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?