THE BRONX - Bronx and city straphangers may soon be able to chat on their cell phones while waiting for trains.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it is actively negotiating with cell phone providers and could reach a deal within months. However, service would only be available on the platforms.

The MTA says wireless companies wanted to include subway tunnels, but the transportation agency believes having service inside trains would disrupt riders.

Advocates believe having cell phone service on platforms will improve safety, allowing commuters to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

Several companies, including a group of major wireless providers, submitted bids about two years ago. Those negotiations stalled.