SEATTLE - U S West Communications is deploying 16,000 public telephones that accept chip cards in five metropolitan areas, beginning this month in Seattle.
The Northern Telecom Millennium pay phones, which were previously tested in the Seattle area, will accept coins and credit cards as well as the U S West telecards with computer chips.
By August 1996, the modernized pay phones will also be installed in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Denver, and Portland, Ore.
Future plans include expansion of services available with the chip cards, such as paying for parking and transportation. The cards can be purchased at drug stores, student bookstores, and other retail outlets in Seattle.
The cards cannot be used after their stored value is used up, but U S West has not ruled out issuing a rechargeable version.