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New York City's Dwindling Payphones Actually Make Money

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For all the talk about how the payphones of the future are going to have charging stations for electric vehicles and Wi-Fi and all that jazz, there's really very little actual action on that front. More sad news: there has been a 50 percent drop in these vestiges of the pre-cellphone era between 2008 and January 2013, according to data visualized by the Independent Budget Office. (That precipitous drop probably explains this spooky graveyard where broken payphones go to die.) Still, there are more of those babies on the street than you might think: 11,249, to be precise, and they're mapped above. But those red dots, even though they are fewer in number than they used to be, pull in some serious cash.

Check out that spike in ad revenue since 2010. True, the city doesn't get all of the proceeds from the sorry number of calls and ad sales, just 10 percent of the former and 36 percent of the latter. But one-third of about $16 million isn't small change. And there's always that other alternate use for payphones: book kiosks.
· New York City Public Payphones: How Many Are Left? [IBO via Bensonhurst Bean]
· All Payphones coverage [Curbed]