Now that Chicago is thawing out, I’m starting to use public transit more. I live in the city, and am blessed with good service – something most folks can’t say.
Using smartphone apps helps a lot – I now know not just when the bus is SUPPOSED to arrive, but actually how far away it is and when it will ACTUALLY arrive (based on GPS). The El trains have this service now, too. I know my sisters in DC use a similar service.
Wired magazine reports:
An interesting study of commuters in Boston and San Francisco found people are more willing to ride the bus or train when they have tools to manage their commutes effectively. The study asked 18 people to surrender their cars for one week. The participants found that any autonomy lost by handing over their keys could be regained through apps providing real-time information about transit schedules, delays and shops and services along the routes.
When I was a medical intern, I bought my first car – and promptly gained 30 lbs because I wasn’t walking 2 miles round trip to work every day in hilly central Virginia.