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End of An Era: The Last Public Pay Phone Is Gone In NYC

Officials held a ceremony Monday as the last public pay phone stall was removed in New York City, marking what they called “the end of the pay phone era.”

It may have been the last public pay phone in the city, but there are still privately-owned pay phones and four permanent, full-length “Superman” phone booths.

The city began removing the pay phones in 2015 as they became obsolete and replacing them with public Wi-Fi hotspots. Since then, the city has removed thousands of pay phones across all five boroughs.

In 2014, there were more than 6,000 active public pay telephones on city sidewalks. They were originally slated to be removed by 2020, but the process took longer than expected.

City officials said on the website that the public pay phones, which provided free access to 911 and 311 non-emergency city services, were still used for regular calls and long-distance calls, but their usage had gone way down.

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