San Francisco Has Pay Toilets—and They're Spectacular

It is wrong to have price controls on something so important. As David Mayers once said, “This is an attack on the bowels of America.”

Last Saturday, I was up in San Francisco for an event and met my daughter for coffee first. After leaving her, I decided to walk along the ocean so that I would get my exercise and wouldn’t get to the event before it started.

As I was walking, I thought it would be nice to find a bathroom, but I wasn’t thrilled about the typical options, particularly since I wanted to sit down, if you know what I mean.

It is wrong to have price controls on something so important. As David Mayers once said, “This is an attack on the bowels of America.”

Then I saw it: Good2Go. It seemed too good to be true. I asked the attendant some questions and she answered them all the way I hoped she would, and more. Not only was it clean, not only did it have running water, but also it had a very modern toilet with a heated seat. And the price? $1.99, which I gladly paid.

I remember when I was in my first year as an assistant professor at the University of Rochester in 1975 and the New York state government banned pay toilets. My office was across the hall from that of financial economist David Mayers, who was visiting from UCLA’s management school. We had the same reaction: It was wrong to have price controls on something so important. He had a great line: “This is an attack on the bowels of America.”

This article is reprinted with permission from the Library of Economics and Liberty.

Further Reading

{{article.Title}}

{{article.BodyText}}