New York City Automatic Toilet: $ 110,000 for a Wet Seat?

Yesterday we made a trip into New York City. Finding a (clean) bathroom when in the city can be a challenge. In January of 2008 the City of NY unveiled a fully automatic bathroom that cleans itself after each use. Well, I just had to check it out. And I made a YouTube video to show you the high and low points of my experience.

New York City Automatic Toilet

This New York City Automatic Toilet is located on the lower corner of Madison Square Park – on 23rd Street.


This is one of the first (if not only) self-cleaning toilets on trial in the city. The cost is $110,000 per device. One of my friends said that it’s going to take a lot of trips to the bathroom for the city to recoup their cost on this. And I don’t think many people will be using this. Keep reading (and watching) to find out why.

For .25 you can enter the self-cleaning rest room for 15 minutes. At the end of your time (a buzzer sounds a three minute warning) the door automatically opens. You can also exit at any time prior to the end of the 15 minutes by pressing a button on the wall.

So is this a pleasant experience?

Two words sum up the rest room – wet seat.

The atmosphere inside? Pure prison cell. The toilet has a shiny, wet, uninviting surface that I could not imagine sitting on except in dire emergencies…

Because it is self cleaning, all of the interior of the New York City Automatic Toilet is sprayed with water when you exit. So the next person entering the area is greeted with a wet floor – and a wet toilet (of which there is no seat – you sit right on a prison issue metal rim).

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About the Author

Wayne Schulz
Wayne is a diehard Android user and consultant specializing in Sage 100 ERP Accounting Software. He lives in Glastonbury CT with his two children. When not helping them with their homework or pushing the latest school fundraiser off on his co-workers, he is active hiking and investigating all manner of technology.

7 Comments on "New York City Automatic Toilet: $ 110,000 for a Wet Seat?"

  1. For $110K they couldn’t include some kind of hot air drying system, similar to what they use at a carwash? 😛

  2. Wow, nasty. Most of the other models I’ve seen of this sort of thing use a drying agent so it doesn’t remain wet.

  3. Joel Mclaughlin | March 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm |

    I tell ya, I just got to love Wayne’s sense of humor! 😀

    A wet, cold seat. Just the place I want to go. At least men can stand for one of ours! 😉

  4. Doug Goldring | March 16, 2008 at 6:52 pm |

    I’m sorry, guys, but all I can think of is who doesn’t want to see a video of Wayne taking a dump in the middle of the city. I mean, sorry to bring the bathroom humor into this one, but…well y’know. 🙂


  5. We’ve had these in Melbourne for ages, and the biggest problem, drug users go in them to use, go on the nod and get a rather rude awakening when the automatic cleaning cycle goes off. 🙄

  6. Peter, that’s just one of a few “alternative uses” I can imagine for these bathrooms. I can also imagine them being used by people who don’t want to pay for 15 minutes in a hotel room…if you get my drift. 😛

  7. Free ablutions, as well 😀

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