Last NYC public payphone removed

The final New York City public pay telephone was removed on Monday morning. 

The bank of two phones was on 7th Avenue and 50th Street in Midtown Manhattan. And, as you might expect in Manhattan, graffiti was scrawled on it. 

The city began removing payphones in 2015 and replacing them with public Wi-Fi hotspots.

The removal marks the end of the payphone era in the city except for some private payphones on public property and four permanent full-length so-called Superman booths.

LinkNYC, which runs the Wi-Fi hotspots, says the network will be expanded to add 5G functionality this summer.

In addition to free Wi-Fi, LinksNYC provides access to a social services directory, device charging, free phone calls within the U.S., and transit and weather alerts.

How many payphones in NYC?

The city has removed thousands of payphones across all five boroughs in the past several years.  In 2014, there were more than 6,000 active public pay telephones on city sidewalks, according to the city website.

The payphones were all to be removed by 2020, but the process took longer than originally planned.


The last public payphone in NYC, located at 7th Ave. and 50th St., was set to be taken down on Monday, May 23, 2022. (FOX 5 NY)

Do people still use payphones in NYC?

Even though the usage had gone way down, city officials said that public pay telephones were still used for regular calls and even long-distance calls.