Boston Public Transportation Blues

Having lived in various parts of the Boston Metro area for 24 years, I have experienced the local public transportation system from many angles: at different times I have been a regular user of the bus, the “T” (Boston’s nickname for its subway), and the commuter rail – all managed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). I have also experienced public transportation in many cities around the world: I carry active public transportation cards for Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, London and Rome. Given the choice, I would much rather take public transportation than a taxi or car. Sadly, I have found that in some ways, Boston’s public transportation system is uniquely and frustratingly inadequate.

Dealing with Budget Cuts in the Military: Reframing Budgetary Decision-Making


After a decade of fast-growing budgets, military decisions makers are now facing significant budget cuts and must allocate resources accordingly. A number of military officers and senior civilians are confronted with a down budget for the first time as decision makers.  Their mental framework for allocating resources and prioritizing needs is entirely defined by their experience of a growing budget and dramatically fewer constraints than today. As a result, the prevailing decision heuristics (the subconscious cognitive mechanisms, or “mental accounting”, by which humans make decisions) in use today are heuristics that worked in a very different environment and under very different constraints, and are unlikely to perform adequately in the new budget environment particularly during a transition period.


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