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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jon-Eric Melsæter

Reserve private bathrooms across NYC with a new app

Written by
Clayton Guse

We've all been there: You're hustling across Manhattan going about your day and, out of nowhere, you feel like you're going to pee your pants. Sure, popping into a Starbucks, buying a drink and haggling for the bathroom code is one remedy to the situation, but if you've gotta go, those precious minutes could be the difference between the sweet relief of a toilet and a set of moist trousers. 

But a new app aims to solve this dilemma one bathroom at a time. Called Rockaloo, the service allows users to purchase a pass to bathrooms at private businesses across New York City without waiting in line. After launching in August, it now partners with 130 businesses in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, with many more on the way. The app provides a map of nearby bathrooms, and users can purchase a pass to use access them at prices ranging from 99 cents to $8.99. After purchasing, you have an hour to walk into the business' bathroom, flash the pass on the app and relieve yourself in peace. 

While monetizing New Yorkers' restroom needs might not sound like the most honest business decision on the surface, founders David Sirieix, Yvan Bedouet and Binoy Wilson say that isn't the case. Their goal is to improve restroom access across the city, and in order to do so, they're giving businesses a split of the revenue. A portion of each purchase also goes to charity. The app is reminiscent of George Costanza's fictional iToilet, though the founders say that wasn't part of their inspiration. 

So the next time you're rambling across town and say to yourself, “Oh shit, I really have to shit,” you don't have to resort to the filthy mess that is Penn Station's bathrooms

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