Metro users with Verizon wireless service can now to talk on their phones, text and use their data plans while riding along downtown segments of the Red and Purple lines, transportation officials announced last week.
Verizon is the first to make cell service available in the underground tunnels and platforms between 7th Street/Metro Station and Union Station, Metro officials said.
Sprint and T-Mobile service will be coming on board in the next two to three months, with AT&T service now being negotiated, officials said.
The Verizon cell service also is available to Metro riders on at the Blue Line and Expo Line platforms at the 7th Street/Metro Center Station.
“After a lot of planning and coordination, Metro is pleased to offer the first phase of cell service to our riders,” Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington said. “More will be coming over the next few months and will enhance our customer experience.”
Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas said the wireless service “reflects a significant technological enhancement for our Metro Red and Purple Line riders who can enjoy staying connected while traveling underground.”
The wireless service equipment is being provided under a Metro contract awarded to InSite Wireless Group.
Metro officials said that while riders should make use of the train and platform intercom systems in the event of an emergency, the wireless service will also provide the added option of making emergency 911 cell phone calls and reporting problems to the Sheriff’s Department by texting.
Metro officials are planning to expand cell service to the Purple Line, between the 7th Street/Metro Center Station and Wilshire/Western stations, by the fall, followed by the Gold Line in Pasadena and East Los Angeles, and the Red Line, between the Wilshire/Vermont and North Hollywood stations, next year.