Late afternoon commuters stand on the Jamaica Station platform as a...

Late afternoon commuters stand on the Jamaica Station platform as a LIRR crew works to clear a derailed commuter train on Aug. 3, 2023. Credit: John Roca

Long Island Rail Road riders will see improved cellular connectivity at Atlantic Terminal, Grand Central Madison and tunnels connected to several major stations, the MTA announced Tuesday.

The announcement follows the rollout of Wi-Fi and cellular service at Atlantic Terminal in 2021 and Jamaica Station in 2022. Commuters who use AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will see better cellular service at Grand Central Madison and its tunnels, as well as at Atlantic Terminal, Jamaica Station and tunnels between the two.

“LIRR customers coming into and out of Grand Central Madison and Atlantic Terminal will now enjoy full wireless connectivity and an enhanced customer experience,” Long Island Rail Road Acting President Rob Free said in a statement.

Peter Roth of Merrick, a financial trader who commutes daily to midtown Manhattan and uses the Grand Central Madison tunnels, said the upgrade is long overdue.

"Just having data service and texting is important," Roth said. "We've gotten stuck in the tunnel and you have no idea why. You can't look up anything and you get no announcements. So this is a positive for sure."

Roth said he hopes the MTA next provides upgraded cell service at its Penn Station tunnels, where only Verizon subscribers get service.

The new wireless network covers about 30 miles of Right of Way, including tunnels, the MTA said in a news release. The expanded cellular service features 5G and LTE coverage.

The added coverage will make it easier for riders to access mobile tickets and stay connected to work or streaming entertainment, transit officials said.

“Wireless connectivity is key to a 21st century transit system,” MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer said in a statement.

The added services are built and managed by Boingo Wireless at no cost to the MTA, according to the release.

With Robert Brodsky and Alfonso A. Castillo 

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