Pretty soon, Link light rail riders will be able to check schedules—or just crush some candies, catch Pokémon, or post some transit-oriented Instagrams—throughout the entire 20-mile line. Cell phone antennas have been added to the Beacon Hill station, Sound Transit announced Tuesday, making it the last underground platform to get cell service.
The antennas mean that T-Mobile and AT&T users should be able to get service starting sometime on Tuesday. Verizon users should have access by the end of the week. The service is provided by private wireless infrastructure company Mobilitie at no cost to Sound Transit.
The rest of the line already has cell service; the newer Sound Transit stations at Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill got theirs in late 2016, just months after they opened. The downtown King County Metro tunnels got their bars last year.
This doesn’t mean that signal will be perfect, but it makes phone use at least a possibility in what used to be a total dead zone.
As much as being forced off your phone is handy sometimes—and it guarantees no loud, one-way conversations disrupting your commute—it puts a little multitasking back on the table. And as Sound Transit points out, it also means that riders can text the agency’s safety line (206-398-5268) in a dangerous situation, even if the train’s underground.