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Pay phones pushed aside in the Centro

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Mérida’s City Council has removed just over 140 pay phones in the Centro Histórico under a plan to improve freedom of movement in the city. Photo: City of Merida

To promote urban mobility and improve the aesthetics of Centro Histórico, the City of Mérida has ordered the Municipal Police to begin removing pay phones from public sidewalks.

Since last July 1, when the current administration took charge, the city has removed just over 140 coin-operated phones. They belong to several competing companies, including Operadora Telefónica Peninsular, which owns the kiosks with the slogan “Habla más conmigo;” BBG Comunicación, S.A. de C.V; Lógica Industrial, whose phones bear the Supercom logo; My Phone; Logitel; and Combifon, which is part of Comercializadora Nacional Telefónica, S.A. de C.V, reports the City of Mérida.

Pay phones have been popping up for years, with or without official authorization, and have become increasingly irrelevant in the age of the cellphone. They also become eyesores after vandals cover them with stickers and graffiti.

The director of the Interior, Armando Villarreal Guerra, said the crackdown is aimed at firms subject to city laws that are intended to leave sidewalks and ramps clear for pedestrians.

With information from the City of Mérida

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