Wireless Devices Good for Transit Use?

Over at his Price Tags blog, Gordon Price speculates that bans on driving while texting and calling will encourage people to take transit so they can keep their cell phones active and in-use.

And the Infrastructurist speculates that the iPad will make commuters so productive on transit that they’ll leave their cars behind.

Somehow I don’t think it’s that easy, but we’ll take all the help we can get.

8 responses to “Wireless Devices Good for Transit Use?”

  1. Here’s more of the big questions that would need answering:

    Does transit serve the individuals place of employment, or did the employer purposely locate to an area with no transit service within two miles to discourage people from driving?

    Does transit take commuters to their jobs in a reasonable amount of time and minimal (no) transfers?

    Does the employer allow the employee to use transit to commute to their workplace?

    Does the transit agency provide internet connectivity for these devices?

    Will all other transit riders put up with all the blather and annoyance from more and more cell phone use? Some transit agencies have policies regarding how riders may use a cell phone while on board. (And all agencies prohibit riders from distracting the bus operator.)

  2. While we are linking on the subject, Jarrett at humantransit has his take; in particular, referencing this article on the subject.

    Jason–are you aware of any employers which intentionally place the jobsite AWAY from transit lines in order to discourage their use, or which prohibit the use of transit to reach the office? (I would be surprised if the latter is even legal). Certainly lots of employers are located apart from transit lines; but there are many legit reasons for doing so. I can imagine some old-school bigot hating transit because he’s convinced that only losers use it; but I can’t think of any examples of this–especially at any business of reasonable size.

    Regarding Internet connectivity–the iPad comes in WiFi or 3G versions; only the former would require the transit operator to provide connectivity. Many transit vehicles do (WES does; not sure about anything else in town), but I have no idea how much it would cost to add wifi to MAX or the bus.

  3. Scotty, the closest I’ve seen was an employer who insisted I needed to have my car at the office, even though I drove a company owned truck if I had to go anywhere during the day and lived under 2 miles from the office. He just didn’t want me “stuck” if he had to use the truck, which he never did.

    I guess I could have just left it parked at the office, but the business park required an expensive parking permit to keep a car there overnight.

    So, I wasn’t banned from using transit, just required to have a car with me. The easiest way to do that is to just drive it there.

  4. Isn’t one of the fundamental ideas on rail is too get factories, warehouses, etc to locate on it so that a cheap labor force can get there?

  5. If you generalize “factories and warehouses” to “employers”, and “cheap labor force” to “labor force”, then yes. :)

    After all, the CHEAP labor force will be riding behind you, Al. :)

  6. Furthermore, what we are seeing, most of us that have been following transit development in the greater Portland area, is the actuality of social engineering come into fruition.

    Transit dependent people are being engineered (forced) into moving into areas that are located on light rail lines.

    They are accomplishing this by building rail and dismantling bus service.

    They are very good here at disguising the truth of what is actually happening to our transit system, but not all of us are asleep.

    I don’t like it, not a damn thing I or anybody else can do about it.

  7. I forgot to add that this isnt just a Portland thing, this is a countrywide movement.

    It’s social engineering, the folks that bring this up on this blog are completely correct.

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