This New App Is Like Airbnb for New York City Toilets
When nature calls, call technology.
There’s now an app that allows users in New York City to reserve a private bathroom when in need. After making the reservation, users can waltz through the door and head straight to the WC without having to endure a line.
Rockaloo partnered with more than 130 different locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens to give users access to private bathrooms for one hour. Via the app, users can “book” a bathroom at the restaurant, bar or coffee shop closest to them. They enter the establishment, show the “host” their pass and then are free to use the facilities (which would typically be only for patrons).
Access to Rockaloo bathrooms for one hour ranges in price from $0.99 to $8.99, depending on location. Profits are split between the app and the establishment, with a portion donated to charity.
Rockaloo’s founders say that their goal is to improve access to bathroom facilities in New York City. While cities like Paris and Portland have developed street access to free public toilets, New York City remains resistant. The city only has 15 operational public toilets for its 8.5 million citizens and 60 million annual tourists.
While paying to reserve a bathroom may be a novel idea, the ability to find a toilet with a smartphone is not new: Apps like Where 2 Wee and Toilet Finder will guide users to their closest point of relief.