I know it seems silly, but is the ipod, among other portable devices, partly responsible for the increase in transit ridership we’ve seen in the country over the last few years? The Overhead Wire thinks the ipod is a great transit equalizer.

Now with the iPod, we can have thousands of songs in a device that is the same size of our wallet, allowing us to listen to whatever we want to, whenever we want to. But while the iPod can be hooked up to the car, it seems to be more useful from a transportation standpoint to walkable transit oriented neighborhoods. When you get out of a car the radio turns off or there is a tape transition, but when you leave a train or bus, the music continues on kind of like a soundtrack to your life.

In my opinion, it’s this soundtrack quality that can give transit a bonus versus the car.

It’s an interesting point to consider. Gasoline prices are certainly another cause of increase transit ridership, but I bet iPods, Nintendo DS, PSPs, and other portable, personal electronics becoming more sophisticated and less expensive have made transit more comfortable for a lot of people. Personally, I have an iPod (mostly news podcasts and not music) and a DS (mostly castlevania and puzzle games). What do you do on transit?

14 Replies to “Is the iPod Responsible for Increase in Transit?”

  1. Books, iPod, or DS. Usually one at a time — I find it easy to get engrossed in my media and miss stops.

  2. Definitely ipod most of the time, also with podcasting, but I listen to music as well. I am not an obnoxious ipod listener I hope. I don’t turn them up too loud, just above background. I find that having my ipod and the transit system we have is better than my car. I do also like to people watch/listen as well, Buschick is right in that people have some interesting conversations. If you were to blog about interesting conversations over heard on transit bet ya at least 20 responses. They get a lot for Buschick too. She has some good ones. I wouldn’t go as far as to say ipod is responsible for increase in transit, but I would say it helps people who normally wouldn’t use transit to do so. I checked out the blog Overhead Wire, it was cool, lots of info. I ended up checking out some of the other sites. Didn’t know my hometown even had a blog on transportation. Now I do. They are still centuries away sadly and the problems they have would be fixed immediately upon implementation. (I am from Boise in case you were wondering) I see the competition between cities developing transit, that was interesting. Hopefully Seattle will pull in the lead. Lots of good info.

  3. Also, I forgot to add (I do try to blog shortly, but transit is something I care about) you should link Overhead wire on the right with Buschick etc.. Just a thought, I can always use my favorites tab.

  4. I added it the overhead wire.

    I sleep too. Actually I slept this morning. I have a hard time reading on buses because of the motion. Trains are way better for reading.

  5. Awesome! Thanks, now I can quickly transfer. I agree with the reading on the bus, it makes me a bit motion sick. I don’t get that way often, but I think it depends on if I am facing forward or to the side. Of course you can get a driver that is on the gas off the gas on the brake, or something like that. Hence, the ipod.

  6. Thinking about this, I actually made the opposite from my time spent in Europe. More mass transit equals more use of portable electronics of all sorts just due to the fact that you don’t have to have your hands on a wheel at all times and you want some way to pass the time without staring at the person in front of you.

  7. Eating on the bus? Nasty! In SF Iused to catch the 14 which always had highschool kids eating mcdonalds and it was a painful experience.

  8. I tend to agree, I mean have you seen some of the nasty things that happen on the bus? No need to go into detail, but it would behoove one to wait till you get to your destination. Although, quick meal replacement bars wouldn’t be as bad.

  9. Great link NL! Those photos are better than yours daimajin!

    And I third the no-eating on the bus. But Coffee is, of course, okay.

  10. late posted…but I wouldn’t sit in the back of the bus with an iPod anymore after someone tried to rob it from me!!

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