Pay Phones

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by JohnSteven, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. JohnSteven

    JohnSteven CHUNKY MUNKY

    Why would I post something like Pay Phones under "General Survival"?
    --- I just want to ask the general, preppers around here what they think of this recent experience.

    2 Weeks ago, I was getting ready for Church. And my phone (a Home Phone) had quit working. So I said to myself "No problem, I'll just go to the local Laundry around the corner and use their payphone."

    I live in a nice (typical) middle class suburban neighborhood a little outside NYCity.

    I usually walk to church, but it was too hot.... So I went to the Laundry to call a cab... and there I found? NO Pay Phone, just an empty concrete slab where it used to be. So I then went to a nearby CVS, and... again, NO Pay Phone in the vestibule...

    Ok- now, determined to actually find a Pay Phone, I went to 2 local gas stations. Again, NO Pay Phone. It was a hot morning so, instead of (stubbornly) trying to find one just to PROVE I could find one... I borrowed a cell phone from a Gas Station attendant and calld my cab....

    Yesterday I walked around town. Not a Pay Phone.... ANYWHERE. Not even at the local (1/4 of a mile away) Rail Station. There was a parking ticket-meter, and two Train ticket stations... but NOT ONE SINGLE Pay Phone in sight.... ANYWHERE.

    So I just realized that if you were out like, at night- just on the street here (in my town) with no phone? And if nobody was nearby to borrow a cell? You'd NOT be able to call anybody.

    And maybe your chances of finding a payphone are likewise as small in the next town over.

    I guess the ONLY devices we can call from now are: Home Phones, Computer Phones, iPads / iPhones or Cell Phones of other types...

    Anything with a MAC address / IP address.

    I HAVE used a payphone recently. But the Pay Phones, were in a far away town at a huge bus-depot... And THAT, is the only pay phone I know of. And it's about 8 miles from me.

    As of 2 years ago, I'd seen a couple articles on the internet... regarding the "disappearing Pay Phone"... If I were in a Jam, and needed to communicate... (and nobody else were around with a cell phone) it'd be "interesting".

    Bear, Motomom34 and Marck like this.
  2. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    well once we got rid of all the phone booths Superman disappeared. He has no place to change ;)
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Baptistown New Jersey has two public 'phones

    I guess if they're out of order the Baptists in Baptistown can sing Telephone to Glory...for all that prayer will achieve.

    Alternatively, you can find your nearest pay 'phone by Googling the following site on your IPhone or Android Smart 'Phone

    The Payphone Project: Payphone Numbers and Information
    Motomom34 and JohnSteven like this.
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    If you want a pay phone, just get arrested. There are lots of pay phones at the city/county jails.....though the per minute charges are outrageous.... My step-son & his phone bills get to be problematic whenever he visits there..... :rolleyes:
  5. sorabji

    sorabji Monkey

    Hey folks - I maintain the Payphone Project. It remains out there for historical purposes, and should not be used as a live reference for where to find payphones today. I keep the data out there because you'd be surprised how often I field requests from individuals who, for one reason or another, need to verify whether a payphone once existed at a certain location. Last year I backed up the producer's at the "Serial" podcast in evaluating the "mysterious Best Buy payphone" that was a cause célèbre for a while, and I've handled dozens of other inquiries from attorneys and private detectives.

    The only current, reasonably up to date directory I know of is the New York City payphone locator, which uses data published by the city of New York in response to my request. Outside of NYC I've never heard of any municipality or telephone company publishing a list of its payphone locations.

    Best bets are transit hubs such as airports, larger train stations, and bus terminals. Performance halls, concert venues, and stadiums can generally be expected to have at least one, although newer facilities such as Yankee Stadium do not. Public libraries, shopping malls, and maybe gas stations round out the list of obvious places to find these things.

    Don't be fooled at simply seeing a payphone, though. Many of them are out of service and have been for years after the companies that owned them went out of business.

    In NYC I think the largest collection of payphones under one roof is at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and pretty well any major bus or train station outside of NYC that I've entered over the last few years had at least one working payphone. You could also look for them in poorer neighborhoods and, as Yard Dart suggests, you could get arrested, but you can also usually find at least one working payphone in the lobby of a prison or jail if you'd rather keep your record clean.

    Happy to discover this web site, I've got a bit of a survivalist mentality myself. You can be sure I know where my nearest payphones are. Should be spending more time here :)
    Ganado, melbo, chelloveck and 5 others like this.
  6. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Ganado and sec_monkey like this.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yes, Welcome to the Monkey Tree, @sorabji
    The reason PayPhones have disappeared from Public Places, is the cost of Maintenance, Money collection costs, and mostly lack of Use, due to every Mother's Son having a CellPhone, these days.... It is just Cost Prohibitive, to operate them these days, and they were NOT paying their way, as a Revenue sStream... The three PayPhones I operate, here for the Cannery Workers, do NOT pay for themselves, even though they are CoinLess Coin Types, that use PhoneCards, 800 Numbers or Collect, and I get 20% of the Revenue, generated, back from the Carrier.... Not even close....
    chelloveck and sec_monkey like this.
  8. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I am cell phone free and have discovered that Walmarts, Targets and most of the big box stores have courtesy phones. I always ask in that way- May I use your courtesy phone. I do know where most payphones are located in my area because I use them. But good point @JohnSteven if you needed to call help, it is not as easy now.
    Ganado, Bear, chelloveck and 2 others like this.
  9. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    In the metro areas, pay phones were removed in a lot of areas to discourage drug dealers from using them. With the advent of the car phone and now the mainstream cell phone use by pretty much everyone....the dealers are not hindered anymore. Of course, they are tracked much easier by TPTB..... probably one of the greatest inventions that has ever benefited the government (other than the PC you are on), enabling them to track us so much easier via cell phones.... and voluntary at that.

    Edit- this is just another reason that the poor was given free add that electronic leash, to even those that could not afford it.
    Ganado, Homer Simpson, Bear and 2 others like this.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    If I were to be a bit cynical, I would bet money that a free .gov phone would be chipped, recorded, tagged, and calling home automatically, before it was ever issued. (And impossible to disable).
    If it was my intent to use it as a tracker, that is how I would issue it. The automatic "updates" would include a datadump, as a part of doing business.
    Cruisin Sloth and Yard Dart like this.
  11. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Yep, payphones are dead. Lots of concrete pads with dangling wires are around.
    It's easier to get a used mobile device off ebay and use free wifi available just about everywhere and use a freeish internet to landline/mobile number calling service.

    Hell, now a dayz, Facebook, twitter, messenger, Skype is a more reliable method of contacting peeps.

    Yard Dart and chelloveck like this.
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Hmmm....Makes me wonder if that lineman's handset would work on the old wires.
  13. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    probably not. It's just the leftovers that the scrappers couldn't get at. Ya know, the stuff embedded in the concrete.
  14. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    No telephone wires here for at least 20 years now. All paper pairs in a cable hanging under the electric lines with the cable tv line. If your phone or cell phone is out here, you can always use smoke signals during the right season. The local fire tower will have a fire truck and a police car there in minutes. Might cost you a few hundred though so it isn't really practical. I use a prepaid tracfone as a replacement for the pay phone.
    Ganado and chelloveck like this.
  15. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    The only pay phones I've seen in the last year or so were at the airport.
    Ganado likes this.
  16. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    This just shows one the benefits of ham radio. A small handi-talki would likely get into at least one repeater near a major metro area. A few even have phone links (aka phone patch) where you can initiate a call via radio. If not, then a ham operator could make the call for you. Not uncommon, at least around here ;)
    ...just an alternative to consider...
    Ganado and chelloveck like this.
survivalmonkey SSL seal warrant canary