MTA issues Request for Proposals to build connectivity in L Line’s East River tunnel

Jan. 2, 2020
The L Line will be the first under-river subway tunnel with full connectivity.

A Request for Proposals has been issued by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for a real estate license to build out and operate broadband wireless connectivity infrastructure in the L Line’s tunnel under the East River.

The service will allow customers to use phones and other devices between 1 Av and Bedford Av on the L Line, making this under-river tunnel the first in the New York City subway system to receive full connectivity.

“Providing full connectivity to our millions of customers is a part of our continued push to modernize the MTA system,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “We’re working to deliver full connectivity across our system and allow our customers to use their commuting time to meet their needs, whether it’s texting with friends and family or communicating with coworkers.”

The roll out of broadband advances the MTA’s existing wireless connectivity initiatives. Working with Transit Wireless, the MTA has rolled out broadband to all underground subway stations.

Working with a consortium of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, the MTA has rolled out broadband connectivity for Metro-North customers in Grand Central, the Grand Central train shed and Park Avenue Tunnel that extends from Grand Central to E. 97th Street.

Working with Boingo, the MTA is rolling out broadband connectivity in the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) tunnels under Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, and the tunnels the LIRR will use to access Grand Central Terminal when East Side Access opens in 2022.

The MTA maintains broadband cell connectivity in the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel in conjunction with a consortium of cell carriers.

Proposals from companies that would license space to build connectivity in the L Line tunnel are due on Jan. 13.

The request for proposals is being issued now so that crews doing work to install connectivity in the L tunnel can minimize impact to customers by taking advantage of outages related to the L Project.