead of schedule, Cuomo predicted. And mobile ticket purchasing will appear in the smaller Long Island and Metro North rail services later this year, ahead of deployment in the more central systems.
This is all assuming the funding comes through — the multibillion-dollar plan proposed by the MTA has yet to be approved by the state.