Kovan Mall Charges S$0.20 To Use 1st-Floor Toilet, Facilities Upstairs Are Still Free

Heartland Mall In Kovan Charges S$0.20 For 1st-Floor Toilet Due To Congestion During Peak Hours

When it’s “high tide” and you need a public toilet urgently, nothing is more frustrating than having to search for coins to use the facilities.

While you might think this happens only at hawker centres and older malls, one mall in Kovan charges S$0.20 to use its toilet.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

However, this only applies to the toilet on the first floor while those upstairs are free.

Why is this so? Read on to find out.

Kovan mall started toilet charges 4 months ago

The charge started being levied about four months at Heartland Mall in Kovan, reported Shin Min Daily News.

The mall located above Kovan MRT has three levels of shops with no basement.

Source: Google Maps

Ostensibly, the toilet on level 1 of the mall would be the most convenient to use, but a notice posted outside was observed.

Notice outside Kovan mall toilet details charges

It said that all users to the level 1 toilet will be charged S$0.20 per entry “with immediate effect”.

However, it also helpfully informs visitors that they may use the toilets on levels 2 and 3 for free.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

There’s a table outside the toilet for users to put their coins and a nice cleaning auntie there reminding people that they can head upstairs to use the toilets for free.

Explaining the reason for the charge, the notice says it’s necessary to “minimise overcrowding and defray rising maintenance cost”.

People from next-door hawker centre would use mall toilet

Apparently, the move was made as many people from the next-door Kovan 209 Market and Food Centre would come to Heartland Mall to use the first-floor toilet.

Source: Google Maps

A worker at the mall told Shin Min that during peak hours, Heartland Mall’s first-floor toilet would be so crowded that queues would form.

Since the charge was implemented a few months ago, the situation has improved, she added.

Another F&B worker pointed out that the hawker centre toilet charges S$0.10 for usage.

Thus, many people used to head to the mall toilet to avoid paying that charge.

Congestion transferred to toilets upstairs: Staff

However, not everybody is happy about the new charge.

Some workers in the mall have said that it alleviates the congestion in the level 1 toilet but transfers it to the toilets upstairs.

One female employee said there now can be about 10 people queueing up for the female toilet on the second floor during weekends.

The second-floor toilet isn’t that big, she noted, and it’s a bit inconvenient to go upstairs or downstairs to use the toilet when it’s crowded.

Source: Google Maps

A member of the public, 35-year-old Huang Zhengwei, pointed out that there’s no male toilet on the second floor.

Thus, guys who don’t want to pay are forced to use the gents on the third floor.

If it’s urgent, he will just have to pay up to use the first-floor toilet.

However, it may take some time for him to open his bag and look for coins, so he praised the kindly toilet auntie for letting him use the toilet first and pay later.

S$0.20 charge too expensive: Stallholder

A man named only as Mr Lin, who operates a drinks stall at the hawker centre, felt that S$0.20 was too expensive to pay for the mall toilet.

The 60-year-old said he used to use the mall toilet as it was cleaner, but now uses the hawker centre toilet instead.

Not only is the hawker centre toilet S$0.10 cheaper, but it’s free for stallholders, he added.

Similarly, a mall employee said they don’t have to pay to use the first-floor toilet.

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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News on Facebook.

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