Train Station Closes Bathroom To Public, Pisses Off Passengers

A scrawled note scotch-taped to the New Rochelle train station in New York tells passengers that they better hold it. The city has decided that’s it too expensive to keep the bathrooms open. The recession takes its toll on your toilet.

New Rochelle’s City Manager Charles Strome said people vandalizing the bathroom has become increasingly rampant and the city can’t afford to monitor the bathrooms anymore. At one point the vandals ripped the toilet off the wall. Part of the problem is budget cuts in other city services.

“Our police department has ceded a 10-percent reduction in staff so we don’t have regular patrols there like we used to. So all in all it was costing us a significant amount of money to keep the bathrooms open at the train station,” Strome told CBS News.

Over 2,000 passengers commute into New York City from the New Rochelle train station each day. The City Manager said travelers should use the bathrooms on the train.

Could your local public bathroom be next? Let’s get some stimulus money going on this “fanny-ready” project.Bathrooms Shut Down At New Rochelle Train Station [CBS New York] (Thanks to Chuck!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. romoish says:

    On the list of places to plant my ass, a train station bathroom is probably among the furtherest down.

  2. Mold says:

    But, but…we kept the munny from those lazy, shiftless urban people who only waste our pwecious bodily fwuids. Welcome to st reagan’s city on a hill.

  3. fsnuffer says:

    If they don’t have enough police to keep the bathrooms from being vandalized, I am pretty sure they don’t have enough to catch you pissing on the locked bathroom door

  4. ElleAnn says:

    They could just do what Joliet, IL does and keep the restrooms open but NEVER clean them.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      Oh man, I got to experience the Union Station toilet this past weekend. It was… amazing. There was a giant smear in one of the things that I feel I can safely say was not chocolate.

  5. Thyme for an edit button says:

    They could install pay toilets.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      And call it “Johnny Cash”!

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      When I visited the UK, many public toilets charged a small fee (like $.10 – $.25). This is how they paid for the upkeep of the bathrooms.

  6. Mold says:

    Yes, be a brave heroic courage-filled Entitled ‘Merican who leaves a mess for some underpaid janitor to clean up. You sure showed them! It takes a lot of heroic bravery to be a jerkhole to someone who you know will be there hours after you make a mess. Gosh, such studly manliness…or is it manly studliness?

    Services cost money. What part of this is difficult to understand?

    • pop top says:

      But paying for the government to provide services is socialism!

    • danmac says:

      I’m not sure it’s “rootin’ tootin’ ‘Mericans” who are the ones predominantly making the messes. Why am I guessing this? I lived in Berkeley while I attended college. Berkeley, as everyone knows, is a liberal bastion, and as such, it has some of the laxest homeless laws in the country and a mild climate to boot. Consequently, there’s an enormous homeless population, and this group absolutely destroys any public bathroom facilities they’re allowed to use. Many of them are mentally “not there”. Others are very bitter about their current straights. The result? Shit smeared on bathroom walls…feces that somehow miss the toilet…rampant vandalism…the locking of restrooms for 20 minutes to shower in the sink…

      Consequently, almost all local business in Berkeley either prevent the public from using their facilities or keep those facilities behind lock and key (paying customers only!).

  7. rosie1925 says:

    Places like that I would go with the European toilet arrangement. Attendants who charge for use, but they also keep it clean and neat.

  8. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    “Train Station Closes Bathroom To Public, Pisses On Passengers”

    There, I fixed it for you.

  9. danmac says:

    A small digression:

    This really sucks but it happens. In the Bay Area, for example, following September 11, Bay Area Rapid Transit – which runs a large commuter rail that goes both above and below ground – closed all the bathrooms in below-ground stations “for security reasons”. Surprise, surprise, those bathrooms are still closed to this day:

    Ironically, BART passengers are never searched or have to pass through scanners before entering a train, so locking the bathrooms serves no purpose other than the obvious money-saving one.

    • Southern says:

      I don’t know of any light rail systems that employ security precautions before boarding, like having to go through metal detectors, etc.. City Buses are the same way, and the big “Park and Ride” coach style buses (just like Greyhounds) frequently have 70+ people on them.

      • danmac says:

        That’s the whole point; because there are no security precautions, it’s ridiculous to claim that closing the restrooms is a security-related policy. It doesn’t add additional safety.

        • Southern says:

          Actually, it does, if you don’t think of it from a terroristic point of view – they’re commonly used for other crimes, such as robbery, rape, assault, drug dealing, etc. So if they’re referring to it from that aspect of “security related”, I can see where they’re coming from.

          • sarahhope82 says:

            Okay, but then why only close the bathrooms at below-ground stations? I never got that.

            • Crim Law Geek says:

              Underground stations are near steam, gas, water, and other utility lines. An explosion at an underground station can be far more damaging than an elevated one.

              • MrEvil says:

                Doubtful, any structure underground is either going to be cut right out of solid rock, or it’s going to be built with reinforced concrete. There’s probably a few feet of solid Earth and concrete between the station’s outer shell and the utility tunnel. You’d need a truck’s worth of explosives to put a dent in the utility corridor.

      • jason in boston says:

        TSA and MBTA police do routine checks in Boston.

    • Rachacha says:

      In DC, they just started opening up the restrooms in the Metro system to the public, although I have yet to find a restroom in the stations as they are tucked away in hidden areas as they were designed to only be used by employees, or if a customer asked to use the facilities, Metro staff would escort the customer to and from the restroom.

    • West Coast Secessionist says:

      I’ve never* seen an open bathroom ANYWHERE in a BART or Muni station, either above ground or below. A specific example would be Daly City, which is entirely above ground, and yet has had a sign on the door for 10 years about how it’s closed for “increased security” or some such garbage.

      *I moved to SF in 2002 so I’m only speaking of post-9/11 when I say “never.”

  10. Jane_Gage says:

    Bathrooms on a TRAIN?? /in Philadelphia

  11. PupJet says:

    Wow….just wow.

    Good thing when I take the train I tend to go BEFORE arriving there. Granted I’m generally only there for about 20-30 minutes when the train pulls in. :)

    But then again, I don’t live in an area where such a crime is rampant as to have people ripping toilets off the walls. Seriously, people are stupid and it’s no wonder I’m a hermit 99% of the time. LOL

  12. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    MARTA here in Atlanta used to have pretty nifty public restrooms that were basically port-o-potties set in the main station (Five Points). The reason I say nifty is that when you left the bathroom, the door would lock and it would go into an autocleaning cycle and spray down the toilet seat, for example with antiseptic solution. When it was done, the door would unlock and a light would turn on. I only used it once, but I thought it was pretty cool. They removed them all because of the recession, but I’m an advocate for spending the money to bring them back.

    I don’t know about New York, but the local government has been asinine about public transit here in Atlanta. It’s not even as if MARTA doesn’t have the money- by law they’re prohibited from spending it. It’s ridiculous, and no one, not even people who work there, can really explain why this policy hasn’t been relaxed.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Because it isn’t a policy, but a law.

      When we stop allowing closeted Republicans to run our state, we’ll actually get some work befitting a city of this size.

      You know that most of the counties in South GA pay the lowest tax rates in the country, right? And the vast majority of the tax revenue from Atlanta just leaves the city to pay for public works in counties that don’t want to raise taxes to pay for their own projects.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        Oh I know it’s a law, I misspoke (miswrote?) when I called it a policy. But oh yes, I’m well aware of the city/state divide. I just mean there’s no logic to why it’s still in place. No convincing, practical logic anyway.

    • aja175 says:

      There are outdoor pay toilets in San Francisco that do this too. $0.50 to use it, after 20min the doors open automatically but they spray themselves down after every drug deal. I mean use.

  13. skwigger says:

    I guess the bums won’t be the only ones going to the bathroom on the train anymore.

    Also, unless there’s a lock, a note on the door will not stop me if I *have* to go.

  14. golddog says:

    You see NY? This is why we can’t have nice things. Not that a public restroom in a public transit station was going to be all that great anyway even on its best day.

  15. zombie70433 says:

    who in the hell rips a toilet off the wall???

    • Southern says:

      You’re being facetious, right?

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      Their penis must have been extraordinarily heavy.

      One time I destroyed a salt-shaker… crushed it and it shattered. To be fair to it, it was plastic. To be fair to me, I didn’t mean it.

  16. Hollihocks says:

    Only 8 of the 38 MARTA stations here in ATL have open bathrooms. Generally, not a big deal during the day. It’s at night and on weekends when you’re stuck waiting 20 minutes for a train and then you have to transfer and wait ANOTHER 20 minutes for the next train that it sucks.

    Mind you, throw in some boozing and it’s INTENSE. Thank you, spots behind escalators without cameras.

  17. sheriadoc says:

    Do it like they do in Sweden: Pay toilets! Those places were so clean you could eat off the floor. Not like I would try, and not like the US could successfully replicate this, but it would be a start. The one at Stockholm Central Station cost the equivalent of $1.50 USD. And there was an attendant there to make change for people.

    Even in a little train station in Northern Swedish they had one pay toilet where you put your coin in a slot by the door knob to open the door, and another one where you could PAY BY MOBILE PHONE. Now that knocked my socks off.

    • sugarplum says:

      I’m jealous. I want to live in Sweden. Pay Toilets. Pay Toilets that take mobile phone payments. Good train system/mass transit. Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd.

      • FangDoc says:

        But look at all the terrible things that happened to that nice little Lisbeth Salander!!! I’m afraid of Sweden now!

  18. framitz says:

    Maybe they don’t really need a city manager or some other bureaucrat.
    Get rid of that person and you might be able afford to maintain the restrooms.

  19. KrispyKrink says:

    Time to buy more mops and buckets NY. I’d do as most people I know, find a corner and let it flow.

  20. TheWraithL98 says:

    yet they have no problem taking the same amount of money for tickets for less services…

  21. captadam says:

    USA Number One!!

    Does a good nation at least guarantee that the general public be able to pee without fear of arrest?

  22. PsiCop says:

    What’s at work here is an old tactic, often used by municipal governments but also by other entities, where “cuts” are made in high-visibility, high-impact ways, which are bound to be noticed. The hope is that an effort will be triggered to “restore” the funding. In the meantime, they never make cuts that would actually make government more efficient and which would not be noticed (such as eliminating extra layers of management or paring back large salary increases).

    In other words, they’re manipulating people, “softening them up” so they’ll be willing to endure a tax increase. This is why you hear about closing libraries (that people like to go to), closing or charging for access to beaches, parks, recreation areas, etc. Instead, they need to get rid of the 5 guys who stand around watching the 1 guy who actually WORKS at road construction projects.

    It’s time for constituents to get wise to this game, refuse to play along, and force governments to make the kinds of cuts they actually SHOULD make, instead of forcing taxpayers to keep supporting their profligate ways. Don’t be fooled, people … most governments could actually — and easily — provide all the same services, but at a cost of 1/4 to 1/3 less.

    • toodarnloud says:

      “most governments could actually — and easily — provide all the same services, but at a cost of 1/4 to 1/3 less.”

      Yeah, but then it wouldn’t be government run, because as everyone knows, the government can’t do anything efficiently!

      • PsiCop says:

        Having been a municipal elected official myself, I do not buy the premise that government somehow is not capable of doing things efficiently and correctly. The possibility is there. It’s just that — most of the time — those in authority lack the courage to force them to do so. There’s always some special-interest group clamoring for something and forcing them to do things wrong.

        All that’s needed is for official to ignore them and do what they ought to, rather than what’s expedient or easy. Unfortunately most people (and I mean that generally, not just those in government) lack this fortitude; doing the right thing in the face of complaints or pressure is something most people just don’t want to do.

        That said, having worked in the private sector all my life, including at 2 different Fortune 500 companies, I can’t say that the corporate world is any more efficient. Profligacy exists in business, too … and it’s just as hard to root out there as it is in the public sector. There’s no reason, for example, that the acting CEO of a multistate financial company which had just agreed to be bought out by a larger competitor, needs to spend $75,000 for renovations to his office, including a new mahogany desk to replace the $10,500 oak desk his predecessor had bought just 3 years before.

        It is, quite simply, human nature to have a sense of entitlement and to resist efficiency. But it’s also not impossible to curb — IF enough people are willing to force the issue and impose it on those in control.

    • HighontheHill says:

      BINGO!!! We have a wiener….. Oldest trick in the book, cut the service that will piss the most people off, as revenge for the budget cuts. I would bet my life there are at least one hundred things less important/expensive that could have been cut but no one would notice those.

    • Snoofin says:

      Yeah but then all those stupid Union workers making $35/hour to sweep the floor would have to work for a wage that normal people work for, and they would have to actually work instead of having 4 people do a job that should only take 1, there would only be 1 to do the work.

      • PsiCop says:

        It’s not really correct to complain just about the union workers. There are too many of those in government, to be sure, but there are also WAAAAAY too many people in management who aren’t unionized. In fact, in a lot of places, it’s those extra layers of management that cost much more … you not only have people pulling down high-5 or 6-figure salaries to do nothing, they all have their own budget allotments and are able to spend agency money. If they weren’t there, not only would their salaries be saved, so too would the value of all their unneeded purchases.

  23. MarvinMar says:

    I really have to wonder about who does this stuff.

    A few weeks ago I was in Lowes doing the Build and Grow program with my kids. (4.5 yo twins)
    My daughter goes in a stall and yells “EEEEWWWWW”
    I look in there and there is crap all over the ground and back of the wall and tank.
    Really? How in the hell did this happen?
    In moments like these I could understand if businesses decided to video monitor the bathroom.

    Same thing happened at Home Depot and Walmart. How does crap end up on the wall?
    What type of person does this?

    Also, I am not sure if it is because I live in Arizona and am close to the border, why why do people wipe there but and put that paper on the floor next to the toilet when there is a perfectly good toilet bowl to put it in?
    (I have heard toilets in Mexico can’t handle the paper but that is hard for me to imagine……And I have yet to see a sign in Spanish explaining that TP in the Toilet is the proper way here.

    • ash says:

      It is true that in much of Latin America, you are advised to not flush TP, but put it in the toilet. That said, restrooms in places like this always have a garbage bin next to the toilet for TP.

    • MarvinMar says:

      Also, The lowes thing, that was at 9 am.
      Somebody got up pretty early to get their first crap smear job of the day finished.
      Lowes down….Walmart next

  24. Christopher Elliott says:

    Best. Headline. Ever.

    • nybiker says:

      Actually, I still think the best one was “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar.” IIRC, it was the New York Post.
      I will vote for today’s story as #2 (pun intended).

  25. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    They should try the japanese/indian model of toilets that are a porceline hole in the ground. Can’t really rip those out.

    Also, could they really not afford to print out official-looking notices? That’s just tacky.

  26. Nighthawke says:

    If they are concerned about vandalism, then do what a few counties in Texas have done at their public parks; construct their bathrooms using hardware commonly found in jail cells.

    One-piece Stainless toilets and sinks with push-button operation, all hard mounted in concrete and cinder block construction Everything but the plumbing is painted (it’s more like coated) with a stain proof epoxy coating.. That stuff’s going nowhere fast and is a snap to clean up. Just break out the power washer, use the soap injection, and let’er rip.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      The problem there is the up-front cost. Yea, we know it would cost less in the long run, but when faced with budget constraints, poor decisions are made. Politicians rarely look forward in anything larger than 4 or 6 year chunks.

      I’ve got to say though, it’s disturbing that criminals get stainless toilets, free education and medical care, cable TV, and 3 meals a day, at a cost of about $45,000+ per inmate – while we, the people that pay for it all, barely get by. I can only hope they’re getting all the free sex they can stand.

  27. tomcatv1 says:

    Pay toilets. That would solve most of the problem. It does cost money to have bathrooms open and stocked. I’ve got no problem paying $.25 – $.50 to relieve myself. You might even find clean bathrooms once in a while.

  28. cspschofield says:

    What we have here is a classic example of Bureaucrat Blackmail; if the voters fail to embrace the level of taxation their Lords and Masters deem appropriate, then basic services get cut. Not admin staff. Not various hobbyhorse projects. Public restrooms, police, fire and other emergency services, schools. Or flagship services the curtailment of which will get a lot of notice; museums, zoos, libraries. But get rid of the Mayor’s Driver and Limo? The annual retreat and planning session (in Hawaii) for the Child Services executives? Or even look at how many six-figure-salary paper-pushers the (city,county,state) actually needs, and weed out the excess? Horrors, no!

    We’re going to see a lot of this until we either give up, or get the swine used to the idea that THEY work for US, and not the other way around.

    • calculon000 says:

      So if you think a lot of other people feel the same way, try running for mayor yourself and campaign on that as one of your issues. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.

      Unfortunately how it actually works in the US is that when you attempt that you find that you either need to be independently wealthy or accept contributions from special interests to be able to pay for a campaign. That’s who they ‘work’ for; the people who got them elected, not the people who voted for them. Until that changes, nothing else will.

  29. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    And so many are applauding the idea of more “high speed” trains? No thanks.

  30. livingthedreamrtw says:

    You know, in China, they just let their kids go anywhere in the middle of the train station public square out front. I saw it with my own eyes. We should adopt a similar policy and see how fast that toilet opens back up.

    • Fjord says:

      What I also saw in china was a great solution to save on diaper money…give babies cowboy chaps and let them conduct business on demand, whenever and wherever they are.

  31. DEVO says:

    I think people who play with their feces are not just vandals. I think they’re demons.

  32. CheesyRings says:

    well unfortunately, I cant blame them. Vandalism costs money to fix, and unless the public will let them install cameras in the bathrooms(lol) to catch thenm in the act this will probably happen in lots of places.

  33. Mold says:

    Why yes, Public Employees are slaves and are too uppity! They should accept whatever pay is deemed appropriate by a kewl dude who done read Atlas Shrugged.
    Private companies cut corners. Pay is just the most common. They also scrimp on material, design, and maintenance. Eveel gubmints pay a living wage (how dare they!) and tend to keep the facility in order.
    The fantasy of overpriced government is sold to you in order to allow a private firm to do the work. Somehow the imagined privatization profits never materialize for taxpayers. Even though the workers are paid Federal Minimum, or less, the costs increase for most privatizations. Why pay more money for less service?
    It is called prioritization. Keeping toilets open is less necessary than police or fire…which were already cut. So, the wishful fantasy of this being a way to increase the lowest taxes of First World citizens is hoping that no reader has actually, like, sat in on a muni budget meeting.

  34. baristabrawl says:

    I see a lot of people peeing everywhere else. couldn’t you just charge a dime or a quarter? Surely, there’s an app for that.

  35. mythgraven says:

    You know, I see alot of people complaining about the audacity of the station to close their restrooms, and I agree, not being able to take a simple piss is pretty bad…

    But where are the bleeding hearts for the fact that -people act like fucking pigs- in public restrooms? The article even said someone took it into their heads to physically remove the damn toilet…

    How many times have you been in a public restroom, even one where you WOULDNT expect to see the dregs of society frequenting, and been treated to a site that made your jaw drop? We have all seen things we would disown our own kids for, if we caught them doing it… and someones kids ARE doing it.

    While I have the bladder of an 80 year old man, and hate not knowing where I might get the next chance to take a wizz at, I cant help but stand by the idea that if society cant learn to stop pissing and shitting all over things simply because we wont have to clean it up, then we cant use those things. Put away your pitchforks and torches, consumers… youre supporting filthy barbarians. (Seriously.)

    Whiskey Echo!!

  36. West Coast Secessionist says:

    Whiners! We lost all of our train station bathrooms here in the SF Bay ten years ago (9/11! TERRORISM!!!) and never got them back. Learn to hold it.