Op-ed published in Today, Nov. 22, 2012
By Tom Benner
I moved from Boston to Singapore a few weeks ago, and I can’t help but compare the two places. As someone who is interested in public policy and how it can enhance quality of life, I noticed a few things right away that work on Singapore’s behalf.
In Boston, the much-maligned mass transit system is immortalised by the old folk song Charlie on the MTA, about a man who boarded the subway but didn’t have the nickel to pay the exit fare. So he rode the subway for good, his wife throwing a sandwich through an open railcar window to him each day at the Scollay Square station. He was, as the song goes, “the man who never returned”.
Investing in affordable and efficient mass transit just isn’t as big a priority in Massachusetts – too much competition and political influence from the suburban car crowd who insist on highways that are well paved, well maintained and well patrolled. Continue reading …