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Subway toilets face late night locking


Do you, or would you use a subway toilet?  

  1. 1. Do you, or would you use a subway toilet?

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Subway toilets face late night locking

By Matthew Sweeney


May 20, 2008


[float=right]39080778-20161528.jpg[/float]Subway toilets are the pit stop of last resort, but they're no longer even an option in the late night hours, now that they're all locked up after midnight.


"When people have to go they have to go," said Gene Russianoff, senior attorney for NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign. "They should be shuttered as little as possible."


In recent weeks, NYC Transit officials said, they have been shutting the 78 public bathrooms in the subways between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. in order to guarantee cleaning crews access.


"We're doing it so we can make the public more comfortable," said Charles Seaton, a transit spokesman.


But in a city short of public facilities, locking the subway bathrooms is a service cut, riders and their advocates said. There are few options late at night, and the timing of the closures come just as people are leaving bars, clubs, or their work shift.


"Where do I go now? Wet my pants?" asked a distressed Herby Campbell, 56, an ironworker from Long Island who was among the half-dozen riders in need of the men's room at the A/C Chambers Street station yesterday afternoon.


"If you grab a corner they would lock you up," he said.


William Henderson, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said that, "It's a bad time to have them closed."


And although some stations smell like toilets, there is no need to encourage the abuse, critics said.


"If the riders can't use the public toilets, they're going to use the train station as a toilet," said John Mooney, a Brooklyn station agent.


Nigel Price, 32, yesterday ducked into the women's room at Chambers Street after finding the men's room locked.


"By the look of things, they're not cleaning them now, so what's the point," Price, a researcher for J.P. Morgan, said upon exiting.


The restroom didn't appear that dirty but smelled to high heaven.


Several riders said they suspected that the homeless, rider safety or liability might have motivated the transit's decision.


"They need five hours to clean a bathroom?" said a disbelieving Henry Perdomo, 27, of Harlem, who also used the Chambers Street facilities.


One cleaner said that sometimes a homeless person will refuse her request to leave bathroom, so she has to clean around them. And if subway riders have a low opinion of the station bathrooms, she suggested said they look at themselves.


"The public is just nasty,"she said, describing some foul situations she has to clean up. "But we still do our job and clean it."


There are 78 public bathrooms in the subway located at transfer points and terminals. Here are a few.


Chambers Street on the A/C line: The men's room is closed because the broken mirror is a public safety hazard. It's unclear when the the bathroom will reopen.


Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue: A recently reconstructed station with a new bathroom, it is particularly busy in the summer months.


Times Square Station: Maintained by a private company, its stalls have electric locks and timers. The bathroom is monitored from a control room.


Canarsie/Rockaway Parkway: Last year, The Daily News found evidence of MRSA, a dangerous bacteria, on a faucet handle in the men's room.

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Nigel Price, 32, yesterday ducked into the women's room at Chambers Street after finding the men's room locked.


I got a good laugh out of that one lol I dont live there But I dont think I would use their bathrooms if anyone paid me, our old greyhound station was like that I remember taking a trip I had to go...I went outside because it was so gross. Our Light Rail / Busways dont have restroom facilities but looking at that article I think its a good thing because it would just turn out nasty like the one they mentioned.

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Sometimes you gotta go. I remember one time suffering majorly while holding it in till i got to byrant park from coney island on the (F). Ran up to the library right before it closed. Another time the bathroom at shea(7)(7x) saved my life.........


- (A)(N)(D)Y

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Really wouldn't not use it but ever since that MRSA report I would never.


I didn't use the sinks, they looked kind of questionable, instead i used water from a bottle and hand sanitary gel. I have this "just in case" kit for such situations. When not going to places that requires screenings, usually i carry my pocket knife too "just in case". Have not had to use it yet (thankfully).


- Andy

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I remember I really had to go so I well in the bathroom in the 179th st. station these are thing are saw:

1. They had a long line of hobos waiting to shave themselves.

2. There was a hobo on the toilet singing old mcdonald's had a farm.

3. I just ran out the bathroom and pissed at the end of the platform.

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