Uber Drivers Plead With Airport for a Little Relief

They'd like a port-a-potty at JFK
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2016 3:26 PM CST
Uber Drivers Tired of Peeing in Bottles
Uber drivers say lack of restrooms makes for unhygienic choices.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, FILE)

Add this to the growing list of Uber controversies: drivers peeing into plastic bottles. Vocativ reports that fed-up Uber drivers in New York City are tired of improvising when forced to answer nature's call. A union representing them has begun an online petition calling on JFK International Airport to install a port-a-potty. "It’s a grim situation in the waiting lot," says driver Sohail Rana, who ups the ewww factor with this description: "Half-filled bottles of questionable origin and odor litter the cell phone lot, where the only place to go to the bathroom currently is a section … where there are a few anemic bushes.” Uber drivers are barred from using restrooms for licensed taxi drivers, says Ryan Price, chief of the International Drivers Guild, who claims even pets have access to facilities. "Drivers are being treated worse than dogs."

Seeking out the nearest public loo some two miles away could cost a driver a spot in line, adding to waiting time for a fare. Price said the union is due to discuss the matter with the Port Authority, which operates the airport. The union would like the portable toilet to have running water so drivers can wash their hands and feet (many pray between rides). In the meantime, Uber drivers have taken to online forums to share tips, such as wearing adult diapers, or which bottle is the best to pee in (Gatorade). One man worried on Reddit about being arrested for indecent exposure. Others posted preferred public toilets in various cities. (Walgreens gets high marks.) No stranger to controversy, Uber's recent headlines have included claims employees used customer data to stalk celebrities, and and problems with new self-driving cars. (More Uber stories.)

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