The New York underground challenges Uber with USB charge and Wi-Fi

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Announced the renewal plan of public transport: $ 27 billion in 5 years.

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Recharge the mobile phone while in the underground and connect to the net is no longer a dream.

At least for New Yorkers, who will soon be able to travel in new, technological coaches.

Founded in 1904, the New York subway (or MTA) is one of the oldest and most extensive in the world. Its 469 active stations set it at the summit of the world’s public transport systems, but many records also reflect an unacceptable deficiency for the US.

source: wikimedia.org

The coaches are old, an adjective that is not acceptable for people and a city that always wants to be on the crest of innovation. So, last Monday, the governor of the state of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced his plan for the evolution: $27 billion over five years to add 1,025 new coaches, install digital screens in stations, improve the safety of travelers and visitors but mainly to bring WiFi and USB charge to stations and coaches.

The office is moving

That is to say that soon the subway will be a sort of office on rails. Travelers will connect with smartphones, tablets, and computers; recharge their devices while waiting for trains on board or during long journeys.

The mention of job mobility is essential: “People want to work and want their devices to work for 24 hours a day,” Cuomo told at the press conference, although in the end, the WiFi will do much more.

source: wikimedia.org

From music streaming to online games through movies, have a stable connection during the underground crossings has become a necessity. Lose users because they do not have a signal, as it was once, maybe unbecoming in a city where finding a free taxi is easier than finding a bar.

Careful Uber

This evolutionary choice gives a signal of how mobility is changing. Car sharing, bike-sharing, and transport services via apps have become fierce competitors for public transport.

It is no coincidence that the announcement of Cuomo comes just after a direct attack from Uber. To compete with the underground, the app in Manhattan began offering two weeks of UberPool to $49.

This subscription allows you to always make the same route, every day, sharing with others the crossing and saving a lot. Right now, 14 days UberPool is offered at $49 against $31 for a weekly subscription to public transport. That is to say that you can go from home to work and back every day just $2.45 each way while saving 25% compared to the underground.

It is clear that the underground pass is valid for unlimited travel, UberPool limited only to a return trip, but instead travel by car is very different to share with others a coach during rush hour and, if you are lucky, you travel alone. Not to mention that on four wheels the connection is there and the USB charging as well, under the ground still no. And that explains part of Cuomo’s strategy.

Matter of bits

For now, the evolution of the underground is a proposal, it should start renovating 31 of the nearly 470 stations of the entire network and, if the plan will work, it will pass the technology to the other 170 stops. Technology war, in short, is in full swing and the contenders are sharpening their weapons. Hi-tech, of course.

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