PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The information blackout in Pittsburgh’s tunnels and “T” is coming to an end. Until now, if you entered a tunnel or went underground on the “T,” you were returning the days of technological darkness.
On Friday, the Port Authority Board approved an agreement with Comcast to install Wi-FIi in all the T-stations from Station Square to Heinz Field. The units will only provide service in the T-stations, you’ll lose your connection as the trains pull out of the stations. Look for the service to be in operation by June.
Meanwhile, the cellular telephone companies led by Verizon have completed installation of repeater systems in the Squirrel Hill and Liberty Tunnels.
“They are in the test mode now so there could be some more adjustments, but you should have cell service all the way through the tunnel,” PennDOT District 11 Executive Dan Cessna said.
An issue getting power to the cellular repeating equipment has delayed the service from going on line in the Ft. Pitt Tunnel. Cessna says that should be up and running by late March.
While all the cellular companies are working together on the system, Cessna said Sprint entered the agreement late.
“So their phones are not activated yet, so right now it’s Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.”
Cessna says while the continuous calls are a convenience to drivers there is also a safety factor involved.
“Often times when people drop their calls they are fiddling with the phones and such and that’s dangerous,” Cessna said.
This service should reduce the distracted driving but he also quickly adds drivers should not text and drive, and make all calls while driving hands free.