Come June, New Yorkers will have access to sound-proofed bathrooms installed along the street, including luxury toilets and showers that attendants clean after each use.
“I always found myself in a situation where I needed a restroom [while out in the city] and I knew I wasn’t alone in placing a high value on privacy and cleanliness,” Wayne Parks, founder of the company rolling out these new toilets, told The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch.
But luxury comes at a price: a $US15 annual fee, plus $US24 for a three-day pass. That’s way more than the $US5 you could spend at Starbucks to get their bathroom code, or the 25 cents you pay to use one of the Bloomberg administration’s public toilets.
Parks’ New York-based company Posh Stow and Go says the first option lacks privacy and The New York Post points out only three basic facilities — at Madison Square Park in Manhattan, Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and Corona Plaza in Queens — have been constructed since Bloomberg first announced the public restroom initiative in 2005, which called for 20 toilets.
Posh plans to open its first pay toilets this summer in Midtown between Grand Central and Penn Station. In addition to private bathrooms, the facilities will also feature storage lockers, laundry machines and a place to sit and relax. That’s all included in the yearly membership and day-pass price.
If the Midtown location catches on this summer, Posh will open another luxury storage and bathroom facility in lower Manhattan. But the emphasis on exclusive membership-based bathrooms in a city like New York, where wealth inequality is already so present, have some public restroom advocates in a tizzy.
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