Demand for Pay Phones

In the mid 1990s, the number of pay phones reached a peak of about 2.7 million. Now there are only 1.9 million.

Cell phones have contributed to this decline -- there are about 92 million cell phones in America.

A cell phone call may be cheaper than the average local pay phone call, which costs about 50 cents. But it may not be as reliable.

On Sept. 11 2001, cell phone use was almost completely shut down in the New York area. But people lined up at pay phones and were able to make calls.

And as long as there are people who want pay phones or need pay phones they will continue to exist, you just have to look a little harder.

To make up revenue losses, companies aren't totally abandoning the public telephone. Some companies sell the sides of the booths as a mini-billboard while others offer Internet access via the pay phone.