Madison Square Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First Flush At Madison Square Park

Photo by Daniel Avila

When you’ve got to go, you’ve just got to go. Now it has become easier for New Yorkers to do their business as an Automatic Public Toilet (APT) was officially unveiled at Madison Square Park on January 10. While Parks has been opening and renovating comfort stations in parks across the city, this APT is in ‘loo’ of a regular comfort station.

Commissioner Benepe joined Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and Cemusa North America CEO Susan Baron to unveil the first of 20 APTs to be installed under the City’s Coordinated Street Furniture Franchise with Cemusa, Inc. The 20-year contract also calls for Cemusa to build and maintain 3,300 new bus shelters, 330 newsstands, 37 Sheltered Bike Parking Structures and provide $1.4 billion in new revenue to New York City.

Like all of the new street furniture, the APTs have a simple, contemporary design, created for the City by Grimshaw Architects, incorporating stainless steel and tempered glass. The APTs clean themselves after each use, and tamper-proof automatic doors that open from the inside will ensure security.

The APTs cost 25 cents to operate, with a time limit of 15 minutes and will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Each APT is climate-controlled and includes a toilet, a wash basin with running warm water, and a mirror. An automated system controls the door and prevents unauthorized entrance, and the APTs are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After 12 minutes of use, an acoustic alarm and red flashing lights go off for three minutes before the door opens. Once a user has exited, the APT doors will close and the 90-second automatic cleaning cycle will begin. During the cleaning cycle the interior surfaces of the APT are cleaned and dried. Once the self-cleaning process is complete, a new user can access the APT.

Since June 2006, Cemusa has installed 1,010 new bus shelters and 39 new newsstands citywide, and the city’s first four Sheltered Bike Parking Structures are now in place in four boroughs. The franchise has already delivered $118,460,000 to the city, and by manufacturing at least half of all franchise structures locally, Cemusa has helped to create more than 150 jobs in the New York City. Cemusa has also provided the City with valuable advertising space on its street furniture in cities around the world, which the City has used to promote itself as a tourism destination.


“Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.”

Robert Orben
(1927 - )

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