Eliezer Francois wants “No Food/Drinks” in our buses

Featuring in a newspaper edition of today, Eliézer François, a former minister is complaining about the presence of cockroaches (Cancrelats) in buses owned by Triolet Bus Service, the company serving most destinations in the Pamplemousses district and also, in the Pointe aux Sables region.

I won’t come into much details about what he said but he insists that bus users should be discouraged to drink or eat in buses, as it is already the case in Singapore and Australia (Can someone please confirm if it is forbidden by law or it is only discouraged to do so?). In only a few days interval, here goes the 2nd politician who is comparing Mauritius to other countries. According to him, “No Food/No Eating” signs should be introduced in the buses, just as the law forbids Smoking in the same buses.

Now, I will ask you a question (and to him too, if he happens to read blogs) :

Did you ever come across some uneducated/careless people who still smoke in buses?

Being someone who uses the public transport only a few times a year, I can say that there are still a bunch of monkeys who can’t prevent themselves from burning their cigarette and release their nicotine while sitting at the back of buses.

Practically no one will dare to ask those people to throw away their cigarettes in fear of getting sworn at or even beaten down. And I know a lot of bus drivers and receivers who won’t risk their lives too. Unfortunately, we are living in a society where sometimes its better to keep your mouth shut instead of trying to fight for your rights.

Yashvin, pages of my life

While comparing Mauritius to other developed countries, he forgot to take the following points into consideration :

  • Most of our buses are in bad conditions including very poor ventilation. (Read more)
  • We rarely have a few covered bus shelters
  • People living away from towns often need to wait up to 30-60mins to get a bus, and a seat.

In my opinion, instead of trying to introduce new laws/restrictions, the authorities should ensure that existing laws are enforced and respected by all. And I am ashamed that he was once at the head of the government

To start with, do all of the buses have a bin? Did we ever have campaigns regarding the importance to keep our public transport clean? Did he ever smell the filthy air in our bus stations? So, where does he expect people to eat their food if they don’t do it in the bus? These are a few questions that he should ask himself before trying to impose things.

That’s my opinion and now I would like to hear from you.

Update [7 April 2011]

Mishna sent me some proofs regarding the “No food/drinks” applicable in Australia. Click on the image below to enlarge.


32 thoughts on “Eliezer Francois wants “No Food/Drinks” in our buses

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  1. dans morice ena travailler boukou ki servi bus ..pren exemple 1 macon meme li p reinter 1 journer letan ine tard li bisin retourner dan bus astere ou pou al dir li non pas manzer nuvo la loi in passer

    zot bisin essaye fer plis zeffor pou eradier pauvreter o lieu perdi letemps lor kitsoz inutile


    1. zoli kozer sa mo kamuade mo dakor ek toi,aulieu sa bane boufon la pe grater pe senti pe geter ki loder ena la dans ,ferme imper aide dimoune mizere dans komeraz la ici nek ban eki ena kasse ki vivre bien pays la ine vine pou ban eetranger mo kamuade .


  2. I hOnestly think it is a really gOod idea to ban fOod and drinks on public transport … as fOr confirming .. Yes by law in Australia.. no food or drinks is allowed on any form of public transport which here we are referring to trains and buses. Drivers will not allow you if you happen to have an open can of coke or sth. theyll either ask you to get rid of it or get the next bus time u finish your drink :p lOl … yOu are allowed bottled water n tolerant to soft drinks as well 😉 …oh btw on this note …let alone bus and trains .. no food n drinks allowed in cab as well 😉


  3. Thanks @Mishy for the details. So, in that case, he wants to ban food and drinks from the buses, as he referred to Australia.

    But one thing for sure, please correct me if I am wrong, the bus service (and associated infrastructure) in Australia is a lot much better, isnt it?


  4. Yes definately … to be honest we cant compare any of it to what we have in mru and here … its more comfy and all … plus we dont pay extra to board buses or trains with ac unlike in mru :p … all of em are with a/c adn i think in winter got heater 😉 … and im not too sure if you know but in here there is no bus conductor :p … we say hi hello and get tix from the drivers itself.. all buses are equipped with camera … its accessible to disable people who on wheels or parents with prams 🙂 …

    here we go one of the buses here 😉


    1. arette compare australie ek nu ile maurice kamuade asser ek sa flkatter meme ,rapel tone nee ici maurice ine aide toi pou to ale dans kangooroo land,still pou moi mo pa strouve narien ki extra ,nu pays nu pays arette compare nous ,ena buku pays dans lafrik ,ki nous nous melliere veut dire ki mauricien li pas ene nimporte,ce pour s aki to trouve tous sorte kaliter etranger pe vine vivre dans maurice ,zot pas alle instal zot nul part mais maurice pose toi la question,nu pays nu kiltire nu bizein etrre fier.


  5. i confirm this is the case as well in india (in the metro), in china (bus and metro) and in dubai, in the buses, cabs and metro.

    i have also seen some airlines which discourage you to carry food or drinks in the cabin.

    but you are right, we need lots of improvement in our bus service, however, we need to say, compared to the african countries i’ve been, our buses are 5-star. now another this is the service, whilst in many african countries you get vans (mercedes ones, oh and in Guinea-Bissau, all taxi are Mercedes, old C series, yet they are Mercedes!) but at a very regular basis. maybe we should learn from them and adapt, rather than having a 60 seater bus every 30 mins, or longer, y not have a 20-25 seater mercedes type vans, every 10 mins or less?

    then only we can consider the rest. but i fully agree with the no food no drink policy. and i believe it should be implemented soon, and all buses be disinfected.


  6. I totally agree with what you said @Sundeep. Authorities should ensure that buses are maintained in good conditions. We already heard about someone getting killed when part of a bus came crashing over his car.

    I am not against prohibiting food/drinks in buses, but before reaching that level, we should put the improvement of our public transport system as the top level priority.

    Thanks for your view Sundeep.


  7. Very nice subject…

    I agree with you Yashvin, before introducing new laws, the old ones should be revised…

    However, to stop eating in the bus is gonna prove difficult for some…example when I was a student, after school you rush to tuition and after that you hurry to grab a bus. Some people have to wait hours before they get another bus 😦 Now, you grab a ‘dholl-puri’ on the way to fill your stomach before reaching home….

    Now imagine some workers who have to travel like 1 hour back home after work…

    You can’t expect everyone to go to the ‘snack’ or resto nearby for a quick bite before getting a bus….

    I seriously believe we could allow people to eat n drink, BUT making sure they don’t litter the place…

    I used to keep all my ‘dholl-puri’ plastics and papers and used tissue in my bag after use..then put them in a bin when I got down or even at home….


  8. Then this would relate directly to the mauritian eating habits.

    most of the food we would have in the buses would be bread, or dalpuri, food we shouldnt be having at this hour.

    maybe a review of the mauritian eating habit, at a time when we are getting world record % of people with diabetes and cholesterol problems


  9. In Mauritius Public buses are in very bad states. Also, laws on smoking are often violated. That’s a fact
    However a bad thing cannot be use as reason for another one.

    I won’t do a parallel with other countries because it is just not necessary to rest my case.

    Eating food in public buses or public waiting areas is just plain wrong. Obviously I am not talking about quick transit places such as the road or food-courts & restaurants which are meant for that.

    Some places are just not meant for meals to be eaten. It’s not sanitary. Some food smells and make the whole place stinks. Some people also make horrible noises while eating. Eating in public waiting areas and public transport is very disrespectful to other people around you. I did not pay my share of the transport to feel uncomfortable. Mind you, other people you are sharing the public transport could be hungry too. I would personally feel very uncomfortable eating next to someone who’s hungry too or is looking at my food with either envy or disgust

    A chocolate bar is one thing. But an actual meal? A line must be drawn at anything that may require cutlery and which doesn’t fit in your pocket or purse (for example: chicken wings, a burger, chicken wings, etc..)

    When the authorities take a good decision, let’s not disregard it just because they could have done much more. That’s bad logic!



  10. You guys been saying how things are in other countries. Well its all relative. Considering the states of some of our buses as well as the services offered, I think that this is a very bad idea.

    Our Mauritian habits and culture being unique, very often when we try to follow some other country’s ‘blueprint’ in some projects, we fail miserably. To apply same formula anywhere, variables need to be constant. Here they are not.
    – Are buses in Australia and Singapore over 20-25yrs old like some buses in Mauritius?
    – Are bus conductors in Australia and Singapore as impolite/blunt/lack manners as in Mauritius?

    If infestation of cockroaches is the issue here, instead of trying to impose brainless measures such as not eating in buses, it would be more logical to think of feasible ways like:-

    – Some kinda law to force bus owners disinfect their buses every few days.
    – Bins situated in buses are situated at the front. Do people use them properly? What if there were bins at the back or other places in the buses?
    – Do bus owners clean their buses thoroughly?

    Eating/drinking in the buses is not the real problem, LITTERING is a real problem. Focus should be on how to stop/dissuade passengers from littering and also keeping buses clean and hence develop a “KEEP CLEAN” culture.

    Instead of trying to better bus services for already stressed out passengers who sit for hours in daily traffic jams, a former minister only sees fit to bring forward ban of eating/drinking in buses.


    1. good point ,the former minister is an idiot sitting at home playing with his smelly old wrikly asset and thinking of ways to get attention,..he is indeed an attention seeker ive met him once at port louis trying to distribute leaflet propaganda against malabrs,i had a go at him as im a mauritian and i say firm on issues which will crush one community or other,some were even arguing about a creole subject at school ,and the goverment gave in,…hence it was a bad idea ,..and now on other topics same former minister is against the creole subject,i wonder if he was asleep when the debate was going on or he was at it scratch and smell,….remember vieux tortue alle repose toi fatra.


  11. Very good points brought forward by @Bernardo. Right in my mind : A guy eating a “dipain salade thon”, while sitting besides you in an over crowded bus, with all windows closed. lol.

    You mentioned something about differentiating between a meal and a chocolate bar. But if there are laws regulating the prohibition of food and drinks, the different kind of food consumables should be clearly defined. @Mishy mentioned that soft drinks and water bottles are allowed in Australia.

    A burger and Chicken wings? Those at KFC are growing smaller day by day 😛

    @din3sh, I second what you said. Bins in buses are nearly impossible to find and inaccessible or unusable.


  12. Hi All

    Yesterday what all I talked about was the infrastructure and the convenience etc and compared all to mru and what we have in Oz, just didnot have time to elaborate on the actual topic of food and drinks on board.

    As some have already has mentioned, people should be educated to on how not to litter and proper arrangements should be made for those eating in buses like a bin or sth.I dont think that will eradicate the problem as people will still overlook these and continue to litter the place. A total ban is really a solution but then when I look at what others have said about how “students and heavy duty workers” are on the move all the time and normally grab a quick bite, hmm I dont know how the authorities could arrange something like a “clean and neat” rest spot so that they can enjoy their snack, but please buses are not meant for munching. The smell of some food are really unbearable. On a personal note for eg the smell of “deep fried” snacks and all make me really think specially if i have to travel in a packed tin with no proper air flow etc. There are people who drop their food on the floor or even on the seat and not having the decency to warn you or even clean it up and some poor soul come and sit on it “ayeee” :p I had a an experience some yrs back when I was in mru for hdays … a lil kid was enjoying his “piksidou” …I happen to sit right next to him …ooops please dont ask how but he busted the whole thing ..splashing all over me .. on my WHITE tee 😦 …so not a very bright idea to roam around like that and when u r on ur way for a meeting or sth… So I guess there are some grounds for banning food there on public transport. They should educate people not just that they should not litter but mainly WHY they should NOT be eating on public transport. Its a respect thing as well just like someone else mention before paying the same fare for the ride and not to be invaded by people’s food smell and food itself :p

    @din3sh –> just quickly to let you know that there aint any conductors on buses in Aus..atleast not in WA. There is only the driver and he is the one u get ur tix from. They are very polite and nice to you all the time. As soon as you get in they will greet you etc 😉 … they always say thank you as you getting off the bus and wish you well 🙂 … there’ve bn time where you get some old grumpy bastards :p lol but that’s very rare. they are all very friendly and approachable 🙂 they will always make sure they assist you to their best of their abilities for directions etc :). And travelling on trains there always Transit Guards to make sure that people aint being silly.

    On that note I think however the law is and wherever or whatever the country is it all comes to the people on how they behave and how the abide by the rules. Please dont think that in Aus, people are perfect, there are some who still do annoying things. For instance , my only incident was when some crack nuts decided that it was funny to tie a used condom on the the handrails which people hold when they standing :p and that was a packed bus on peak ! who did it and how , dunno but they managed !


  13. It’s also forbidden to eat and drink in buses in the UK as well. I am not sure how well it is implemented in London, but it works pretty well where I live. I also agree with the policy.

    As for drivers not being able to do anything, I disagree. Where I live, if you are a trouble-maker or disrespecting the law, the driver can refuse to chuck you out or even refuse to drive. One good thing here is that all buses have CCTV cameras, thus it is fairly easy to prosecute the troublesome ones.

    Now, there is this culture in Mauritius of “let it be instead of risking our lives”. I have to say that a couple of drivers (when I was at school in Mauritius), went beyond the UK drivers I am talking about. I still remember and I still applaud them. A couple of times then, some people refused to stop smoking and even threatened the bus conductors. The drivers drove the bus to the nearest police station and they were arrested. It certainly took everyone longer to get to their destination but as far as I remember, they were all happy.

    Mauritius certainly need better buses, and infrastructure but also these new laws because people have abused constantly of old ones.


  14. @sheemah .. you just got plain lucky :p … tats bout it.. there are signs all over the place about no drinks and food allowed in written as well as symbols 🙂 … plus its either a $50 or $90 fine 😉


  15. Please read page 37 of this document: this is how things should be done. Point final.

    Anything else is just beating around the bush to satisfaction to obscure lobbies:
    ethno-casteist (taxis, ‘transport maléré, bis individyel…), passéiste/rétrograde (bus conductors, gardiens vann lekol ek lezott travail ki voué à disparaitre couma typist ek speakerine), or just plain bad faith.

    ÇA ki appel biss,
    ÇA ki appel planning / enforcement (pas ça-bann gopia/pseudo-check ki vinn declar mari ek sak ti pov diable ki’nn blié so tickett-biss),
    ÇA ki appel transport en general (demann NTA commié taxi/bis ki ena lor nou la-route zordi, la, la, nou guetter enn koutt).

    Tank nou gouvernement cwar dans donne nou low-cost, bein, pas cwar ki nou pou gagne high-quality!
    You pay with peanuts, you get monkeys!


  16. i am in australia,n since nw i have not heard any such law.
    loads of people eats n drinks in buses n trains. z hav such busy life here zat they prefer to save their time. some even apply their make ups in trains,lolz…
    n dont b surprise there are some trains which has dirty seats like those duty bus seats even in mru,even cockroach. though they are air conditioned.
    so if they are going to ban drinks n foods, it wil really make our lifes more dificult.
    rather the authorities should teach people nt to litter,may b by advertising or other means…


  17. Franchement bus TBS badly need some restricted laws.. mo croire bien dimun triolet et dan le nord ki voyage pli souvent ladan, et le tor vin plis lor ban habitant le nord ki gate l’image!! Nearly everyday i came across some tiny cockroaches which lives on leftovers again left by some travllers.. not only cockroaches but vomit ki senti hyper pi :s (my worst xp in tbs bus) :/

    firstly mentallity mauritian ki bisin changer! :@


  18. I agree with most points. It’s all about having bins and clean buses (on the inside and outside). Eating in an overcrowded-closed-windows bus is definitely sort of wrong, but it’s hard not to eat/drink for long distances. Consider the rush just after office to catch the bus from Port Louis – Mahebourg at peak times every day, the ever growing hunger and straining 1.5-2 hours travel in not-so good conditions.


  19. @Tushal:

    A nice pretext to fight the law-breakers 🙂

    I had a nice time until I had my 4-larou (very recently) having verbal clashes with people and controlerr (yeah, they sometimes joined in the smoking “party” at the back, assuming that since I had “strange” face that I SHOULD be a smoker). I managed twice (self-patting myself on the shoulders) to get the driver to stop at a police station and have some warnings distributed to the trouble-makers. Pa bizin dire ou ki pas tou passazé ki ti dakor, enn tas hypocrite la-dans ki declar bel pété péto mais ki couma koz pou prend action zott dégonflé: ayo to pe tarde nou la

    The end word: silence = complicité.

    Si ou sirr ou point, foncé mo dada!

    Else, shut up and suffer in silence that your very silence is actually giving them a confidence that they otherwise would NOT have!


  20. mo pas trouV ki “etat de marche” et “qualite de bus” ena a faire avec sa debat la. personelement mo penC depane ki p manger. for instance mo penC ene bus pas ene place pou mange dholl puri or any food ki kave faire la poussiere zis kan to manzer ou ki senti trop fort. pou pas incomode to voisin quoi. mo penc kuma ene dimoun ti kment lor to fb yash ki c ene facon faire dimoun kmpren ki zot bizin faire un peu attention. et mo demain apres demain meme si la loi pas paC mo trouve possible ki ban compagnies priV interdire manger dan zot bus. boire li un peu exagere par contre.
    et concernant qualite bus, ban ti bus rose hill transport tres bien mo penC li peut etre pena sa systeme pou ki ene dimoun handicape rentrer la mais li tres bas.. donc plus evident pou mete ne dimoune. si mauriciens dakor paye 80-100 roupies pou ene trajet… y not bring better buses? mias moi mo satisfait avec mo Rs10-Rs18 roupies. li just ene bus apres tout.


  21. Comparing the buses to that of Australia or Singapore does seem ridiculous. I do not take the bus regularly but on the occasions I did, I found them to be clean enough and didn’t see any drivers eating but I am holding my breath every time a big black cloud of smoke comes through from the exhaust. I think the pollution caused is worse than cockroach problems.


  22. @Yashvin:
    Alala: pareil dans Singapour!

    Ou envie ki enn dimoune mange Durian a-koté ou dan biss? 🙂
    Personellement, mo trouve Durian MARI top pou manger, mais pas tou dimoune ki content so l’oderr… 🙂

    @sandra in mauritius:
    Yes, fully agree that we can’t compare Australian and Singaporean apples to the (rotten) boite-sardine we have here… But it helps to know what we should expect for such an exhorbitant price we pay for travelling a kilometre. I hear that we pay one of the highest bus fares in the world… Such a pity we have silent sheep as passengers here… Or the three monkeys: see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing.

    About the bus drivers, get on board one of the “Perle de la Savanne” (or any other individual bus) at 18:30, heading to the South. You may be lucky enough to enjoy the sight of bus drivers and conductors busy chasing away a long hard day’s stress with an ice-cold can of beer and/or a cigarette, driving way beyond speed limit, stopping anywhere for alighting passengers and even for a pee…
    At other times of the day, if you have too much time to kill, I strongly recommend either TBS heading from Port Louis to Pointe aux Cannoniers or any bus heading from Rose Hill to Bel Air (suicidal, break-neck speed of ttttttwwwwwwwennnnnnttttttyyyyyyyyy kilometres per hour)…
    Yes, you are missing a lot…

    In fact, I have a theory about why the bloody thing will not change unless I become the ultimate dictator of this piece of land: how can the civil servants sanction the same faulty bus companies that they will crawl back to(in their spare time, as agents) in preparation for organising post-meeting briani parties on the beach?? Same for taxi-marron and van 15 places. And for food hawkers by the road sides.


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