You know how sudden bathroom needs on a road trip can make your friends mumble at you and slow your trip to a crawl? Well, the lack of bathrooms for Muni drivers has been doing the same thing.
Never fear! The SFMTA is proposing adding seven new free-standing bathrooms to accommodate drivers at the end of selected routes.
The proposal also needs approval from the Department Public Works and the Arts Commission. Approval and construction will take at least six months, with the new kiosks costing a flush $650,000.
Meanwhile, the transit agency wants to enter into new agreements with more businesses near terminals that have bathrooms and will allow drivers to use them. It currently has 16 contracts like this.
There are a staggering 140 bus line terminals in The City. About one-quarter of those have bathroom facilities, and 14 have temporary portable toilets.
Muni spokesman Paul Rose told SF Public Press that drivers searching for a bathroom can definitely throw a bus off schedule. Lack of bathrooms was the second-most-common reason for Muni delays in April.
Not only is it inconvenient for patrons, but drivers have to take slightly wacky steps to relieve themselves and try to get back into the vehicle on time.
Eric Williams, president of Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, said he often has to tell drivers to find a “reasonable place to use the restroom.”