If you’ve ever wandered about the many boroughs of New York City, you know that it’s only a matter of time before your smartphone runs out of juice during your excursion. Now, thanks to AT&T, a couple extra bars on the battery meter aren’t far away.
On Tuesday, the company announced the expansion of its Street Charge project, which placed dozens of solar mobile charging stations throughout the city in the summer of 2013. The stations utilize monocrystaline solar panels (provided by Goal Zero) to power up numerous chargers, as well as internal lithium batteries — allowing people to fill up their phones day or night. The units even house three wooden tables, so users can rest their phones during the rejuvenation process.
Representatives for AT&T said that response to the program has been so positive that they plan to double the number of charging stations throughout New York City’s five boroughs for the summer. The units come with a few additional upgrades and will be available to the general public beginning this week.
“AT&T Street Charge grew out of a need for a sustainable power source during Superstorm Sandy and took on a life of its own when we deployed more than two dozen solar-powered units around the city last summer,” Marissa Shorenstein, the New York State President for AT&T, said in a statement. “We’re excited to expand the program this year to more locations for longer periods of time so that anyone who needs a charge on the go can find one.”
Representatives for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation also expressed their excitement for the return of the program, especially now that the weather has taken a nicer turn.
“In this day and age, people are becoming more tech-savvy and dependent on their mobile devices for communication, information and entertainment,” said Robert Garafol, NYC Parks Deputy Commissioner for Management, Budget and Public Programs. “As the warm weather approaches and New Yorkers take to the outdoors, they will be able to utilize the AT&T charging stations along with public WiFi at many parks and beaches.”
So don’t worry, New Yorkers: Your smartphone can enjoy the summer sun right along with you this year.