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Thursday, October 3, 2013

What the Rise of Technology Has to Do With the Decline of Driving | The Atlantic Cities


What the Rise of Technology Has to Do With the Decline of Driving
Flickr/davitydavel
In dozens of small ways, emerging technology has been subtly nudging our behavior – at work, at home, while socializing or traveling – in ways that directly impact how people use transportation.
Teleconferencing has made telework more common. E-commerce has reduced the need to drive to the mall. Real-time arrival apps have made public transit more predictable. Solar-powered stations have helped bike-share expand. WiFi and smart phones have made it possible to get work done on a moving bus, raising the mental cost of driving alone. And social media, for some people, has reduced the need to travel across town to see a friend you might more easily connect with on Facebook.
None of these personal technology trends has really revolutionized American mobility patterns, and for that reason it's easy to overlook their importance in influencing how people get around (people are driving less because of... apps?). But taken together? "They really seem to be more than the sum of their parts," says Phineas Baxandall with the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

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