The Port Authority has installed porta-potties at John F. Kennedy Airport in response to a nearly yearlong campaign by rideshare drivers seeking a place to relieve themselves while waiting on fares.
The e-hail drivers wait in a cellphone lot at JFK for people to request rides, and lacking lavatory options, have long answered the call of nature out in the open.
Drivers told the New York Times that they can't use central cabbie bathroom facilities, nor the bathrooms at nearby gas stations, because moving one's car gives up his spot in the app queue.
Since August 2016, the quasi-union group the Independent Drivers Guild has been discussing the need for a permanent set of bathrooms with the Port Authority, according to the group. A member driver praised the arrival of the porta-potties, a day after the publication of the Times article.
"No workers should have to suffer years without a restroom facility. This step is a testament to the power of drivers coming together with one voice to demand action," said Michele Dottin in a statement. "That said, this is a temporary solution and we will continue to urge the Port Authority to put in place a restroom with running water as soon as possible."
The guild notes that in addition to being hygienic, running water is something Muslims need for ritual washing before prayer. Muslim drivers keep prayer rugs in a plastic bin in the lot so they can pray at the appointed times.
LaGuardia Airport already had porta-potties in its cellphone lot.
The Port Authority did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment about its long-term bathroom plans for the spot at JFK.