New York City removes last payphone from service

Workers remove New York City’s last public phone near Seventh Avenue and 50th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on May 23, 2022.

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | fake images

It’s the end of an era: New York City eliminated its last pay phone on Monday.

The box-shaped enclosures were once an iconic symbol throughout the city. But the rise of cell phones made pay phones obsolete.

The effort to replace public payphones throughout the city began in 2014 when the de Blasio administration solicited proposals to reinvent the offering, the city’s Office of Technology and Innovation said in a news release.

Officials selected CityBridge to develop and operate LinkNYC kiosks, which offer services such as free phone calls, Wi-Fi and device charging. The city began removing public phones from the street in 2015 to replace them with LinkNYC kiosks.

There are nearly 2,000 kiosks throughout the city, according to a LinkNYC map.

“Just as we transitioned from the horse and buggy to the automobile and from the automobile to the plane, the digital evolution has progressed from pay phones to high-speed Wi-Fi kiosks to meet the demands of our ever-changing daily communication needs. quickly,” the commissioner said. Matthew Fraser said in the statement.

The latest public pay phone will go on display at the Museum of the City of New York as part of an exhibit that looks back at life in the city before computers.

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