An Alternative to Pay Phones
If you make calls from pay phones, don't use coins - use a good calling card (careful, though: I think there are lots of scams out there).
For the past three years, my mother, wife and I have used and had very good experiences with a company called Hello World Telecom, based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
You dial a toll free number, enter your code, and then dial the number you're trying to call. The cost is 12 cents a minute (or about 12.5 cents per minute including all taxes) to anywhere in the country, and the company bills on tenth-of-a-minute increments. This means you only get billed 4 cents if you talk to someone for 20 seconds. That's 4 cents versus the 50 cents many pay phones now charge.
I asked the company to automatically deduct my charges each month from my bank (they still send me an invoice, along with a letter to customers from the company owner, a wacky German guy), but you can also pay by check.
If you're interested in this, call 1-888-333-6710 during the week to sign up. If anyone knows of a better deal, please let me know! Marc Borbely, 536 13th St. NE §