It’s almost last call for Port Moody’s three remaining public payphones.
A notice posted on one of the booths, in front of the Lougheed Wonton Restaurant on St. Johns Street says it will be removed on or after Oct. 10.
A spokesperson for Telus, that operates the payphones, says it and two others — at Port Moody city hall and Eagle Ridge Hospital — will disappear by the end of the year.
"There are other phones available for public use in the event of an emergency, in addition to robust cell phone coverage,” said senior communications manager Chelsey Rajzer.
“As a result, we are confident that removing these payphones will not impact the community.”
In fact, Rajzer added the phones generated less than $5 worth of calls each in the past two years.
Still, the phones’ disappearance marks the passing of an era when they played an important role in the communications network that kept people connected, said local historian and curator, Markus Fahrner.
“Communities have always been moving around,” he said.
“Letters were slow and visiting was not always an option. The payphone — to be found in restaurants, etc., and later street corners — made connecting with family easier.”
Fahrner said payphones also played an important role in keeping the community safe as they provided a quick and convenient way for anyone to make an emergency call.
“They helped with personal emergencies,” he said.
“The free option to call fire or police also allowed people to report issues in their community.”
Rajzer said Telus consults with various stakeholders before removing payphones.
“We are thoughtful about removing payphones and often work closely with local businesses, municipal governments and the community to ensure there are alternate options within a reasonable distance.”
She added the company does make decommissioned payphones available to local organizations or museums within the community for display purposes.
As well, a donation of $1,000 is made to the Telus Friendly Future Foundation that helps fund health, education and technology focused charitable programs for young people across Canada.
Anyone interested in seeing one of the decommissioned payphones showcased as a piece of history in the Station Museum or a community centre can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.