The last remaining one public pay telephone in NYC was stripped away from a roadway near Times Square, signalling the end of an era.
On Monday morning, a crane operator pulled the historic coin-operated telephone booth from its sidewalk location at 7th Avenue and West 50th Street, biding a public farewell.
According to the New York Post, the phone booth’s removal completes NYC’s almost decade-long effort to replace pay phones with LinkNYC kiosks, which are offering free wi-fi and domestic calling, allow people to charge their mobile devices, as well to make 911 and 311 calls, among other amenities.
The president of the borough of Manhattan, Mark Levine, who was present for the removal of the last pay phone, expressed his optimism that the replacement will provide more fair technological access for New Yorkers. He also stated that the lengthy fixture’s disappearance was bittersweet.
“I won’t miss all the dead dial tones, but gotta say I felt a twinge of nostalgia seeing it go,” he said.
The mayor’s office issued a request for proposals in 2014 under previous Mayor Bill de Blasio for what to replace pay phones with. The mayor’s office stated that the goal was to replace outdated technology with new infrastructure that provided free public WIFI 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The CityBridge company’s bid to establish a LinkNYC system was picked the same year the request was made, and in 2016, the municipal government began replacing pay phones with the new LinkNYC stations.
By 2020, most of the city’s outdated pay phones would have been scrapped, and over 7,500 public coin-operated telephones have been replaced with around 2,000 LinkNYC kiosks.
The pay phone that was taken from Midtown will be collected by the Museum of the City as a piece of history from a time when cell phones were commonly utilised. The exhibit “Analog City: NYC B.C. (Before Computers)” debuted this past Friday and will include it.
The deactivated pay phone was New York City’s last city-owned public pay phone. There are a few private pay phones on public property that are still operational. Along West End Avenue on the Upper West Side, four enclosed phone booths have been permanently spared from demolition.
“Just like we transitioned from the horse and buggy to the automobile and from automobile to the airplane, the digital evolution has progressed from pay phones to high-speed wi-fi kiosks to meet the demands of our rapidly changing daily communication needs.” Stated by City Commissioner Matthew Fraser and reported by CNBC,
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Blaze Media.