Nostalgia is likely to set in for those who relied on payphones to communicate before the age of Wi-Fi and smartphones.
On Monday, marked as the end of an era, officials from the city and the LinkNYC program removed the last pay phone in the Big Apple, located at 7th Ave. and 50th St. in Midtown Manhattan.
The next home of the city’s last pay phone will be the Museum of the City of New York.
However, some private payphones on public property and four long-standing permanent booths named Superman will continue to operate.
Officials said Monday that the initiative to eliminate the city’s payphones began in 2014 to improve digital connectivity for New Yorkers through LinkNYC, which offers free public Wi-Fi.
In addition to free Wi-Fi, LinksNYC provides access to a directory of social services, device charging, free phone calls within the US, and weather and traffic alerts.
The city has removed thousands of payphones in all five boroughs in recent years. In 2014, there were more than 6,000 active public payphones on the city’s sidewalks, according to the city’s website.
All public phones were to be removed by 2020, but the process took longer than originally planned.
Even though usage had dropped, city officials said public payphones were still being used for regular calls and even long-distance calls.
City officials reported that they plan to expand the LinksNYC network with the launch of Link5G this summer.