It was the end of an era in New York City today: the city’s last remaining payphone was removed. With the advent of cellphones, pay phones across the world have vanished – but one still remained on 7th Avenue, until its removal Monday by LinkNYC.
The removal of pay phones in New York City began in 2015, and LinkNYC is the technology that essentially replaced them. CityBridge developed LinkNYC, which look like digital billboards that offer free high-speed WiFi to the streets of New York.
Since LinkNYC was installed, it has facilitated over 3 billion WiFi sessions with more than 10 million subscribers. The digital billboards also display PSAs, art and other local information. LinkNYC will soon be providing 5G coverage to New York City.
The old payphone that once stood outside 745 7th Avenue will be brought to the Museum of the City of New York as part of its new “Analog City” exhibit. The exhibit looks back at life in the city before computers.
While there are no more freestanding, public pay phones left in New York City, LinkNYC says they could still exist – on private property. There are also four “Superman booths,” or full-length phonebooths left in the city, but it is unclear if their phones are in service.