WRAL.com at the State Fair

Pay Phones - Yes, There are Still At Least A Couple Left

Posted October 22, 2013

I've been going to the Fair a long time. Backwards, uphill, five miles through the snow. Also: get off my lawn.

Anyway, I remember when there were lots of pay phones available all over place, and I've been curious to see if they would ever completely disappear from the fairgrounds. The answer is: not this year.

If you need a pay phone, I know of at least two options. There's one right outside the entrance to the Village of Yesteryear (appropriately enough.) And if you go to the Jim Graham Building via the entrance nearest the Expo Center, and turn left immediately (before you pass the restaurant) you'll find one lonely phone where there used to be a whole bank of them. Local phone calls are 50 cents for both phones.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/era-ends-as-verizon-drops-most-of-its-pay-phones-2011-10-12), there were over 2 million pay phones in the United States in 2000; as of October 2011 there were about 425,000, and they were vanishing at the rate of about 10% a year.

It's unlikely you'll see a line if you need to use one of these pay phones. But I hope they don't completely disappear. It's easy to lose or break a cell phone and sometimes you just have to make a call. Now all you have to remember is to keep fifty cents in change handy!


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all