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Free wifi at the airport?

Rich Braun wrote:
> "Ward Vandewege" <ward at> wrote:
>>I've been wondering what incredible moron designed the new fare
>>collection equipment they are installing on the busses. ...but
>>whoever on the MBTA side approved the purchase of these things should
>>be fired

(clearly I should have caught up on my email before sending the last

> Yet knowing this and having been on the front lines of this in a couple of
> areas of technology, I still scratch my head when it comes to MBTA
> procurement.  They seem to go out of their way to buy crappy, overpriced
> technology that no other city has ever used before.

Back when I was an undergrad, I audited a seminar on transportation
policy analysis.  The instructor pointed out that Federal subsidies for
mass transit tend to subsidize capital costs instead of operating costs;
therefore, transit systems have an incentive to "upgrade" their entire
fleet or sink money into overpriced infrastructure improvements, instead
of spending money to make the existing system work better.

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