Sunday, January 31, 2016

Toilet Apartheid: Why not introduce paid toilets?

The Sunday Times carries an expose on railway toilets that are reserved exclusively for tourists. I guess the problem arises from a well-meaning but misguided attempt to make the railway more tourist friendly. 

There is a problem of dirty toilets and the railway probably lacks funds to employ enough people to keep the toilets clean.

The solution would be to introduce a system of paid toilets where the money collected is used to maintain the toilets. The toilets at the rest stops on the Southern Expressway operate in this way and are clean and usable.  Britain has a good system of paid toilets in railway stations.

Some money will need to be invested in upgrading the facilities and then maintaining them. The capital investment to install modern toilets at all railway stations could be beyond the capacity of the railway which lost Rs.11bn in 2014, in which case the upgrade and operation of the toilets could be tendered out to private contractors, who will run and maintain the toilets.

Travellers will enjoy better facilities and there need be no discrimination. Similarly the Government could also consider introducing dining cars on railways, run by the private sector.



sbarrkum said...

All the Main Bus stations have paid toilets (LKR 10).
Many other places too like parks etc.
OK clean compared to a decade or two back.
But mainly squat toilets and urinals.

So maybe charge more say LKR 50 and have super clean commodes.

Jack Point said...

Thanks for that, did not know about paid toilets in bus stations. I think the highway stops charge about Rs,20 for the toilet, Rs.50 sounds like a fairly affordable fee to me.