Trashed buses upset OC Transpo rider

From food wrappers to water bottles to newspapers to coffee cups, passengers need to pick up after themselves, says a disgusted OC Transpo rider.

“Drivers — it’s not their issue. The onus is on the passenger. Just because you pay for the system, you don’t make it your own living room,” said Glen Basque of Orléans, a regular on Route 95.

The bus is filthy about half the time, according to Basque.

“It’s horrible,” he said.

Beacon Hill-Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney sits on the transit commission and said he hasn’t heard complaints about garbage.

“Those buses get cleaned nightly, so it’s not like they’re packed to the gills with litter or anything,” said Tierney.

At the same time, “if it is a concern, it’s something we should look into.”

Under transit bylaw 2007-268, littering comes with a $125 fine.

Section 19 (2) (o) states “No person shall, in or upon any transit property … litter or soil or leave refuse of any kind other than in containers provided for such purpose.”

A trash can is near the front door.

Regardless, Basque is tired of seeing buses filled with refuse and wants a campaign encouraging Transpo riders to take their trash with them.

Tierney said he rides Routes 24, 95, and 124, about three times a week.

While he hasn’t noticed problems with litter, he is willing to bring it up with the transit commission, although they have bigger fish to fry.

“When we talk about priority, I think that would rank lower on the (scale),” he said.

Basque said he has been taking the bus for 23 years and “in the earlier years, it wasn’t an issue,” he said.

But now, “even the adults are trashing the place,” with their kids watching, Basque said. “It’s all ages, except the elderly.”

Items left behind are “a hodge-podge of stuff, really,” Basque said. “What’s really surprising is nobody seems to bat an eye.”

One afternoon, Basque said he saw an “old fella” cleaning up newspapers and food, so he jumped in.

“Nobody moved,” said Basque.

Still, he’s glad he helped.

“For me, it was spur of the moment. We got that 95 cleaned up,” he said.

Another rider agrees some of the buses are disgusting.

“I’ve sat in gum and even urine,” she said.

“I’m not even kidding about the urine. It was terrible.”

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/09/23/trashed-buses-upset-oc-transpo-rider

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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