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Uncle Floyd Fan

Commodes on Express Buses - Could they work in NYC?

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Not certain if this should be in a random thread or not, so I'm taking a chance and putting this into a new topic.

It seems that other forms of longer-distance mass transit have commodes, why not express buses in NYC? Perhaps the MTA should try to order buses with commodes within a few years (perhaps in another 2 years or so).

I see it this way....the LIRR and Metro North have commodes on their trains and we don't think twice about it. Academy buses in NJ (I think Suburban Transit, too) used to have commodes on several buses, but they did away with them for one reason or another when they acquired a bunch of MCI's circa 2001/2002. Trans-Bridge and Martz also have commodes. The MTA express buses should, too. Some trips easily exceed the 100 minute mark (Peter Pan from PABT to Philly is at that mark, and they a commode). Many MTA express buses in SI are nick-named Gilligan rides (it's a 3 hour tour....a 3 hour tour).

Benefits to having commodes on MTA Express Buses....

- somewhere to 'go' when one needs it during a long ride

- if someone's feeling 'sick' after 'a nite on the town', they have a place to relieve themselves with a bit of privacy.

Negative issues related to having commodes....

- additional cost and maintenance associated with the order of and related upkeep of buses with commodes (each depot would need new resources for a proper lav dump)

- ADA accessibility issues? 

- would NY'ers be mature about the use of the commodes of the express bus?

- proper maintenance would be needed to control any odors related to having such a facility on a bus

One idea to help the process along...installing a pay-lock on the bus and charge 50 cents a pop to offset the cost of maintaining such a facility. Yeah, pay toilets are illegal in NYS, but the state could exempt themselves from this law.

Thoughts and comments on this topic are welcome.

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While I think having bathrooms on express buses wouldn’t be such a bad idea, I don’t think the MTA would necessarily do it. The MTA is all about saving money nowadays so having bathrooms on buses will cost them additional on maintenance. They probably will never do it unless they are pressed to do so by the state for example. The MTA is one of those agencies that is only going to provide what they have to in order to maintain general satisfaction and keep their cost down. Unless masses of people complain to the point where it’s lands on the news and the gains the attention of politicians and such, they will not prioritize it. 
The MTA is so focused on cutting cost down, they don’t care about providing services that will be beneficial to all. That’s why the MTA is taking their sweet time making subway stations accessible, they are fine with removing tons of bus stops even if it means the elderly have to walk further distances. They are fine with routes that bunch up and often gap out in service.  The MTA simply doesn’t look for ways to improve the system and make it better for everyone, they just run it and hope that they can get away with their bad practices for however long they can.

So yeah I don’t really see them putting toilets on express buses anytime soon. However I don’t see that as a bad thing, and not for the reason of saving money. I think it’s good for sanitary reasons not to have them but it may not be a problem if the MTA regularly maintained them which I don’t think they will. 

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Posted (edited)

Before I share my thoughts, let me get this straight:

Commode - (In terms of buses) the one room in the back of the bus that contains a toilet (and maybe a sink) 

I personally think its a good idea even though (like you said) requires an upkeep in maintenance. I don't ride express buses often, but it sounds like an investment that the (MTA) should look into, (even if they most likely won't do it)

Edited by LaGuardia Link N Tra

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They take out a couple seats on the buses too IIRC. Of course that doesn’t matter for some routes but some of the SI ones........

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I'd rather have the additional seats than a toilet. At least for the QM runs I use, they are not long enough to justify the loss of seats and increased costs of adding bathrooms. 

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They can't even maintain adequate heating on all these buses during the winter & A/C on all these buses during the summer; never mind how much more unsanitary the buses will end up being...

IDGAF if the lavatory were to be free of use, but I'd be especially god damned if I'm to be subjected to further come out of pocket for it.....

For the waning QoS, they aren't getting a rusty red schilling more out of me...

Nope.

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36 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

They can't even maintain adequate heating on all these buses during the winter & A/C on all these buses during the summer; never mind how much more unsanitary the buses will end up being...

IDGAF if the lavatory were to be free of use, but I'd be especially god damned if I'm to be subjected to further come out of pocket for it.....

For the waning QoS, they aren't getting a rusty red schilling more out of me...

Nope.

Exactly the above. The additional expense that isn't mentioned (which would be millions of dollars) would be installing the disposal facilities at the depots. Now, that *could* be mitigated if the MTA contracted out that type of work -- but with the MTA being the MTA, and NYC being NYC, the unions would have a literal sh*t-fit.

Look at the airlines. Even one of the "Undercover Boss" episodes had the "boss" floored at how his planes were "cleaned" between flights--a quick wander-through picking up trash, doing the odd straightening, broom/clean noticeable messes, but no disinfecting in the cabins and a mere wipe-round in the lavatories. Just recently one of the UK papers (think it was the Daily Mail) had yet another story with the "secrets" from flight attendants, and they said their lavatories were just absolute pigpens after just a few users. And they warned to always wear footwear on planes -- especially because that isn't water on the floor of the lav.

If the MTA still has closed restrooms at the old subway stations which used to have them -- even with the "successes" of Byford's Station Management program -- rolling restrooms surely can't be an idea they'd excel at.

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Interesting points all around. So far, it seems 2 forum members (not including my OP) are not totally against the idea. All of the other comments seem to point towards the MTA failing to build the proper facilities, manage costs related to the procuring of said buses, lav dumps, and for that matter providing proper levels of service (ie - we don't want to lose seats for the sake of having a smelly water closet in the rear).

As for the sanitary nature of public commodes at large, I see the point in NOT bringing in new troubles to a bus operator that has difficulty maintaining proper levels of service as it is (ie - trips not filled and poor climate control on the buses).

I still find it interesting how other transit operators CAN maintain their commodes w/o much negative fanfare.

Semi-rhetorical question - Could the MTA ever learn from its mistakes and grow from there, or should they focus on the basics?

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Posted (edited)

No need for bathrooms... The (MTA) can barely maintain the express buses as it is. All of my meetings and conference calls somehow revolve around them being “broke”, and not being able to add more costs. When we were discussing getting our monthly express buses back during yesterday’s conference call, student Metrocards came up about how they could do what they did because there wasn’t any real added cost. Long story short, they’re trying to do “cost neutral” things. Lord knows where this agency will be if congestion pricing isn’t sorted out. Always crying broke... <_<

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Posted (edited)

The cost neutral shit is a façade..... They're aiming to cut costs by any means necessary... That undoubtedly doesn't include the added amenity of passengers during their (steadily exacerbating, to add insult to injury) commute being able to take a leak, drop a deuce, or induce emesis.... Forget it.

As for the MTA learning from its mistakes... Hard to answer that question - especially when I can't come to grips with categorizing any of what we experience (some more than others) from this agency as simple blunders....

As the saying goes, you can't fix stupid.

Edited by B35 via Church

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On 6/29/2019 at 8:56 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

No need for bathrooms... The (MTA) can barely maintain the express buses as it is.

Understood. Not a "need" in the larger scheme of things, hence my reason for a separate topic as opposed to an additional comment on the Express Bus Advocacy board. I proposed the idea to see how others (commuters and employees alike) felt about the issue. I'm glad you've started the advocacy group and have spoken up on the behalf of express bus riders (thanks!).

3 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

The cost neutral shit is a façade.....

Freudian slip?

3 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

being able to take a leak, drop a deuce, or induce emesis....

From slang to medical terminology....I like it!

In all serious, I'll double down on one benefit which hasn't been mentioned, yet - many express buses serve 'transit deserts'...... wouldn't it pay to have a toilet on board for the driver's use? Case in point, a late night run on a SIM bus might not afford too many opportunities to find an open business which has a commode available for the driver's use. The on-board commode could be made available to the driver of the said bus, as well as other drivers who happen to be nearby (perhaps those on local late night runs). Just a thought.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Freudian slip?

Nothing covert or subconscious about that snippet,... I'm blatantly saying the cost neutrality nonsense is just that - nonsense..... It isn't their main goal as far as fiscal responsibility is concerned... It's a convenient little excuse.... Always has been AFAIC.

20 minutes ago, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

From slang to medical terminology....I like it!

In all serious, I'll double down on one benefit which hasn't been mentioned, yet - many express buses serve 'transit deserts'...... wouldn't it pay to have a toilet on board for the driver's use? Case in point, a late night run on a SIM bus might not afford too many opportunities to find an open business which has a commode available for the driver's use. The on-board commode could be made available to the driver of the said bus, as well as other drivers who happen to be nearby (perhaps those on local late night runs). Just a thought.

Lol.... I don't think anyone here doesn't understand the benefits of a bathroom in & of itself, nor are ignorant of the areas that express buses serve.... What we're basically saying is, in so many words, all things considered, installing bathrooms should not be too high up on the MTA's priority list as far as buses are concerned - especially being incompetent (and inefficient) in so many other areas....

I mean, no one on here's saying/implicating that the very idea of a toilet on a bus should be outlawed, or otherwise conveying that one has no place on a bus whatsoever.....

 

Edited by B35 via Church

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On 7/1/2019 at 10:05 AM, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Understood. Not a "need" in the larger scheme of things, hence my reason for a separate topic as opposed to an additional comment on the Express Bus Advocacy board. I proposed the idea to see how others (commuters and employees alike) felt about the issue. I'm glad you've started the advocacy group and have spoken up on the behalf of express bus riders (thanks!).

Freudian slip?

From slang to medical terminology....I like it!

In all serious, I'll double down on one benefit which hasn't been mentioned, yet - many express buses serve 'transit deserts'...... wouldn't it pay to have a toilet on board for the driver's use? Case in point, a late night run on a SIM bus might not afford too many opportunities to find an open business which has a commode available for the driver's use. The on-board commode could be made available to the driver of the said bus, as well as other drivers who happen to be nearby (perhaps those on local late night runs). Just a thought.

The B/Os seem to know all the 24 hour McDonalds, etc.  Ive been on late night buses where the B/O knew where to pull over for a comfort break

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Are public transportation toilets required to be accessible? Because the LIRR toilets are absolutely massive.

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5 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

Are public transportation toilets required to be accessible? Because the LIRR toilets are absolutely massive.

Probably so. I figure if Trans-Bridge, Martz, and Greyhound are ADA compliant, the MTA could be too if they wish to add commodes (which it not about to happen anytime soon).

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2019 at 2:00 PM, QM1to6Ave said:

The B/Os seem to know all the 24 hour McDonalds, etc.  Ive been on late night buses where the B/O knew where to pull over for a comfort break

Another solution is to place bathrooms at bus terminals without access to a 24/7 bathroom nearby. The layover area at Hylan/Richmond has a porta potty set there.

Edited by Lil 57

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Posted (edited)
On 6/28/2019 at 11:41 AM, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Yeah, pay toilets are illegal in NYS, but the state could exempt themselves from this law.

Madison Square Park would like a word with you.

Or was it Union Square?

Somebody charged me 25¢ for a wee and then cleaned it by flooding the thing with water when I left.

Edited by Deucey

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12 hours ago, Deucey said:

Madison Square Park would like a word with you.

Or was it Union Square?

There's no need for a word on with me....

I believe it is illegal for a private enterprise to have pay toilets. The toilets you speak of were sanction by the City/State on public land.

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On 6/28/2019 at 11:41 AM, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

Not certain if this should be in a random thread or not, so I'm taking a chance and putting this into a new topic.

It seems that other forms of longer-distance mass transit have commodes, why not express buses in NYC? Perhaps the MTA should try to order buses with commodes within a few years (perhaps in another 2 years or so).

I see it this way....the LIRR and Metro North have commodes on their trains and we don't think twice about it. Academy buses in NJ (I think Suburban Transit, too) used to have commodes on several buses, but they did away with them for one reason or another when they acquired a bunch of MCI's circa 2001/2002. Trans-Bridge and Martz also have commodes. The MTA express buses should, too. Some trips easily exceed the 100 minute mark (Peter Pan from PABT to Philly is at that mark, and they a commode). Many MTA express buses in SI are nick-named Gilligan rides (it's a 3 hour tour....a 3 hour tour).

Benefits to having commodes on MTA Express Buses....

- somewhere to 'go' when one needs it during a long ride

- if someone's feeling 'sick' after 'a nite on the town', they have a place to relieve themselves with a bit of privacy.

Negative issues related to having commodes....

- additional cost and maintenance associated with the order of and related upkeep of buses with commodes (each depot would need new resources for a proper lav dump)

- ADA accessibility issues? 

- would NY'ers be mature about the use of the commodes of the express bus?

- proper maintenance would be needed to control any odors related to having such a facility on a bus

One idea to help the process along...installing a pay-lock on the bus and charge 50 cents a pop to offset the cost of maintaining such a facility. Yeah, pay toilets are illegal in NYS, but the state could exempt themselves from this law.

Thoughts and comments on this topic are welcome.

Only buses that have restrooms are Academy SIM23/24 buses.

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On 7/10/2019 at 11:38 AM, FamousNYLover said:

Only buses that have restrooms are Academy SIM23/24 buses.

No they don't.

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The major problem is: someone is going to do something that well, shuts down the bathroom for the trip, especially if it's a drop toilet. The loss in seats is minimal, but that is going to cause major problems. Additionally, for very few are trip times longer than 2 hours. By contrast, New Jersey Transit has some routes nearing 4 hours.

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