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Monday, March 29, 2010

MBTA's entire Orange Line subway cell-phone ready

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As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's transportation reform agenda to strengthen customer service, newly appointed MBTA General Manager Richard Davey said a customer convenience for Orange Line riders providing for the first time wireless telephone services along the entire Orange Line underground corridor.  Orange Line customers in Boston can use their wireless devices from end to end of the Orange Line, including 19 stations.

MBTA General Manager Davey said, "Governor Patrick has been clear - our mandate is to focus on T riders and work every day to improve safety and customer service. Providing customers with the option to access their cell phones or PDA devices while traveling on the system is a worthwhile convenience for personal and business use. We will continue this wireless expansion throughout the system."

A call can now be held continuously in all the underground sections of the Orange Line from Massachusetts Avenue through Back Bay, New England Medical, Chinatown, Downtown Crossing, State Street, Haymarket, North Station, and under the Charles River to Community College. T-Mobile and AT&T will provide service at these locations.

At the press conference held at the Orange Line's Ruggles Station, General Manager Rich Davey and Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan also announced a cell phone anti-theft awareness campaign to combat the recent rise in smart phone theft. In all of 2009 there were 134 Smart Phone thefts.  From January 2010 to present, there have been 46 cell phone thefts compared to 27 thefts during the same time period last year.

"While we appreciate that wireless access is a convenience for all of our customers, we encourage riders to be aware of their surroundings while traveling on the system and not use their phones near vehicle doors during station stops or when exiting the station," said MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan.

In December 2007, the MBTA became one of the first subway systems in the country to provide underground wireless telephone service with wireless telephone service at four key downtown locations and in the connecting tunnels:  Downtown Crossing, Park Street, Government Center and State Street. In May, a similar extension of service will encompass the Red Line tunnels and underground stations.  Calls will be able to be carried continuously from Charles / MGH through Park Street, Downtown Crossing, South Station, Broadway, and Andrews to JFK/UMass.  The underground sections of the Blue and Green Lines are currently in design.