New York replaces pay phones


A woman speaks on a payphone on November 17, 2003 in New York CIty.


Stephen Chernin

New York City is saying goodbye to its public pay phones.

Starting Tuesday, the city and its five boroughs will begin replacing 250 public pay phones with giant 311 touch screens, GigaOm reported.

The giant touch screens, which look like iPads, will provide New Yorkers with commuter alerts, "emergency broadcasts and local business deals," according to the technology website.

They will be located inside existing phone booths.

NBC New York said the project will update part of the city’s 12,800 outdoor public telephones and a few terminals are already up and running.

The project is the result of a partnership with Cisco and City 24/7.

“Right now our plan is to have 10 touch screens around Union Square in the coming weeks,” Tom Touchet, CEO of City 24/7, told NBC “adding a few more at a time as we go along.”

“We’ll average a couple of installs per day. With the holidays approaching, they won’t all be in for a couple of months,” Touchet explained to GigaOm.