(KJRH) — Siri, what’s a pay phone?
In 1999, you could still plunk a coin into one at 2 million phone booths in the United States. Only 5% of those are left today. About a fifth of America’s 100,000 remaining pay phones are in New York, according to the FCC.
The demise of pay phones is an unsurprising result of cell phones in 95% of Americans’ pocket, according to Pew Research. The country’s largest carriers have all sold the last of their phones to the independent providers. Sprint left in 2006. AT&T exited two years later. And Verizon got out in 2011.