Payphones still exist in several locations within the United States, but most require money to operate. Most payphones are located in places such as travel stations or busy street corners. One main reason payphones still exist is because enough people are still using them in certain areas. Over the years, payphones are less common because more people carry cell phones.
In 2014, the American Public Communications Council reported an estimated 200,000 functioning payphones in the United States. Payphone companies end up taking most payphones out of service, if people don't use them to make around 100 phone calls per month. Some payphone companies claim that even if the public is not using a particular payphone enough, the company still has to pay for the phone line and maintenance. Payphones may get more use in a city area with many immigrants because making international phone calls from a payphone is often cheaper than using a payphone.
Some cities might pay phone companies to install payphones in new buildings for emergencies, such as in hospitals or schools. Payphones have also proven to be useful during national disasters and when wireless towers are out of service. However, payphone installation continues to decline overall.