(Sophie Kleeman) Starting today, you'll now be able to obsessively check your email, Twitter, and Facebook accounts in more subway stations than ever before. The MTA and Transit Wireless announced this morning that wireless voice and data service is now available at 30 new subterranean stations, including Times Square, Lincoln Center, and Columbus Circle. This brings the total number of connected stations to 36, as the first six got WiFi in Chelsea in September 2011.
For now, wireless access is only available for T. Mobile and AT&T users, but Verizon and Sprint customers shouldn't fret—their carriers are in final negotiations to participate, and service should be available later this year. The project's cost, estimated at up to $200 million, will be covered by Transit Wireless and the carriers. The end goal is to have all 277 underground subway stations online by 2018, though the team hopes to have it completed by 2017.