NEW YORK (WPIX) — Payphones once dominated New York City street corners. Now, there are none left on the sidewalks of Manhattan.
Officials with the city, LinkNYC and other partners removed the last public phone on Monday. A ceremony was held near Seventh Avenue and 49th Street near Times Square.
The removal of public street payphones began in 2015 after the city acknowledged that advances in technology made them virtually obsolete.
New York City officials partnered with LinkNYC to phase in free Wi-Fi stands and charging stations as a replacement. LinkNYC kiosks also provide a social services directory, free phone calls within the U.S., neighborhood-specific advertising and transit and weather alerts.
However, you can still find some private payphones on public property in New York City and four full-length phone booths. One news outlet also reported finding a functioning, public pay phone – albeit beneath the streets of New York City, inside the 14th Street subway station.
This summer, LinkNYC plans to expand in New York City with its rollout of Link5G and additional kiosks in the outer boroughs as well as in Manhattan above 96th Street and in communities that lack internet access.