Pay phones still exist in age of smartphones

DENVER — You might not see them very often, but it turns out there are more pay phones left out there than you might think.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 100,000 pay phones remain in the United States, with a fifth of those in New York.

That’s a significant decrease from 1999, when there were about 2 million phone booths around the U.S.

About 1,100 independent companies operate pay phones, with major providers such as Spring, AT&T and Verizon having sold their phones off in the early 2000s.

Those independent providers say they made $286 million in revenue in 2015.

While most people have a cellphone in their pocket, pay phones are still very valuable in emergencies, natural disasters and places that don’t have cellphone service.