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Can you hear me now? Cell service on underground light rail delayed

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols
A stairway descends into Capitol Hill’s light rail station – and away from cell service.";s:

It’s been three months since two light rail stations opened in Seattle, bringing tens of thousands of riders to the system. 

But if you've had trouble with your cell phone down in those tunnels, here's why: There's no working network there yet.

Sound Transit had projected you could use your cell phone in its underground stations and tunnels by the middle of this year. But now that's been pushed back to the end of the summer, or even later.

According to Sound Transit's Bruce Gray, it took longer than expected to find a vendor that would install and maintain the network. 

Gray said the agency hopes to get the Husky Stadium station wired up and working by the end of August.

"The idea is that later this fall you'll have cell service throughout the tunnels from UW all the way to the International District station," he said. "From there early next year we want to activate Beacon Hill station, the Beacon Hill tunnel and the underground station there." 

There could still be delays. 

Work on the South 200th Street light rail extension could push things back. That extension is scheduled to open late this year.

However, Gray said the goal is to have cell service in all the light rail tunnels and stations by this time next year.