According to reports in the Ottawa Sun, hygiene of the city's buses has been identified as an issue to be addressed by OC Transpo brass, and a potential food ban has been mulled to go over the issue. Alain Mercier, general manager of the transit utility, suggested that a possible ban would bring Ottawa in line with most other cities (who, Mercier suggested, have similar bans) and would also reduce costs surrounding the maintenance and cleaning of the fleet.
Would a food and drink ban be practical, though? For some commuters, their ride is a long one; bus users taking a 40-minute ride would not likely appreciate restrictions on their morning coffee or snack on the bus. Also, if the onus would fall on bus operators to uphold the ban, we're simply giving these individuals another possible distraction.
In my experience, though, Ottawa buses have a much greater problem than food and drink wrappers on buses: Discarded dailies, such as Metro and 24 Hours, are often left behind on a seat, and then find their way to the ground of the bus. If OC Transpo wants to get the buses really cleaned up, they'll have to find some way to prevent these newspapers being left behind.