Group to install second payphone in Detroit -- and it’s free to use

DETROIT – Payphones have gone out of style with the advent of technology -- but this group is using them to offer free phone service.

Futel, a group that works to preserve the public telephone “as a means of providing access to the agora for everybody,” installed their first payphone near Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood, on 23rd Street & Breckenridge Street.

The phone is equipped with speed dial options, including to Detroit City Hall, emergency services and to other free payphones, in case you just need to chat.

A second phone will be installed outside the Detroit Bus Company headquarters in Corktown.

“Denial of telephony services has long been a tactic used against undesirable populations, and our devices will counteract that. But more importantly, we will help to establish a new era of communication, one in which reaching out is not only desirable, but mandatory,” Futel writes.

Watch Alex Atwell’s feature story in the video player above. (Watch previous coverage here)

About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.