The things that work: A Boston-Singapore comparison

Op-ed published in Today, Nov. 22, 2012

Coming from a Boston native, the bus and rail system here is a pleasure to use, very reasonably priced; any inconveniences and breakdowns cannot compare to those in Boston. TODAY FILE PHOTO
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd

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 …

2 responses to “The things that work: A Boston-Singapore comparison

  1. Good to meet last night. Really enjoyed a quick tour around your pages here, especially the piece on President Obama and Myanmar which I found thought provoking. Also took quick trip onto trishacraig blog which also a good read particularly the piece on Harvard entry.

    Best wishes,

    Terry Wilson

  2. Thanks, Terry. Can you send me your email address to – Tom

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