Payphones now 50 cents


Just a heads up for the next time you forget your cell phone at home. As of last week, the cost of a local call on a Bell Canada payphone is 50 cents. I think it’s safe to assume that other payphone companies will follow.

It’s a been a long time coming — not only has there not been an increase in payphone costs since 1981 (back then they were a dime) but competition from mobile phones has pretty much rendered the standard payphone obsolete. They’re really only there for the small percentage of the population that hasn’t gone cellular yet and for when the rest of us forget our mobile devices on the charger at home.

In a different age I could see a lot of people getting bent out of shape about this, but really – does anyone care that the cost of a phone call has doubled?

26 responses to “Payphones now 50 cents”

  1. adora says:

    It REALLY has been a long time! I remember the US payphone was increased from 25cents to 35cents around 1998. There were still a few friends and professors of mine using pagers back then. They all switched to cellphones within few months.
    I think it’s reasonable demand. I don’t want my homephone bill to subsidize payphone operating cost.

  2. Krystal says:

    WHAT! 50 cents!? I guess it doesn’t really apply to many people anymore because like you said, nobody really uses pay phones anymore … but I think it’ll make the use of pay phones even more obsolete than they already are.

  3. mrG says:


    like .. um … when did it go to $0.25?

  4. It’s actually getting harder to find a payphone if you notice. With the increase in cell traffic increasing the price seems like the only way to make any money. It’ll be at $1.00 soon…

  5. ILMK says:

    I think it’s reasonable since, like you said, it hasn’t increased since 1981.

  6. cockroach says:

    I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner. In the US, not only has it been $0.50US for years in some areas, but if your call exceeds 5 mins, you get prompted to put in additional coins.

  7. grock says:

    Yea now the crackheadz will be like ” hey man got 50 cents ”


  8. iced_faerie says:

    I was a bit annoyed when they bumped up the price to 50c..I mean there are days when I’m broke, and only have a quarter..

  9. dropthehammer says:

    I was at a gas station putting air in my tires when some poor unfortunate soul without a cellphone pulled up to the payphone next to the air pump. I almost offered him my phone, to save him 25 cents. But then, I thought, what if he has to call long distance or something…. Its the first time I’ve seen anyone on a payphone in ages…

  10. Justine says:

    I dont have a cell phone, so I do have to use pay phones. And I work at a call centre and we had many people call in and complain. Saying they put in 25 cents and the phone is asking them for more money. Ha! People read the sign!

  11. BCteagirl says:

    If they want to run themselves out of bussiness that is a good way to do it… just like when Canada post kept raising its rates while at the same time complaining that no one was sending mail anymore.

  12. Jim Squires says:

    And to be honest, I thinkthey are probably trying to do just that. Bell must make oodles more off of Bell Mobility than they do payphones, so it would be in there best interest to motivate people away from the quarter munchers.

  13. travelgeek says:

    Operating a pay phone must be a money losing operation, even at 50 cents, especially those in an area with low traffic. Phones get vandalized, abused, put out of order by people jamming foreign objects into the coin slots. Many of the booths are in rough shape… just look at the condition of the phone booth enclosure in the picture above.

  14. ILMK says:

    Good point, but don’t be giving them any ideas. LOL
    Next time you turn around it’ll be $1 or $2 to make a call.

  15. zoom says:

    I still use payphones. It’s getting harder to find one when I need it. I don’t mind the price doubling, as long as it doesn’t increase again for another 10 years.

  16. Mary says:

    If they want more people to get a cell phone, this is sure to help…
    I am one of the few who doesn’t have a cell phone, but am seriously thinking it now…50 cents! COME ON!! for what..? usually prices go up because of an improvement, the pay phone I used was full of phone book…disgustingly dirty…full of bugs…broken door, I think it was a door…just NASTY!…a note to BELL…maybe with the increase, you will spend it sending a team around to clean up your phones!

  17. 50centssuck says:

    okay well it might not be a problem for some people.
    but when im out with friends we tend to use the payphone because cell phones are pointless and seem to be only good for business or travel.
    i see payphones everywhere where i live and once the price doubled we could go through $3.00 a day and i hate spending that money.

    but i dont know maybe its different depending on what city you live in.

  18. justathought says:

    I don’t see why they charge at all. Make the phones courtesy for local calls only and there is no money involved; no coin slot to jam things in and it can be subsidized by the city to keep the phones in working order. If you don’t have a cell phone and need to make a call, it would be nice to have the city help you out not another stranger with a cell phone. A measure of kindness in this cold consumer minded world.

  19. Corey says:

    I don’t like this. I can’t afford to have a cellphone. And sometimes depend on payphones. Boo, Bell Canada.

  20. william says:

    because of that i don’t use pay phones anymore.

  21. Richie says:

    Sending a text message from a payphone would be like using a webproxy. It hides the number…

    Though who would want to set texts without having a return address unless they’re harassing people or something.

    After all, your friends / promotions would probably want to reply to you by text if you text them right?

  22. Richie says:

    Whops, wrong post I replied to.

  23. Kathy says:

    Wow… 50 cent calls in Kitchener were so last year lol

  24. Kathy says:

    opps totally didn’t read the date!

  25. I found this in a friends email, she said that I’d really like it – and I do!


  26. ken says:

    The trouble with depending on cell phones is that they are not dependable.

    The government shuts them down first in an emergency so it can use the mobile lines.

    Also, cell use increases exposure to radio frequency radiation, and much of it is now at quite high frequency.

    Pay phones were more reliable, way cheaper, safer, and you never got into an auto accident while using one.


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