AirPnP App Is Is Like AirBnB, but for Toilets

toilet on sidewalk photo.
CC BY 2.0. ElvertBarnes

A different kind of Product Service System

AirPnP is a new app that launched for the Mardis Gras celebrations in New Orleans. While AirBnB allows people to rent out lodging, from the smallest room to the biggest Irish castle, AirPnP has a more modest, though not less useful, ambition: It allows people to rent out their toilet to members of the public that are nearby and need it. It's a "legal alternative" to urinating in public. Users of the service can even rate their "pee experience", leaving ratings like they would on eBay or Amazon...

"Would pee again. A+++"

Toilet renters even try their best to advertise their location. One example claims a "porcelain paradise".


TDD/Promo image

The genesis of the idea came from Mardi Gras itself:

The founders said the site was inspired by the yearly trouble the founders had when attending New Orleans's Mardi Gras festival, which has been running since 1837.
"During the Mardi Gras they routinely experienced the pain point of having no place to legally urinate," the Airpnp "About us" page explains.
"This problem is often solved by using what is known as a 'rogue pee'.
"If caught the person faces a weekend in Orleans Parish Prison. Yet this stiff penalty doesn't stop thousands upon thousands of 'rogue pees'. This clearly demonstrates the demand for a legal alternative." (source)

I think it's a great idea, and shows the potential of creating new categories of product service systems (you don't have to buy something, just rent it out briefly when you need it -- like with car-sharing or tool rental) that are now possible with smart mobile devices that are always connected to the internet and have GPSes and mapping systems. You can now find what you need, when you need it, close to where you are.

Restroom sign

PD/Public Domain

Via AirPnP, BBC