Uber and Lyft drivers working late at night and into the early hours of the morning are as familiar with this problem as anyone else in DC: when you need to go, it depends on who and what you know. There is hardly any 24/7 public restroom access in Washington. And when nature calls after bars close for last call, if you don’t know of a nearby gas station or late-night diner, you might be finding yourself holding it for an uncomfortably long period of time. If the owner isn’t particularly friendly, you might find yourself buying something you don’t even want just to relieve yourself.
It doesn’t have to be like this, and fortunately the DC City Council is on the cusp of agreeing. Council members will soon be considering legislation that would improve public restroom access in the nation’s capital. The bill would take the first step toward identifying viable locations for 10 stand-alone public restrooms in DC. It would also offer incentives to create a network of private businesses that open their bathrooms to the public during hours of operation.
There is a simple vision behind the legislation, which has been championed by the People for Fairness Coalition of DC (PFFC): nobody in Washington DC should have to walk more than 10 minutes in commercial areas to safely access a public restroom. We at Drive United back this one hundred percent, and we’re asking rideshare drivers and those who want to support them to sign our petition. Tell the City Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser that we can’t hold it any longer.