Cost to use payphones in Atlantic Canada jumping to 50 cents, if you can find one

The payphone, once a critical way of communicating when out and about, will now cost Atlantic Canadians double what it's been for decades.

Bell Aliant says increase brings region in line with the rest of Canada

They might be a relic but Bell Aliant says people still use them in airports, shopping centes and hospitals - and now, they'll cost more. (Twitter/@MargaretsSafety)

Payphones, once critical for communication when out and about, will now cost Atlantic Canadians double what it's been for decades.

Bell Aliant, which operates around 50,000 payphones in seven provinces across the country, is increasing the rate to use them in the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador from 25 cents to 50 cents.

It's the first increase in Atlantic Canada in more than 20 years. Bell Aliant said it aligns with payphone costs across the country, which jumped to 50 cents in 2009.

Electronic messaging and signage about the upcoming rate change will appear on public phones starting Saturday, May 19.

Bell Aliant acknowledged that payphone usage has declined "significantly" in recent years with the rise of mobile communications, but said they still have value for customers — especially in busy areas like airports, shopping centres and hospitals.