Drinking water, a right?

Recently, I realized just how much power Metro Transit possesses over us lowly travellers. I am a water drinker. As I spend five hours a week on the bus, I bring a bottle of water and have a few sips on my way to classes at Mount St. Vincent University.

On April 14, with my headphones on, I was doing just that when I noticed the driver of the No. 18 bus signalling to me in his rearview mirror. He was making a “no,no,no” gesture. At first, I thought, surely he wasn’t telling me to not drink water, a vital substance? But just in case, I tucked the bottle away. The more I thought about it, however, the more infuriated I became, and I had to ask him to ensure he wasn’t enforcing such lunacy. It turns out, he was. When riding a Metro Transit bus, we mustn’t partake in the foreign rituals of eating and drinking.

When I told him drinking water prevents me from feeling sick on the bus, he told me I needed a doctor’s note to prove that, or I should take Gravol every morning. I felt as if I was back in eighth grade and was being asked to produce a doctor’s note to prove I had a medical reason to go to the washroom more than once a class. Metro Transit’s power over riders is unreasonable. Isn’t it our right to quench our thirst or have a quick snack?

By Elspeth Baird

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