Have you ever seen or used a drive-through pay phone? You may not have even heard of it. It’s a kind of pay phone, with which you can call without getting out of it when you drive a car. And there’s a place in which two drive-through pay phones in Nisshin next to Nagoya.
Nowadays most people, however, use their own cell phones. So I don’t think it’s not useful anymore. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone using it before. Last month I introduced the drive-through pay phone on my page of mixi, one of SNSs in Japan, and many people showed their interests in the system.
On February 23, there was a strange research tour for the drive-though pay phone. It was because that one man who read my page in mixi got in touch with me about the pay phone and asked me to go for a research with him.
He is a professor of sociology at Chukyo University. His area is modern media and interested in the drive-though pay phone very much. That day I happened to take an English class. So I invited my classmates to join the research.
The professor, six of my classmates and I went to see the place by a car. We parked the car where we could observe the drive-through pay phones, and had been looking at the place for a while. But we didn’t see anyone use it or show their interests in it. So the professor decided to go there and to use it by himself. He phoned staff at his office and checked it really worked.
He said that he was going to write an article about phones and the drive-though pay phone system might be a nice hook for it. He also mentioned that the place was still good drivers who needed to talk on the phone because it’s banned to use cell phone while driving in Japan. And he added that the place might be useful because it’d been difficult to find a pay phone recently.
I think the drive-though pay phones place will be dismantled in the near future because of lack of users. I’d like to see someone using it once before disappearing. Anyway it was interesting to go see the place and to talk about pay phones’ future with him and my friends.