Thursday, August 6, 2015
The Guardian has a fascinating story (here) on Boris Johnson (mayor of London) and the politics of bus design in that city. And by politics of bus design I don’t mean esoteric infighting among consultants, vendors, bureaucrats, and engineers over issues that only transportation wonks care about. I mean real politics: politicians arguing over issues in an effort to win elections. Boris Johnson, as the story relates, got heavily involved in advocating a particular bus design (the New Routemaster, or “Boris Bus”) in his last election campaign.
I’m not really in a position to argue the pros and cons of the Boris Bus. My main reaction to this story is to marvel and envy a situation in which local politicians feel they need to get deeply involved in public transportation issues to connect with the electorate. Oh, and the New Routemaster really is pretty cool looking (my photo from April).