Here’s one New Yorker who gives a s—.
And he wants you to pay to do so, too.
Meet Yezin Al-Qaysi, the 27-year-old whiz who is launching a pay-to-pee app called Looie that will hook up cross-legged Gothamites with available restaurants bathrooms.
To sit on one of Al-Qaysi’s thrones costs a royal price — it’s $25 a month for unlimited evacuating — but he thinks that’s a small price to pay when urine trouble.
“There is a stigma against talking about going to the bathroom, so the lack of public restrooms in New York City goes unaddressed,” said Al-Qaysi. “Looie … can solve this public health issue.”
Al-Qaysi’s app directs subscribers via a map on their smartphone to the nearest participating cafes and restaurants — and a key fob unlocks the door. Looie loos have baby-changing tables and air fresheners, and are cleaned and restocked all day, making them a tad more pleasant than the Port Authority.
The app launches Aug. 1 with three bathrooms in Tribeca. More neighborhoods will be added in the coming weeks, said Al-Qaysi.
With nearly 30,000 public urination tickets issued by the NYPD last year, the lack of convenient restrooms is clearly a problem in the Big Apple. Even some Starbucks locations, the city’s de facto public restroom, have begun to lock the loo. The location on Chambers and West Broadway, for instance, recently got rid of its bathroom entirely.
But just a block away is Mulberry & Vine, one of the first Looie locations. The restaurant gets no money from Looie, but the service cleans its bathroom up to eight times a day.
“My restrooms were clean before but now they are just lovely,” said owner Michelle Gauthier. “And my staff is thrilled to have Looie here.”
Al-Qaysi is not the first person to come up with the idea — one famously satirized on the “Seinfeld” reunion episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” when we learn that George’s iToilet app failed as part of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
Al-Qaysi thinks he’ll succeed — with your dollars and his scents — because New Yorkers will see a Looie subscription as they do an unlimited MetroCard, a necessary expense.
He may need to flush that out a bit, though.
“I don’t think I would do it for $25 a month,” said Chelsea Thoresen, 24, from Manhattan. “Maybe if it was $2.”
Until Looie officially launches, would-be tinklers can pre-subscribe at www.looie.co.
by Justin Rocket Silverman of New York Daily News. see more.