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Cell Phone Service Coming to Toronto Subways

Date: 12/13/2008 12:13:07 AM

The Toronto Transit Commission has announced plans to provide cell phone service on subway trains after a survey showed overwhelming demand for such a service.

“We will find a way to do this,” said TTC Chairman Adam Giambrone, who is already working with wireless carriers to bring cellular signals to Toronto’s subway tunnels. “It’s not a matter of ‘if.’ It’s a matter of ‘when.’”

59% of Toronto subway riders support bringing cell service to underground transit, with just 17% opposed, and 24% indifferent to the idea, according to a recent market research survey.

In order to meet this demand, numerous receivers will have to be mounted in Toronto’s subway tunnels. The underground network could take two to three years to install, at an estimated cost of $30 million, which will likely be picked up by cell phone carriers.

“There’s all sorts of benefits beyond simply being able to talk on the phone, e-mail and text,” commented TTC spokesman, Brad Ross. “If you’re waiting at a station and there’s a delay, you can phone home or your boss if you’re late for work. Typically, in subway stations that are underground, you can’t do that and you often see line-ups at pay phones.”

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