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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

New York City removes last public pay phone

Now you can call public pay phones in New York City a relic of the past.

The nation’s most populous city on Monday removed its last public phone booth from a sidewalk in midtown Manhattan and sent the once-ubiquitous device to a museum.

The Hawking Silver and Blue phone kiosk was the last of more than 6,000 that have been removed from city streets since 2015. Transition provided free digital calls, Wi-Fi to swap coin-operated pay phones for kiosks after the city agreed. and cellphone charging.

These lean, tall LinkNYC kiosks, known as links, are funded through video advertising on the sides of the kiosk.

As of Tuesday, there were 1,860 active links in the city’s five boroughs, according to the LinkNYC website, and more are planned. CitiBridge, a digital consortium that installs kiosks, needs to activate “no fewer than 4,000” by 2026, as Citi reported last month, citing the city’s contract.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, who saw the last pay phone take down on Monday, described the incident as bittersweet.

A woman stands near a LinkNYC kiosk in New York City. These kiosks provide free Wi-Fi, phone charging and phone calls. The system is supported by advertising running on the sides of the kiosk.

Richard Levine via Getty Images

“I won’t remember all the dead dial tones, but I must say I felt a tinge of nostalgia looking at it,” Levine wrote on Twitter.

The removed artifact is taken to a New York City museum, where it joins other once-pervasive icons of the previous generation such as typewriters, rotary phones, pneumatic tubes, and library card catalogs in the “Analog City” exhibit. The exhibition, which runs until December, showcases urban life before the era of personal computers and the Internet.

“Whether you remember talking with a telephone operator, or you’re too young to know the origins of the ‘phone hang up,’ Analog City offers a fascinating dive into New York’s major industries and the inventions that drive them, Museum President Whitney Donhauser said in a statement.

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World Nation News Desk
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