Door to Door: Technology and Your Commute

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The WNYC Culture Department has launched a new series, Door To Door exploring the way we commute. Robert "Buzz" Paaswell, director of the University Transportation Research Center at City College, will guide the discussion throughout the month and help you redesign your commute.

Today: From small things like iphone apps and GPS to big innovations like electronic traffic management systems, new innovations are altering how we get to work. So, how is technology changing your commute? Comment below!


Robert "Buzz" Paaswell

Comments [23]

hjs from 11211

"get in my SUV to drive into work - no matter what the personal cost or cost to the environment"
no surprises there!

Sep. 24 2009 11:19 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I haven't found HopStop reliable. The 1st or 2nd time I tried it, it told me to transfer to a train that I knew was running local that weekend, but HopStop's directions showed it as express, even though the site had a notice claiming it used fully updated service changes.

I haven't used it much since then (at least a year ago), so it may be better now, but I don't know either way.

Sep. 24 2009 11:14 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"

If I was in NYC, I would get out of the bus, subway and commuter rail and get in my SUV to drive into work - no matter what the personal cost or cost to the environment. With the danger of swine flu as high as the constantly crying crisis cabal in the Obama admin - I would think that "mass transit equals death!" Lol. PS - with so many people unemployed since Obama took office rush hour driving commutes are a pleasure and we’re getting better mileage - “heck of a job - Bama!” (Remember the anointed one promised he would cap unemployment at 8% - now it’s pushing 10% in the official LIES while the real rate is 15 - 16%.) Double LOL!

Sep. 24 2009 11:14 AM
hjs from 11211

the guest wanted to go to south ferry and ended up in bkln. well there's never a going to be a cure for stupid. no mystery just get on the 1 train, the 2/3 go to bkln, learn how to read the map! I wish I could take the L train to NJ but it just doesn't go there, but whose fault would it be if I got lost?

Sep. 24 2009 11:14 AM
Edward from NJ

For the caller concerned about not getting service advisory emails, the MTA dropped the weekly emails and replaced them with the more real time alert system at

Sep. 24 2009 11:04 AM
Carola from BROOKLYN

NYC Transit Alerts have _not_ stopped - you have to sign up again on their website, since some sort of update occurred a couple of months ago.

Sep. 24 2009 11:01 AM
PAM from nyc

The real q. is whether such ipod apps are worth the ONE GRAND per year that mobile web access costs!

Sep. 24 2009 10:59 AM
Priya from Brooklyn

I'm a young subway rider (well relatively) and I know what part of the subway to sit in to access the exit upon my exit. It just takes some common sense. Which I fear a lot of these apps might not help some people use.

Sep. 24 2009 10:59 AM
Mark from Washington Heights

Can they make an iphone app that tells you which subway car will be least crowded? :)

Sep. 24 2009 10:58 AM
Andy Roberts from Long Island - Separate email lists for each commuter train (LIRR, Metro North, etc.) line, where commuters warn each other of delays and special circumstances. The lists are "silent" (except for occasional, administrative messages) unless there is a delay or other issue that one's fellow commuters deem worthy of posting.

Sep. 24 2009 10:57 AM
a woman from inwood

The Kindle has made my commute less heavy (as in my bag weight), and is easier to read than my 2x2 inch cell phone screen!

How about an app that tells you where the vomit, or the yelling maniac, or the unbelievably fetid smelly car is? That would be great!

Sep. 24 2009 10:57 AM
Emily from Brooklyn

Anyone else notice that with all these apps on phone and computer, you have to factor "research time" into your commute?

Sep. 24 2009 10:56 AM
Sam from Brooklyn

I look at anytime I'm biking to a new part of the city. It tells you direct routes, the safest route (bike lanes), or a combination of the two.

Sep. 24 2009 10:56 AM
Matt from Bushwick

Can you tell the woman who's driving and calling in that's a dangerous thing to do?

Sep. 24 2009 10:56 AM
Dennis from Inwood Manhattan

It would be great if the subway system had quality public announcements. Is that new technology?

Sep. 24 2009 10:56 AM
Tonky from Brooklyn

NERDS! My most advanced commuting "app" is to ask the closest guy wearing a yankees cap.

New Yorkers love to talk about real estate and subway directions.

Ride a bike.

Sep. 24 2009 10:55 AM
StatenIslandOptionsguy from Staten Island

My ability to navigate Manhattan was transformed ten years ago when I added the application "Cross Town" to my palm pilot. It reduced the time it takes to translate a street address into cross Streets or Avenues down to seconds.

Sep. 24 2009 10:55 AM

Oh man using 4 apps to get from point a to point b seems like overkill!

Sep. 24 2009 10:55 AM
hjs from 11211

I guess I'm old fashion. I don't tune the city out . I get on the L train and enjoy the beautiful mosaic of the city, . that's why I came to the city and that's why I stay.
black lationo white nerds studs sluts princesses gasy punks suits trash Polish young old . every moring, every night, it's like free theater, but you have to look for it.

Sep. 24 2009 10:52 AM
Caitlin from Jersey City

I follow the PATH on twitter!

Sep. 24 2009 10:52 AM
Marcelo from Park Slope

the MTA email alert system used to work but now it sucks. It used to email the weekend changes. I can't get it to do that with the new system. Frustrating!

Sep. 24 2009 10:52 AM
Brianne from Harlem

NPR Podcasts! Dorky, I know - but I love to catch up on This American Life; Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!; The Puzzle Master w/ Will Shortz, etc. I often wonder what people think of me when I am walking to the subway and giggle or gasp at whatever joke or story I just heard.
Who needs apps when you have NPR??

Sep. 24 2009 10:51 AM
Marcelo from Park Slope

My favorite MTA iphone app is "iTrans NYC".

One surprise is that there are no apps with the Brooklyn Bus maps, only Manhattan.

Sep. 24 2009 10:50 AM

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