Looks like Clark Kent's getting a new dressing room. Those hulking wastes of space we used to call pay phones will soon be no more.
New Yorkers will soon be able to turn to computer kiosks where one can purchase email access, surf the web, and use various available apps.
The New York Post reports that the stations named My Internet Kiosk Everywhere (MIKE) will eventually phase out every traditional pay phone, starting with machines at Penn Station and slowly sprouting at various public locations including city hospitals.
The news comes as no surprise. The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications recognized the presence of pay phones has experienced a steady decrease over the years, 33,335 in 2000, 28,971 in 2004, 16,358 in 2010.
MIKE wil feature 22-inch touch screens equipped with cameras for video capabilities available for purchase by either cash or credit card.
West Coast's Pacific Telemanagement Services, the same company that bought nearly all of Verizon's remaining 50,000 pay phones in the country, will finance the city's plan.
CEO Thomas Keane detailed PTS's mission, "People tend to forget about pay phones, until their cellphone doesn't get a signal, until there's a natural disaster. We want to make sure there's a future with pay phones where Americans need them."
No word on what the newfangled technology will mean for guerilla libraries currently doing their own literary conversion to city pay phones.
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