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Q: Whatever happened to pay toilets? ( No Answer,   26 Comments )
Subject: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: brudenell-ga
List Price: $100.01
Posted: 21 Mar 2005 07:03 PST
Expires: 20 Apr 2005 08:03 PDT
Question ID: 497968
I would like to know about whatever happened to pay toilets? Where in
the world are there good quality restrooms that require a fee for
access? A $10 tip will be paid for a description of pay restrooms per continent on
each continent of the world. Thank you.

Clarification of Question by brudenell-ga on 21 Mar 2005 14:05 PST
By "per continent" I am seeking simply examples not a list. I am
assuming that there are different styles around the world.

Clarification of Question by brudenell-ga on 22 Mar 2005 14:37 PST
The very well produced website:  has an
incredible listing of loos the world over. My interest lies in the
variety, styles and cost of pay facilities around the globe.

Clarification of Question by brudenell-ga on 19 Apr 2005 11:50 PDT
A $10 tip will be paid for a description of *examples* of pay
restrooms per continent on each continent of the world. Thank you
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: jimbo333-ga on 21 Mar 2005 10:08 PST
Holy outhouse batman!!! You want to know all the pay toilets in the world?!!!!

Well you asked for it : )

Here's a start - the public restrooms in New Hope PA, a quaint and
very popular tourist town on the Delaware river, about 1/2 mile north
of Philadelphia, cost 25 cents to use ... and they are fairly clean.
On a busy day the attendant will stand guarding the door (which has an
automated lock that accepts a coin) to make sure that only one person
enters per quarter. I find this kind of rude.

The restrooms at Rices Market, a flea market 15 minutes from New Hope,
get mobbed in the summer (big lines) and an attendant sits by the door
with a pan for "tips". Hard not to tip cause you have to walk right by
him. These bathrooms are veeery clean. It seems kind of rude though to
hold a pan out as someone goes in to take a pee.

The cleanest, nicest bathrooms I've ever seen at a restaurant are at
Bahama Breeze on International Drive in Orlando Fl (also in Tampa), or
Leverock's Seafood in Saint Pete beach FL (also on Anna Marie Island).
They both have one of those checklists hanging behind the door, and
when they are busy someone checks and cleans the bathroom every 15

When I was a kid I did a lot of bathroom cleaning for a living. The
most important factor in keeping them clean is checking and spot
cleaning them frequently. People tend to make less of a mess in a
clean bathroom than in a pig sty. Unfortunately almost no one really
spot checks well these days.
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: probonopublico-ga on 21 Mar 2005 11:10 PST
We certainly have some here in the UK ... at London's Victoria Station for example.

You pay 20p (that's one-fifth of a Pound Sterling) at an automatic
barrier for entry.

Once inside, you can even have a shower, for an extra charge.
Subject: jimbo333-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 21 Mar 2005 14:06 PST
Thank you for your USA examples. Very much appreciated.
Subject: probonopublico-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 21 Mar 2005 14:07 PST
And thank you too probonopublico-ga for the UK example.
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: owain-ga on 22 Mar 2005 08:03 PST
Harrods charge GBP 1 unless you have a receipt for a purchase from the Food Court.

Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: myoarin-ga on 22 Mar 2005 08:51 PST
In Germany, the railway system gave up on its old pay toilets and let
private companies take over.  They are much nicer, but a good deal
more expensive.

Oh, some one linked a picture to a similar question of a Swiss (?)
paytoilet on the sidewalk that has one way glass on at least one wall,
so you feel like your doing your business in public, but the
passers-by only see a mirror.  Some one raised the question of how it
looks at night ...

In Paris they seemed to have eliminated the old pissoirs (free) where
you could see feet and head of the person using it.  I understand that
at some time, Paris got the bistro and restaurant owners to agree to
non-customers using their loos so that the city didn't have to provide
pay toilets.
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: myoarin-ga on 22 Mar 2005 08:52 PST
Oh, I forgot to ask:  what happened to your other question?
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: probonopublico-ga on 22 Mar 2005 09:12 PST
France ... Oh la la!

I remember stopping in a motorway layby years ago and using one of
their contraptions.

When the flush arrived it wet me through.

Maybe it only targeted Englishmen?
Subject: owain-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 22 Mar 2005 14:27 PST
Thank you for your post on Harrods.
Subject: myoarin-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 22 Mar 2005 14:31 PST
Thanks for the Germany comment. I would love some details about these facilities.

On the subject of my other question- I was surprised to find it
removed. A query on why lead to a reply that it generated some
complaints :(   Live & learn!
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: steph53-ga on 22 Mar 2005 15:57 PST
Hi Brudenell....

I don't think your other question was removed because of your content
or the actual question itself.

If you had an opprotunity to see the long string of comments that were
off topic to your question, then you would have seen why the GA
Honchos removed it.

BTW...I am one of the guilty parties :(

Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: myoarin-ga on 23 Mar 2005 08:56 PST
Motorways - Autobahns, back in the good old days, everyone just went
in the bushes ,but the those kind of people started worrying about the
hygiene and if kids might not ... and so now its all neat and tiddy  -
on the outside.

The Aussies were like that already 30+ years ago.  Somewhere along the
coast, I found this spick and span stainless steel men's facility that
would have been adequate for the needs of a German beer tent  (Sigmund
Romburg:  "Shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder ...")

Oh, I won't tell Steph the expressions Aussies have for ... 
(Missed your comment on the other question.  Didn't know you were like
that ... whatever it was.)
... but that reminded me of a "hold-out" in NYC in the sixties, a
privately owned bar and restaurant on a corner of 5th (?) Ave and a
lower 50s St that had refused to sell out to the developer that had
gotten control of the rest of the block, then a great hole in the
ground.  Old fashioned place with a good Irish name that still had the
counter near the entrance for the "free lunch"  It had running water
only for the washbasin, and had a fifty lb block of ice for each ...
man, in the proper receptical, of course.

On your other question I warned against the one at the Katmandu
airport, that defies description in polite society (that's us, isn't
it?), and in Tibet, well ... I'll just say that they haven't any ... 
Maybe now in Lhasa.
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: myoarin-ga on 26 Mar 2005 08:00 PST
HI, brudenell-ga, here is the site for the outfit that has the loos in
some German train stations.

There is also a remarkable sidewalk men's place in Berlin that I
happened upon, standup only, large circle with no individual places as
I remember, but with granite floor with a pattern, a post 1990
unification edifice, and - I seem to remember - worht a mention as an
example of mis-invested funds.
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: techtor-ga on 27 Mar 2005 08:23 PST
There remain some pay toilets here in the Philippines, or rather, in
Manila, which would be upper floor toilets in Shangri-La Mall along
Shaw, and in Greenhills shopping center, for ten pesos I recall, but
now may be P20. That's all I've seen so far, there maybe more.
Subject: myoarin-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 28 Mar 2005 13:04 PST
Thank you for the informative comment. You are doing a fabulous job!
Have you any idea of the costs associated with the McClean facilities?

Subject: techtor-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 28 Mar 2005 13:08 PST
I appreciate your comment on the pay toilets in the Philippines. I am
curious about the cost and services associated with the restrooms that
you have described. If you are able to find out the current costs and
services associated with those costs I will gladly post a *directed*
question. Thank you

Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: myoarin-ga on 29 Mar 2005 08:08 PST
techtor-ga is the only GA researcher who has posted and could submit and answer.
He may certainly incorporate my info if he wishes.
The mcclean website is in German, but if you hit Standorte and then a
country and then the cities you will get a photo for each, station or
restroom interior.
They can probably handle and English question on the   Kontakt if you
want to ask about prices  - may with the story that you want to give
an unaccompanied youth enough coins ...
Whatever  - I haven't used them, but I am sure the cost more p (pence)
than I want to pay for one. ;)
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: techtor-ga on 29 Mar 2005 10:54 PST
Hey, thanks for the offer. I'm not sure if I can immediately get that
information on a few Philippine pay toilets, but it's worth a try. By
the way, do you need many toilets or will just the couple of
establishiments I mentioned do?
Subject: techtor-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 30 Mar 2005 17:33 PST
Get as many as you can without too much effort and I will post a
*directed* question. Thanks.

Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: barbarossa7-ga on 31 Mar 2005 09:32 PST
well in turkey pay toilets still exist in the subway stations and they
cost 1 YTL which is around 60 euro cents. and there are also pay
toilets in the stadiums which are cheaper around 40 euro cents.
Subject: barbarossa7-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 31 Mar 2005 14:56 PST
Hello barbarossa7-ga

Thank you for your comment about Turkey. Are the facilities staffed by
an attendant?

Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: myoarin-ga on 11 Apr 2005 16:26 PDT
Pity, this question has sort gotten bogged down, if you understand
non-US English slang.
Subject: myoarin-ga
From: brudenell-ga on 12 Apr 2005 04:39 PDT
Yes I agree.

Patience. 8 days to go. Maybe there is some fine Researcher quietly
collecting data...

Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: politicalguru-ga on 20 Apr 2005 09:06 PDT
I don't believe it! 

I just wanted to post my answer and the **&^%^% question disappeared!
I cannot collect my fee :-(

Here's a free one for you : 

Dear Brudenell, 

Thank you for your question. 

In fact, I think that pay toilets are pretty popular in many places on
earth, as the enthiusiastic comments here indicted. It is almost petty
that one of us has to answer it...

Check out for example this whole article on the subject of public
toilets: "[...] though now across the globe, more than 600 cities have
automatic public toilets -- Singapore alone has 750, London 678, and
Athens 500 -- New York City is still "in the planning stages.""
(SOURCE: Rebecca Webber, "Public Toilets", Gotham Gazette, 15 July 01,

Companies Providing Pay Toilets

<> - French company making pay toilets, i.e. in France. 

<> - Swiss Company providing pay-toilet services. 

<> - not producing those
high-tech automated toilets like the former two, but selling some in
New Zealand.
<> SuperLoo India

America - United States
The first pay toilets in America (maybe in the United States) are
claimed by "Walt's" in 1936:
The Wonderful Animation Restaurants

Pay Toilets in San Fracisco 
Picture <> 

"Currently there are twenty five (25) wheelchair accessible
automatically self-cleaning public toilets installed throughout the
City. The toilets cost 25 cents to use. Anyone that cannot afford the
25 cent entry fee, can obtain free tokens at most non-profit
organizations or by calling JC Decaux at (415) 487-2300."
san Francisco Dept. of Public Works, Pay Toilets
<> (the page also includes a
map of all of the pay toilets in SF, funky!).

"The big green pay toilets on the street are cleaned after each use.
Some kids might think they're fun, but the cleaning leaves everything
a little damp (albeit clean)." (SOURCE: "San Francisco with Kids",, <>).

Ilene Lelchuk, "City workers to begin inspecting pay toilets in S.F.",
San Francisco Chronicle, July 10, 2001

"Best Place to Shoot Up - The new public pay toilets" (SOURCE: "Best
of San Francisco", <>).

" The 24 available toilets average 80 uses per day, offering 20
minutes of toilet time for 25 cents (20 minutes was recommended by the
mayor's task force for the handicapped.) The coin revenue does not
begin to pay for the $200,000 cost of the toilet, or for its daily
maintenance. To cover those costs, the company sells advertising on
cylindrical kiosks erected in high traffic areas." (SOURCE: Rebecca
Webber, "Public Toilets", Gotham Gazette, 15 July 01,

Lance Williams, "Brown's Paris tab raises questions", San Francisco
Examiner, January 24, 1997
- public toilets raise hard political questions.


But in New York, things ar grim: 
"New York State outlawed pay toilets in 1975 in response to the charge
that such facilities discriminated against women. Women always needed
a stall, while men could make do without, opponents argued. The city
won an exemption to the state law in 1993, a few years after a group
of homeless people brought a class-action lawsuit. "The fact that I
can't find anyplace to relieve myself in New York causes me lots of
problems and pain," testified one homeless man. "I have never been
able to find bathrooms in the subways. They are always locked and
unavailable. The bathrooms in the parks are in terrible condition and
In response to the government's failure to address the city's need,
earlier this year [2001, politicalguru], the 34th Street Partnership,
a Manhattan business improvement district, installed two automatic
public toilets, in Greeley and Herald Squares. As with the toilets in
San Francisco, users pay 25 cents for a maximum of 20 minutes and the
toilets clean and disinfect themselves after each use."
(SOURCE: Rebecca Webber, "Public Toilets", Gotham Gazette, 15 July 01,

Hi-tech pay toilets - in Houston, TX 

Boston - "Large stand-alone single occupant pay-bathrooms that
completely sterilize themselves after each use."
(SOURCE: McRestroom, Creativity Pool,

"Boston has freestanding, self-cleaning pay toilets in kiosks in eight
high-traffic areas downtown, including City Hall Plaza (near the
Government Center T stop) and Commercial Street near Snowhill Street,
not far from the Freedom Trail. Entrance costs 25?. Check carefully
before using these toilets -- reports of drug use in the enclosed
kiosks have led to increased maintenance, but you can't be too
(SOURCE : Frommers, "Fast Facts",

Pay Toilets 
<> - ThinkQuest on
pay-toilets in US history.


Also in America, but in Mexico, there are pay toilets called "Banos" 
(OurMexico -- Forums, <>). 

"I was pleasantly surprised that restroom cleanliness had greatly
improved since my last visit to Mexico. Rosemary and I did not
encounter any truly "memorable" toilets. Even the one in the Mercado
Libertad in Guadalajara was acceptable, although it did not have
toilet seats. It cost one peso to enter, and we found that pay
bathrooms were a pretty safe bet. So were restrooms in restaurants.
Everyone had to try to remember to place used toilet paper in the
wastebasket instead of flushing it down, even in the hotels. Mexican
plumbing cannot handle the paper. We encountered a wide range of
automatic faucets and flushers, and that was a point of interest for
Rosemary. Occasionally we found one with colorful mosaics or wall
paintings inside, and some had unique caballeros and damas
designations, such as pre-Columbian god versus goddess statues."
(SOURCE: Karen Kressin, "Taking Kids to Mexico", Mexico File
Newsletter, 1998, <>).

"At pay-bathrooms, there's usually a big toilet paper dispenser in the
public wash area, but you have to remember to pull a hank before you
enter a stall. If you forget, you're out of luck, because there's no
toilet paper in the stall. Though I've travelled afair amount in
Mexico, I often forget to grab a swatch, so I'm always glad that I
carry an extra wad in my bag."
(SOURCE: Holly Yasui, "A Japanese-American in Mexico" - The Details of
Survival, The Raven Chronicles, Sept. 1997,


In Martinique, the Caribbeans

Public pay toilets in Paris, France 

Another Picture 

More pictures and explanations at : 

"Another thing that may seem foreign to Americans is having to pay to
use a bathroom, particularly when confronted with different fees for
different needs. At big department stores and most restaurants, you'll
find free rest rooms, but for those other times, you may be required
to pay. However, unlike free public bathrooms in the U.S., French pay
toilets are typically clean, well supplied, safe, and usually
attended." (SOURCE: Don Andrews, "Ou Sont Les Toilettes?", Bonjour
Paris, 01/07/2003, <>).

"Pay Toilets!  They  call this civilization?  Now the principle isn't
foreign to me, I've seen  it before, but for it to be so universal-
and inconvenient.  I wound up  trading a phone card for the privelage
and I will admit it was quite  the bathroom. " (SOURCE: "7/13/01  R-ay
V-war and O-la", <>).

French Toilets 

In Russia, "Restrooms in Russia often have no toilet paper even in
public buildings and offices. Carry a couple of small packs of tissues
(Kleenex) in your purse or bag.

Restrooms can be identified by the sign: WC (Tualet). Restroom for men
is called "Muzhskoy" and for women is called "Zhenskiy".

These restrooms are pay restrooms which should be cleaner and have at
least the basic amenities. * indicates better quality facilities. "
(SOURCE: "Restrooms", Traveller's Yellow Pages,

Scariest Toilet picture, from Ukraine: 
"Be prepared to use outhouses. Many village homes do not have flush
toilets or even running water. Public restrooms can be frightening.
Towns and villages may not even have any public toilets. Decent pay
restrooms are becoming increasingly common in cities such as
Ivano-Frankivsk. As in any city, the best way to find a clean restroom
in a time of need while on the road is to go to a restaurant.
On the pictures one of those toilets.

Its not only Ukraine were u find not so good toilets, in France i saw
such things as well in some small villages or restrooms were u have to
stand up and put ur feet in 2 holes next to the toilet"
(SOURCE: catnl, "Toilets in Ukraine",

Nenagh, Ireland

Madris, Spain 

London, UK 

In addition, I could say, as someone who resides in Germany, that
automated and non-automated pay-toilets exist all over here (See for
example, from Munich,
I wish I could have shown you one from my hometown, alas none exists
online. Here's a bit more about Germany (this time, Berlin):
 Pay Toilets

Several sites mention also pay toilets in Italy, but I don't remember
from my visit there if there are any remarkable details about them.

"Pay Toilets: are they worth it?" 
In: Stephanie's Toilet Collection
<> - descriptions,
pictures, etc.

European Restrooms

Mumbai/Bombai India 
<> (not automated, is it?)

"This is a nice paid public toilet in Hampi, India - Note that a paid
toilet is almost never used by people in poorer countries. Maybe yes
to pee behind, but to pay to use is not normal. The India government
has lots of pay toilets, but very few of them used. There are 3 in
Hampi and this is great, but nobody uses, or the locals that are the
problem do not use them."  (SOURCE: "Toilets of the world",

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam 
". So many people work on the streets there are some pay-bathrooms to
relieve themselves but most just find an empty bit of stone wall to
pee against."
(SOURCE: Amanda O'Neil - , "Welcome to Uncle Ho's City",

In Istanbul, Turkey : 
"The bathrooms were surprisingly clean - there are pay bathrooms at
almost every underpass. If you don't mind the occasional squat toilet
- they were clean and very handy for kids. "
(SOURCE: Deborah, "Family Travel in Istanbul", Wed Mar 09, 2005,

"To find a public toilet, ask for the tandas. In Malay, lelaki is male
and perempuan is female. Be prepared for pay toilets. Coin collectors
sit outside almost every public facility, taking RM0.20 per person,
RM0.30 if you want paper. Once inside, you'll find it obvious that the
money doesn't go for cleaning crews." (SOURCE: Frommers, "Fast Facts",

Siberia (Russian Federation) 
"In Siberia (Khabarosk and Blagavashensk) this fee was about 1$ US -
but compared to the free facilities, it was worth 10 times the price."
(SOURCE: "Should DL charge us $.50 fee to use the lavatory?(like paid
public toilets in Europe)"

"In Kano, Nigeria, toilets are money-minting business [...] In 1961,
individual traders started to build more toilets in market places to
serve themselves and their customers. Initially, the use of such
facilities was free but gradually the traders begun to charge a fee.
[...] The individual operators wholly manage the units, several of
which are managed by the owners while others are run by employed
managers. Some unit owners are known to own "chains" of public
conveniences elsewhere. A study to ascertain how the system operates
shows that most units have managers who supervise two staff to collect
the "pay-as-you-use entry fee". The fee ranges from N3.00 to N5.00
(approximately $0.3 - 0.5). A third staff is employed to clean and
inspects the facility after it has been used. KASEPPA inspects the
system from time to time to ensure that it is kept clean at all times.
A small office which serves as the cash and supervisor?s office is
usually provided at the entrance of the premises.

Majority of these pay-toilets and bathrooms are located in public
places, especially around the main markets. A few are found in the
congested residential areas. Those living in high-density areas
benefit immensely, as usually such places have no private toilets due
to limited space. All the units are build according to two standard
designs issued by KASEPPA. Type one units are big with 16 compartments
comprising five toilets and three bathrooms for men and seven toilets
and one bathroom for women. Type two is smaller and has 10
compartment. It houses four toilets and two bathrooms for men and
three toilets and one bathroom for the women.

Standard public toilet design is issued by KASEPPA. Type I toilets and
bathrooms measure approximately 1,500mm x 2,000mm. The bathrooms have
a shower only while the toilets have a squat flash facility and a
water tap. It costs approximately N1,200,000 ($12,000) to build while
Type II costs N800,000 ($*,000). Most of the facilities are connected
to the Water Board pipeline system. However, where there is irregular
water supply, private boreholes or wells are used to supply water."
(SOURCE: Mariam Ayoti, "Private Public Conveniences; Kano, Nigeria"

"Shadiest-  Perhaps the pay toilets in Perth that warn of improperly
disposed needles... "

"The Super Loo features a staffed spotless toilet and shower area and
costs NZ $2 to use. The Super Loo was opened by the Honorable Hogn
Banks, M.P., the New Zealand Minister of Tourism, on October 20th,
1993. The Super Loo holds the tile of the Winning Toilet for 1995 in
the "Hygenex Best Loo" Competition." (The Urinals of Super Loo, Taupo,
New Zealand <> ).

Tax payers pay for their toilets, don't they? 

And finally, a different idea of pay-toilets

I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
further clarification on this answer before you rate it. Search
"pay toilets" "pay wc" "pay restrooms" "pay bathrooms" 
with names of places, cities, etc.
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: politicalguru-ga on 20 Apr 2005 09:07 PDT
My fault, I haven't noticed it was about to expire. Taking my %&^%$ back...
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to pay toilets?
From: venividivici-ga on 21 Apr 2005 16:48 PDT
All streets smells urinate..

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