Contact: MTA Press Office
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Transit Wireless and three New York library systems – The New York Public Library, The Brooklyn Public Library and The Queens Library – today announced the launch of "Subway Library," a special, six-week long joint promotion providing customers with access to hundreds of free e-books, e-shorts, as well as extensive excerpts from full-length books, to enjoy during their summer commute. The “Subway Library” celebrates the installation of free wireless connectivity in all underground subway stations.
Starting today, MTA customers in underground subway stations can connect to the free TransitWirelessWiFi™ through their network settings, and click on the SubwayLibrary.com prompt to start reading. The Subway Library site – which allows readers to browse and download content in a variety of curated categories – was developed by The New York Public Library using the same technology it utilized to create SimplyE, it’s free e-book reader app.
“I am thrilled that the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library are kicking off the summer reading season and offering free e-books to subway riders through the MTA’s TransitWirelessWiFi™,” said Governor Cuomo. “The Subway Library will encourage adults and children to explore new worlds through reading during their daily commute, while spreading awareness of our Wi-Fi and connectivity services underground.”
The Subway Library gives subway riders the opportunity to read e-books and short stories from The New York Public Library’s permanent collection, as well as excerpts made available through the generosity of publishers including Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House, Plympton, and Simon & Schuster. Subway Library builds on the MTA’s successful August 2016 promotion with founding partner Penguin Random House, which gave subway customers the opportunity to read free short stories and novel and non-fiction book excerpts from a wide range of Penguin Random House titles.
“The New York Public Library’s mission is to make information and knowledge accessible to all, and this exciting partnership with the MTA is certainly right on track,” said New York Public Library President Tony Marx. “By making thousands of free stories easily available to subway straphangers, we are encouraging reading, learning, and curiosity. We hope people take their love of reading with them once they leave the subway by checking out one of our 92 branches or downloading our e-reader app SimplyE.”
“We’re delighted to join with Governor Cuomo, our partners at Transit Wireless and the three libraries to launch this very special promotion. It’s a great way to celebrate the introduction of cell service and free Wi-Fi to all underground stations, and highlight the ongoing modernization of New York’s transportation system,” commented the MTA’s Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim. “It’s also a great reminder of the natural partnership between public transportation and books – reading has always been a central part of the New York commute, and putting a virtual library on every subway car brings our customers an unparalleled opportunity to explore a wide range of authors while they are in the system. Finally, it’s a cool way to give customers who are on their way out to Coney Island or the Rockaways a real jump on picking out their summer beach reading. What could be better than that?”
Subway Library Categories and Titles
The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library will offer access to e-books, excerpts of e-books, and short stories in different categories through the MTA’s free Transit Wireless Wi-Fi™. E-Books, excerpts of e-books and e-short stories will include titles in the following categories:
- New York Stories, including excerpts from titles such as Soar by David Banks and At Balthazar by Reggie Nadelson
- New & Noteworthy, which offers excerpts of recently released titles, including Swing Time by Zadie Smith and Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
- Select Shorts, which includes The Soul Is Not A Smithy by David Foster Wallace and The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis by Karen Russell
- Children, with titles including Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes and Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket
- Young Adult, with excerpts and titles such as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
“Books have always been part of New Yorkers’ subway experience, and this summer it will be easier than ever to ride the M train with Patti Smith, visit the waterfront with Joseph Mitchell, or get to know the Brooklyn of Walt Whitman, Jacqueline Woodson, and the many other authors who have immortalized the borough in prose,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “We encourage riders to visit the Subway Library, download the SimplyE app, and enjoy a great read on the way to work or fun this summer.”
“We are always looking for new ways to go beyond the walls of our libraries and deliver to the public unique, transporting learning experiences through our materials, services and programs,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “Subway Reads aligns perfectly with this objective, and will lead even more people to Queens Library’s extensive collection of e-books, audio books, music and digital magazines.”
Transit Wireless Promotion: Library Train
As part of the Subway Library campaign, Transit Wireless has launched a specially wrapped “library train,” with an interior wrapped to look like the Rose Main Reading Room inside the 42nd Street branch of The New York Public Library. The train will alternate running on both the 6 Av corridor and the 8 Av corridor lines on the E and F lines.
A Transit Wireless social media competition encourages riders to share photos of themselves either by the Subway Library posters – which will appear throughout the system -- or near or while riding the one-of-a-kind wrapped Subway Library train. Riders who use the hashtag #SubwayLibrary and tag @TWWiFi on Instagram or Twitter will be automatically entered to win one of six prizes (either one of three Amazon Kindle Voyages or one of three one-of-a-kind prizes from The New York Public Library). Two randomly selected winners every other week will be notified via direct message on the social media platform on which they posted, and will also be announced by @TWWiFi Transit Wireless WiFi across their social media accounts. Full terms and conditions of the contest will be available through the TransitWirelessWiFi portal for and on https://transitwirelesswifi.com/contests-promotions/.
The construction of the Wi-Fi and public safety network began in 2011 with the connection of six underground stations in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, and was slated for completion in 2018. However, at the direction of Governor Cuomo, the process was accelerated, with Wi-Fi connectivity in all underground stations scheduled for the end of 2016, almost two years ahead of the original schedule.
“Bringing cell and Wi-Fi service to all underground subway stations was a central part of our push to bring the MTA into the 21st century,” commented Daryl Irick, Acting President of New York City Transit. “The service keeps the MTA’s customers connected, opportunity to leverage the technology and offer them new ways to explore the city’s entertainment and cultural offerings.”
“We are excited to partner with the MTA, the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Public Library to provide this valuable service to the public, and demonstrate the performance and versatility of the Transit Wireless Wi-Fi network,” William, A. Bayne, Jr., CEO of Transit Wireless, the company that financed, designed, built, and operates the cellular and Wi-Fi subway station networks. “The strength of our network has enabled us to support the substantial increase in customer usage since completing the project in December 2016. The fact that users can immediately access hundreds of digital reads with no download required allows for a smooth and efficient user experience for all underground subway riders.”
About the MTA Partnership with Transit Wireless
Transit Wireless has a 27-year partnership agreement with the MTA to design, build, operate, and maintain cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity in underground subway stations. The company is investing well over $350 million into this infrastructure project and is sharing revenues derived through the services with the MTA. The project is being built at no cost to taxpayers or subway customers.
Within this project, MTA and Transit Wireless are working together on the deployment of specific communications technologies to enhance public safety, including a dedicated 4.9 GHz public safety broadband network and the highly visible Help Point Intercoms. These instant communication kiosks offer immediate access to E911 assistance and information with the touch of a button. To date, Transit Wireless has built the infrastructure for more than 1,200 Help Point Intercoms in 175 underground MTA subway stations. This network now provides thousands of MTA employees, contractors, and first responders connected capability as never before.
Transit Wireless was formed to meet the MTA’s requirement to develop a shared wireless infrastructure within the underground stations of the New York City subway to provide commercial services for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless customers. The company designed, built, financed, operates and maintains a highly resilient wireless network supporting consumer connectivity, business connectivity, transit and public safety communications needs by operating on all primary licensed cellular bands, public unlicensed bands and the 4.9GHz public safety band. Transit Wireless launched the Transit Wireless WiFi™ network within the underground subway stations, an initiative that has been recognized by the Wireless Broadband Alliance as the “Best Wi-Fi Deployment to Connect the Unconnected in an Urban Environment." Transit Wireless’ quality management system is ISO 9001:2008 certified by American Global Standards, LLC. Transit Wireless is a BAI Communications company, part of a global enterprise that designs, builds and operates highly accessible communications networks for customers across Australia, Asia and North America. For further information about Transit Wireless go to: http://www.transitwireless.com.
About the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.
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