Monday, June 15, 2009

Thirsty? Don’t Ride The Bus!


The posters hanging in the CCPT buses state I can’t drink any water. In fact, I have to throw away any open liquid containers before boarding the bus.

CCPT stands for Clinton County PUBLIC Transportation. Public means human beings. And on a hot day – especially when the AC ain’t working – human beings dehydrate and need water. Ask your doctor.

Also, throwing away liquid containers is wasting good food. And since there are no recycling bins at any of the bus stops, this policy ain’t green.

The new policy wants riders to snitch on any bus driver seen breaking the no drinking rule. Just call the CCPT office. And while you’re at it, call Homeland Security to be really safe.

I contacted the Clinton County Planning Office, the bureaucratic entity responsible for dreaming up such pragmatic rules. I emailed, mentioning that I had a medical condition that required me to drink water (the condition is known as getting thirsty) and whether I should get a note from my doctor.

A Ms. Maggie Barie, CCPT Administrator, responded via email today:

“…we do not permit people to drink liquids of any kind while riding our busses. If indeed this is something that needs to be done for a medical reason, then you must fill out and be approved for paratransit services. Typically we have people fill these out in order to become qualified for the service due to a disability that prevents them from accessing the fixed route system. However, in this regard, we need to use the forms in order to verify your medical condition needs and how the bus system can be adapted to suite them. There are two forms, one that you fill out and the other that your doctor fills out. If you send me your mailing address, than I can send you the appropriate forms. You may also call me if you would like to discuss this further at 565-4713.”

Great. I’m just thirsty but I have to prove it’s a disability to ride a special bus.

So why is this Nazi anal-retentive policy in place? To quote the poster: “IT IS OUR GOAL TO KEEP OUR BUSES LOOKING CLEAN AND NEW.”

Guess what? Things get dirty after a while. They even get dented and dinged and then wear out. If you want to keep your buses in pristine shape, then park them in a museum.


Chris Brewster said...

So basically every person riding a bus must be inconvenienced simply because the driver doesn't want to pick up a couple of water bottles at the end of his shift

Luke T. Bush said...


Thanks for your comment.

The problem isn't because of the bus driver. The CCPT Administrator doesn't want ANYONE drinking on a bus to keep it looking spanking brand new. Maybe the drivers and riders should also wear rubber gloves so that their germ-laden, greasy hands don't directly touch anything.

Besides, I didn't know water stained that much.


TourPro said...

All passengers need to be hermetically sealed before boarding.

Now, if we could put "Clean and Pure" as a goal for the streets of Plattsburgh....

northgs_73 said...

I'm a former denizen of the 'Burgh, now resident in NYC, and based on what I see on the buses down here, it's human nature for people to be filthy dirty pigs. They'll eat and drink regardless of the rules, and throw their trash on the floor when they're done. Water and water bottles are the least of it - do you want to step, or better yet, not be able to sit down because of a sticky wet mess because some fool gave their 3-year-old a Slurpee and Cheetos on the bus? Or because some teenager was horsing around with an open soda bottle in his hand?

So the philosophical question for the bureaucrats becomes, do you post rules, or do you just admit defeat from the start and not post the rules?

Also, while it might be nice to clean the bus at the end of every shift, reality is, buses probably only get "deep cleaned" (mopped, seats cleaned) every couple of months.

Luke T. Bush said...


Plattsburgh and NYC are two different animals. The Burgh ain't as dirty as the city (yet).

I've used the local public bus for years and I'm never encountered any sticky seats or troublesome trash. If someone does make a mess, then they should clean it up or if they don't comply or are repeat offenders, then be banned from the bus. That's a reasonable rule.

It's unreasonable rules I can't abide.


SAW said...

How about a Camelbak hydration bladder?

Luke T. Bush said...

Sorry, no camels or other animals allowed on the bus unless assisting the visually impaired.