End of an Era: The Last Public Payphone in NYC Was Just Taken Out
May has been challenging for those of us who yearn for the past. Just a few weeks ago, 2022 marked the end of the iPod. And now, people are hurting over the death of the New York City payphone.
On May 23, New York City decided to hang up on payphones as the last one, which was located in Times Square, was hauled away by construction workers. In true “we’ve moved on” fashion, the official Times Square TikTok account documented the moment.
@timessquare.nyc The last payphone in NYC was removed today in Times Square #payphone #TimesSquare #NYC #newyorkcity ♬ original sound – ly'
If you scroll through the comments, there isn’t a dry eye in the house, yet Manhattan borough president Mark Levine was not feeling very nostalgic as the defunct piece of technology left Seventh Avenue. He said the city is leaving behind the 6,000 payphones you could once find and entering into a new era where phones with no dial tone that require fishing for quarters are obsolete, according to ABC7 New York. However, there are still a few privately-owned payphones, and not all is lost. Clark Kent can be at ease knowing there are still four “walk-in” old-school phone booths located on West End Avenue, at 66th, 90th, 100th and 101st streets.
The city has been working on a modern way to fill the need. NYC residents and visitors can find 2,000 LinkNYC kiosks, with thousands more on the way to all five boroughs. The kiosks offer high-speed Wi-Fi, phone calls, a tablet for maps and city services, and device charging completely free of charge.
So although NYC has lost the payphone, city-goers are far from disconnected.