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Good news for TRS pay phone users

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Several changes are occurring for anyone who makes calls from a coin-operated pay phone through a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS).

Effective November 24:

  • Local pay phone calls through the relay service will be free.

  • Long-distance calls made from a pay phone with a calling card using the TRS won't cost any more than if coins had been used.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted these changes formally on August 25, based on an agreement reached between representatives of the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-disabled community; and a telecommunications industry group, which included GTE. The FCC rules comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requirement that TRS users be able to access coin-operated pay phones. The rules do not apply to non-coin pay phones.

The telecommunications relay service enables a person who is deaf, hard of hearing or speech-disabled to communicate by telephone. The service is available to both business and residential customers. These centers are in operation seven days a week, 24 hours a day. (A contact list for the TRS centers is attached).

Calling Card/Prepaid Card Information

TRS centers accept calling cards provided by most local telephone or long distance telephone companies. Pre-paid (debit) calling cards can be used in some states. Relay service providers differ from state to state and honor different calling cards. (Customers should check with the TRS provider regarding the calling cards or pre-paid cards they accept).

GTE calling cards can be obtained by calling 1-800-GTE-CARD; deaf, hard of hearing and speech-disabled customers can order a card via TRS.

GTE Telephone Operations is the largest U.S.-based local telephone company.