Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Private enterprise. Private/public cooperation. Public subsidies.




1. Jet Blue staff runs a fine company.   It was a pleasure to fly with this airline.
The staff were as “people centred” and friendly as one could imagine. Boarding the plane and leaving it was made easy.   I am sure that Jet Blue planes give more leg room to each passenger.  The first item of checked baggage is “free”, and there are next to no add-ons. Each passenger has her/his own T.V. screen with twenty or more channels.  Jet Blue offers free snacks and (non-alcoholic) beverages. Jet Blue represents free enterprise at its best.  Would to goodness that other airlines were as savvy.

2. Tampa International Airport is one of the best.  It is laid out so beautifully and simply. Parking is simple and inexpensive ($9 per 24 hours in the economy lot). This airport has clear signage, and very easy access to departure lounges via  automated “trains”.  There are no long walks.  TPA is a superb example of public/private cooperation. It would not exist sans both the public and private dollars which built and maintain it.  Just imagine the “mess” if each airline had to build its own airport.  Only “government” (so maligned by Tea Party and Republican Party ideologues) makes places such as airports possible

3. Public transportation can be superb -  kudos to the MBTA. Certainly the ‘T’ treated me well for two days, and it was incredibly inexpensive. My trips from the airport to the Porter Square ‘T’ station, and from Porter Square to Providence RI (and back) via the Red Line and Commuter Rail were as easy as one could imagine, and far cheaper than if I had rented a car. This was possible because the MBTA is underwritten by tax dollars. I give a big cheer for public (taxpayer) subsidies for public transportation. Those subsidies enable “ordinary folks”  to  get to and from their places of work, and/or to visit their family members and friends.

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