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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Any one remember these? My first experience of one of these was in a airport and it instilled an instant fear in me to not go anywhere without change.

CEPTIA (Committee to end pay toilets in America) succeeded in banning the pay toilet in 1970 and as quoted by Ira Gessel
"When a man's or woman's natural body functions are restricted because he or she doesn't have a piece of change, there is no true freedom."

Pay toilets are common place in Europe and especially in Paris. Perhaps this is understandable because there are so many city visitors walking around and meets the needs of the people without forcing them to go into a restaurant and place an order so they can access a restroom.
A pay toilet in Paris

Here are a few interesting facts  about pay toilets in other countries....
In the Untied Kingdom it is technically permitted to charge for use of toilets, but not for the use of urinals...
In Mexico, the majority of pay toilets have turnstiles and an attendant at the entrance. The attendant gives out toilet paper and sometimes a paper towel. Although I have visited Mexico many times, I have not experienced this.

In Singapore, pay toilets are still common in "Hawker Centers" (like a farmers market), the use of the toilet usually costs 10¢.

In some area of Taiwan, mostly in subways, you must pay for the toilet paper, but the toilet itself is free....


So you are thinking so what how does all that affect me? Well, they are back, at  least in New York.

 In 2008 there were 20 new pay toilets installed in and around Madison Square Park. Now these aren't just any old pay toilets...they are state of the art, about the size of a newspaper stand with tempered glass doors and stainless steel. An automatic sliding door opens when a deposit of 25¢ is made. A user has a (generous) 15 minute period of privacy before the doors pop open....with a warning light and alarm going off when there are only three minutes left. In between uses is an automatic 90-second self cleaning process that had always been a mystery until a news media was given a behind the scenes peek at the process. A sweeping arm sprays disinfectant over the toilet, before it blows heat to dry it and jets propel about seven gallon of water with disinfectant on the floor, which is not dried, leaving ti wet for the next user. You will find it reassuring there are all sorts of "just in case" precautions in place. For one, there are two red emergency buttons: one small and waist-high, the other big and  toward the floor, in case someone falls. There is also a separate yellow button to reach an operator if needed. These seem to make sense to me in areas where there are masses of people coming and going. At first I thought "what about the homeless but then what do they do in general with no public ones? However.........
the news that an airline wants to reduce the number of  restrooms from two to one and it be a pay toilet is outrageous! Stephen McNamara, a Ryanair spokesman states "By charging for the toilets we're  hoping to change passenger behavior so that they use the bathroom before or after" ......Ha, how about the truth...by reducing the number of toilets on board to only one for up to 189 passengers....would allow the carrier to add a half dozen more seats!

11 comments:

fishducky said...

Interesting post--I'd leave a longer comment but I have to go potty RIGHT NOW! Can I borrow a quarter?

Flora said...

Interesting!!! Guess we have to get out the diapers! HA

Nancy said...

I hadn't heard about the change in air plane toilets. Of course, First Class will have a "free toilet." Right?

Chatty Crone said...

Pretty soon the airlines will charge for air to breathe!

I have been to Europe and yes there are pay toilets every where - and I never had the right change!

Canyon Girl said...

In Stockholm you have to pay too and you don't get toilet seat covers. I thought that was a bit weird, being such a neat and clean place supposedly.--Inger

Dawn said...

Hehehe...good post!
My fear would be claustrophobia in those pay toilets. Goodness! What if the door never opened????

Farmchick said...

I have traveled a bit, but never used a pay toilet. Interesting post!

Granny Annie said...

Another very informative post by you! I must ask whatever inspired you to research and write this? Also with the NYC pay toilet, what happens if you aren't done in 15 minutes? Can you put in another quarter before the door pops open? Yikes!

Changes in the wind said...

Thanks all for your comments....hmmmm what inspired it....saw the first picture somewhere and went from there. I think if you aren't done in 15 min. you will simply be exposed because the quarter thing is on the outside. Didn't think of it not opening! Nancy...if it is as they are proposing 1 st class would have to share and pay.

Lady Di Tn said...

Poise pads anyone? If you do not have the correct change it will be your problem. For those of us who do not like close spaces, the thought of being trapped in one would delay any body function. Can you imagine being caught with your pants down? Soon airlines with have no potty and then what? yuck.

DaCraftyLady said...

I read up on those public toilets in MAnhatten and they are pretty safe, however, what if you really have to go for a longer period of time? I mean what if someone is sick say???That could get embarrassing if the doors pop open or they start to clean you up while still on the "pot"..lol...as for the airlines, that is outrageous, I mean its bad enough we pay for our luggage and then there's the fact that the seats are so small and not too comfortable for a long hual, I fly across country all the time and I would never be able to make it without using the toilet...its just a necessity...great post...Debb