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Cell Service Now Available In Some Metro Subway Tunnels

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(By Julia Wick/LAist)
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Soon, you will no longer be able to lie to your mom and say you missed her call because you were on the subway, at least if you have Sprint, T-Mobile or AT&T.

The jig is already up if you're lucky enough to be a Verizon customer—Metro has announced that cell service for Verizon customers is now available between Union Station and 7th/Metro Center on the Red/Purple Line subway.

Sprint and T-Mobile have both signed on with Metro to soon provide service, and negotiations with AT&T remain underway. Metro completed the first phase of underground wireless service in partnership with Verizon and InSite Wireless Group, the firm under contract to provide the needed equipment for the service.

Phase two of the project, which should be up and running by fall 2016, will extend cell service on the Purple Line from 7th Street/Metro Center Station and Wilshire/Western.

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“This reflects a significant technological enhancement for our Metro Red and Purple Line riders who can enjoy staying connected while traveling underground," said Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas, who doesn't seem to care that Sorry, I'm heading into the subway! is this writer's No. 1 excuse for hanging up on people.

Subsequent phases of the program, which should be completed by 2017, will expand cell service on the Red Line from Wilshire/Vermont Station to the North Hollywood Station, as well as the Gold Line's underground stations. You can run but you can't hide.

In a press release, Metro also reminded riders that in the event of an emergency their first contact should still be to the train operator via the emergency intercom system located on board trains and on station platforms.