Did someone lift the “pay toilet” ban that has been in effect in California since 1973? I still remember the image of then Assembly member March Fong Eu smashing a toilet with a sledge hammer, marking the end of the pay-as-you-go era.

But that era seems to be alive and well and living at the Amtrak station on State Street. There is a huge silver lock on the ladies room door not dissimilar to ones you see around town that are token-friendly. This one, however, is not friendly. It demands .25 to gain admittance and use the facilities.

I asked the clerk at the ticket window if pay toilets are once again legal in our state. His response was, “Take it up with the City Council.”

Out of principal, I waited until the train arrived then used the restroom on board. Free of charge. Unless, of course, you count the $25 I paid for my ticket.


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