City testing portable, free public restroom downtown

The City of Austin installed a portable public restroom to test locations for a potential permanent restroom (KXAN Photo/Alyssa Goard)
The City of Austin installed a portable public restroom to test locations for a potential permanent restroom (KXAN Photo/Alyssa Goard)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — When you’ve got to go, there’s a new place you can go downtown. The City of Austin installed a temporary, free bathroom downtown on Thursday, as part of a pilot project.

The bathroom is near Interstate 35 and 6th Street, on probationary status for two days, with a plan to assess if it should stay there after that.

The City Council had staff study the feasibility of having a permanent, free downtown restroom in June 2016. Staff worked with the community to find five locations to test the portable unit, aiming to keep it in each place for about a month.

It will be open 24 hours a day for the first week, but could close between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. based on demand.

The Downtown Austin alliance has people monitoring the facility, and they will clean and restock it. If someone is inside for longer than 10 minutes, APD will come check on them.

The transportation fund and the hotel occupancy tax are funding the project.

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