The M.T.A. Versus Bottled Water

The Metropolitan Transport Authority may have lost the battle for congestion pricing, but it’s still determined to do its bit to fight climate change, as Elliot Sander, its executive director, explained to a conference earlier today.

At the conference, “Oil and Water: Adapting to Scarcity,” organized by the Regional Plan Association and attended by various transportation policy experts and politicians, Sander announced that the M.T.A. “will move immediately to begin phasing out bottled water from our facilities.” Except, he added, “at facilities where we have no choice.”

Sander, who wasn’t among the speakers listed on the program, then invited the conference to join him in a toast. “New York City tap water is the finest tap water in the world and the beverage of choice for the MTA,” he said. About twenty people stood up out of a crowd of 650, then they realized that no one else was standing and sat down again.

Later on, Governor David Paterson, also a surprise guest at the conference, commended the MTA’s new policy. Paterson had dropped in to have a meeting with Nancy Pelosi, who was the keynote speaker, but he was asked by the organizers to give an off-the-cuff speech before it finished up. “Everything that has happened to me in the last month has been a surprise,” he told the conference.