New App May Be Required to Unlock Bathrooms in San Francisco

Businesses have tried many things over the years to keep their bathrooms secure: keys attached to large wooden or plastic items, keypads that require a code you can only get from a receipt, and even just the classic "restrooms are for customers only" sign. But you may start seeing a new type of bathroom door lock being used in San Francisco: a smartphone app.

Good2Go touts itself as "San Francisco's newest must-have app!" that is used to access "modern restrooms" in a variety of locations, such as coffee shops and grocery stores, throughout the city. It also advertises that you can "join the virtual queue" and "get notified when it's your turn."

There are currently only 12 of these locations in San Francisco so far at partners like Peet's Coffee and Whole Foods Market, with a handful more locations coming soon.

But perhaps not everything needs its own app these days.

Juan Buis, a freelance writer from Amsterdam, tweeted a photo of a sign he found which advertised the app, but he points out one problem: it doesn't work for foreigners.

"I'm in San Francisco," he said. "The city where I can't use the restroom as it requires me to sign up for an app with a US phone number."


Aside from this issue, there are also other concerns about the app. What if your phone is dead and you need to use the restroom in a coffee shop? What if you just really have to go, but don't have the time to download and install and set up an account on some new app? Not to mention that bathroom lock techniques like this in public places are often seen as a way to deter homeless people, which forces them to just... go elsewhere.

The sign also says "Unlimited access to all Good2Go locations FREE for a limited time," with the key phrase there being "limited time." Will you soon have to pay to use the bathroom at your local coffee shop?

What do you think about this new app? Is it a good way to introduce a fancy new tech solution for a problem that didn't really exist? Or is it just going to cause more problems than it solves? Let us know in the comments.


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