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Productivity, Commuting, and Cincinnati Metro

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.comWhy would I ride the bus? Why would anyone with a working automobile choose to ride the bus for that matter. The automobile offers freedom, flexibility, and autonomy – not to mention music, news, heat, and comfort. Public transit authorities have tried “save the air” as a marketing message, but that is too big a problem to sufficiently motivate most of us. It is just too tough to see an immediate impact – which is necessary to get people to change their habits. The “save money” approach has been tried too, but even gas prices over $3.00 have not been sufficient to make the save money argument very effective. The hit at the gas pump just does not resonate as a reason to give up driving. What makes this really interesting is that if you ask people what they think about the morning drive through traffic, most will say it is awful. Still we are creatures of habit. So what would be sufficient motivation for irresponsible, gas guzzling, suburbanites like me to hop on a bus? Well, Cincinnati Metro may have the answer to that question – Time. Specifically Cincinnati Metro is experimenting with adding wireless internet to buses. What that means is that I could use that new found time to get things done. What that means is that although I might add 10 to 15 minutes to my door to door time, I can recoup double or triple that in productive time. This could be a great opportunity to check email, read the news, and get prepared to deal with the real “to-do’s” that the day presents as soon as I walk through the door of the office. I am a little reluctant to sacrifice the autonomy of having my car parked a few hundred yards from the office in exchange for this extra productive time, but none the less I am very intrigued by the idea of having that extra time to focus on something that is not driving. Time is indeed the most precious commodity we have – and it is growing ever more scarce. It might be nice to give up the dance of brake pedal and gas pedal that is driven by the brake lights in my windshield for the beauty of my MacBook. It would definitely be nice to eliminate some of the work that pervades into home life by doing it on the way home in the evening. I can’t say for sure that this will work. Heck, I am not even sure if I have been sufficiently convinced yet. I do know that this idea got my attention and now at the very least I am seriously thinking about riding the bus. The fact that public transit got my attention should indicate that Cincinnati Metro is on to something. If they could put a mobile Starbucks on that bus, it would be a done deal.

As an aside, riding the bus would have the added benefit of keeping me from having to stare at those ghastly ads for the “Bodies” exhibit, which adorn the back of the Metro buses I am stuck behind every day. Regardless of the value of the exhibit, dead people staring at me down I 75 is an awful way to start the day. They don’t have those pictures on the inside of the bus do they?

Cincinnati Metro to debut wi-fi on Kings Island bus – Business Courier of Cincinnati: