Campaign aims to get MTA to open more public bathrooms in subway

Most riders we spoke to in Union Square had no idea there were bathrooms in subways.

Ashley Mastronardi

Apr 18, 2024, 11:27 PM

Updated 40 days ago

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Have you ever been riding the subway, and you know, had to go?  Turns out there are bathrooms in New York City subway stations.  One politician is calling on the MTA to make them more visible.    “I thought they just didn’t have them in here because of the homeless population and stuff like that.  But it’s good to see.  Normally, I just run to a restaurant and pay [for] something quick if I need to,” Brooklyn resident Giovani Martelly told News 12 New York. 
“I’ve seen the doors around, but I don’t really hear anyone talk about them,” Queens resident, Chrysia Edano, said. 
Most riders we spoke to in Union Square had no idea there were bathrooms in subways.  And after living in the area for 21 years, the fact that there are bathrooms in this station was news to me. 
According to the MTA, 22 stations in Manhattan have public bathrooms and there are 63 stations city wide that can accommodate the diverse bathroom needs of the 3.2 million New Yorkers who ride the subway daily.  Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine,recently wrote a letter to the MTA asking them to bring awareness to bathrooms.  He says they closed during the pandemic. 
“The hard work was done, the hard work was reopening them. Now the easy work is to let people know and that’s what we’re calling for...first there could be a symbol on subway maps just like we currently mark where there’s an ADA accessible elevator,” Levine said.  
“We have a great new app that the MTA launched that does describe the resources available at a station. This could be added to that...There are announcements on the trains now that tells you if there’s an accessible elevator...why not also let people know there’s a bathroom?” he added.    The MTA told News 12 they are reviewing Levine’s letter and confirmed that they’ve opened 121 subway bathrooms out of the total 127 across New York City.  
More information about the MTA’s new app is available here.


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