The next time you fume when you see the numbskull in the car next to you texting from behind the wheel, consider this: mobile-phone applications are actually causing people drive less and use public transportation more.

According to a study by the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), mobile technology advancements are both directly and indirectly leading to less driving, especially among adults in the 16- to 34-year-old age range. Mobile apps make it easier for people to engage in carsharing and bikesharing as they also track bus and train schedules in real time. With the process of hailing cabs also improved, smartphone users are more likely to engage in multi-modal transportation as an alternative to the traditional private vehicle.

On top of figuring out how to get around using public transportation, people are more willing to ride buses and trains because they have smartphones, given that increased connectivity allows for greater productivity. Case in point? Amtrak's Capital Corridor route in California, whose ridership rose about three percent after it added WiFi. After all, you can't work while driving down the highway, despite those cool passenger seat desks. Combine all of the factors above, and the trends show some people are either ditching cars altogether or cutting down on the number of vehicles their family uses. Now if we could only do something about those smartphone texters behind the wheel. You can read PIRG's 49-page report here (PDF).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      pmpjunkie01
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess I keep that in mind when I think about that numskull that crashed into my car this morning while texting. Thank you!
      • 7 Months Ago
      Interesting article and I think the development of apps will change the way we approach travel even more in the future. It's important to note though that they are also helping us drive more effectively as well. Not only can you get directions on your smartphone, but you can even access the latest traffic information and even find out how economical your driving is. Find out 6 of the most innovative apps on the market here: http://bit.ly/1ecVurl
      Andrew Berardinelli
      • 1 Year Ago
      This also depends on the city. Chicago for example already has good public transportation and has utilized car sharing. I think phone apps have very little to do with the idea and accessibility a transportation program has. Its mainly the fact that the younger generations prefer to hop online to do everything. The smartphone just made it so they could do it while out and about. But when it comes to the actual cities, it really depends on the infrastructure put in place. Cleveland for example has busing and a "train" of some sort, but they are still not as accessible even with apps to assist with schedules and whatnot.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      The photo is of a guy with a flip phone...
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did you really have to subject us to that guy in the wife-beater tank top?