While it’s nowhere near the lifeline it used to be, the pay phone isn’t extinct yet. It is, however, on the endangered list and hanging by a thin cord.About 99,800 public pay phones still operate in the U.S., down from 2.1 million in 1999, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates operations. New York has the most of any state, about one-fifth of the remaining pay phones, and North Dakota has the fewest, about 100.Colorado had 1,246 usable pay phones as of March 2016, the latest data available.Not many remain in Colorado Springs. Those prime locations in front of convenience stores now are occupied by Redbox movie-rental machines, and the phones have been removed from city and El Paso County buildings, including jails.Defunct pay phones with torn wires, missing receivers, graffiti or other vandalism can be found here and there, outside the Greyhound bus station downtown, in the parking lot of a Native Roots grass and gas station on Academy Boulevard and near a 7-Eleven in the Hillside neighborhood, for instance.But a few still work, including one at Uintah Gardens on West Uintah Avenue.A weathered phone book dangles beneath it. The cost to start a conversation: 50 cents. Prepaid… Read full this story
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