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Public safety was the focus of discussions at the Future of Transportation symposium hosted by Bloomberg in New York City on March 22; the same day the world mourned the tragic losses from terrorist bombings in the Brussels Metro and Airport.

Transit Wireless CEO William Bayne and Director of RF Engineering Nathan Cornish, joined Metropolitan Transit Agency (MTA) Chairman Thomas Prendergast, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John Degnan, The New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, and other regional transportation leaders discussing the state of metro area transportation and what’s needed to transport New York into the future. All agree that public safety is a top priority.

Transit Wireless has a key role in improving public safety in New York City’s underground subway stations. The cellular network being designed and installed by Transit Wireless enables passengers to dial 9-1-1 from their mobile phones while in a station, and thanks to addressable technology being built into the network, public safety agencies can identify the location of the caller. In addition, Transit Wireless is building a 125-mile high-speed, high capacity, fiber optic network in the City. This fiber network is the backbone for the cellular and Wi-Fi networks and provides the infrastructure for New York City Transit’s private 4.9 GHz public safety Wi-Fi network which is being utilized to provide wireless connectivity to Help Point terminals in the stations.

“Transit Wireless owns the fiber network,” explained company CEO William Bayne.  “That gives us the opportunity to leverage the network for significant future applications including public safety.”

There are numerous challenges to building an underground wireless network in a 110-year-old subway system that operates 24/7, but Transit Wireless’ Director of RF Engineering, Nathan Cornish, noted the project is well ahead of schedule.  “We are already 1.5 years ahead of schedule and on track to be completed more than two years ahead of plan.  That’s no small feat.”

A video of the interview can be viewed on the BAI Communications You Tube channel.