News / Ottawa

Pay to pee? City considers coin-operated LRT washrooms

Toronto opened its first coin-operated washroom door in 2010.

Transit riders may need to carry extra coins if they want to use a light-rail loo.

On Tuesday, the city’s finance and economic development committee asked staff to consider a user pay washroom option when designing the light rail transit stations. That means users of the LRT system could pay to pee after the system launches in 2018.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson estimates it will cost about $2 million to build the LRT washroom facilities, which groups like Gotta Go! have been advocating for. A user pay option would keep the burden off taxpayers, he said.

“This is something that’s done around the world,” he said. “We’re not pioneers on this front and I think it’s reasonable given the requirement that we are not, as a city, required to provide washroom facilities except at the terminus points of the system.”

Those terminus points of the system are Tunney’s Pasture and Blair for the phase one Confederation Line. Washrooms will be built at Baseline, Bayshore and Place d’Orleans in phase two, plus other stations for future LRT extensions.

Watson said there’s also a $13,000 monthly fee to maintain and clean the washrooms, plus handle any vandalism common at transit bathrooms.

Toronto opened its first coin-operated washroom door in 2010. At the time, outreach programs planned to hand out tokens to homeless people to use the bathroom.

With files from Torstar News Service

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