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Despite Silver Line Cell Coverage Improvements, Call Drops Continue in Tysons Metro Tunnel

Metro has an ongoing project to provide mobile phone and data service inside its train tunnels, but you wouldn’t know it in the tunnel between Tysons Corner Center Metro station and the Greensboro Metro station.

Tysons Reporter tested cell service multiple times in the tunnel and every time, service was lost. For transit riders, it can be a frustrating coverage gap on the mostly above-ground Silver Line through Tysons.

“This is not good for those on business and personal calls traveling around and through the Tysons area using the Metrorail,” one anonymous tipster wrote to Tysons Reporter. “If fixed, you could have 25 minutes of seamless cell coverage from Wiehle-Reston almost to Ballston.”

The call drops remain more than ten years after Metro signed a contract for cell carriers to wire tunnels to provide continuing coverage. A series of problems delayed the implementation of the plan, however.

The tunnel frustrations haven’t been enough yet to deter local ridership; Tysons stations have had increasing ridership despite declines in other parts of the region.

There is cell coverage elsewhere on the Silver Line, with connectivity available between the Potomac Avenue and Stadium Armory Metro stations, for instance. Additional cell coverage is planned for several stretches of tunnels on the Red, Green and Yellow lines, with the current goal being wireless coverage system-wide by 2021.

But given the plan’s history of delays, riders might be better off just waiting until they’re on the other side of the tunnel to make that phone call.

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