NYC Subway Payphones Don’t Work Anyway


Maybe we can only speak for ourselves, but it feels like modern brains and eyes fail to even register the existence of payphones, let alone their functionality. Nonetheless, the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Straphangers Campaign, which advocates for transportation improvements, completed a survey of the city’s underground subway stop payphones and determined that about 1/3 of them don’t work. (That number has been steadily climbing.) The investigation, carried out last summer and released today, tested 740 phones in the 40 most popular subway stations and found 31% to be “non-functioning.” The MTA’s contract is with Verizon, and does not require a minimum percetange of working phones, though old versions, until 2005, called for 95% to be “fully operative and in service at all times.” Cell phone service, of course, is as elusive as a weekend L train, so if you’re running late and underground, hopefully your friends just assume to blame the MTA, one way or another. [via]