New incentives for riding and driving

Tyler Cowen endorses this Interfluidity tweet: “iphones & public transit: i’ve found smartphones increase the opportunity cost of driving, tilt toward public trans. just me?”

I disagree: for me, the smartphone equivalent (an iPod Touch) has increased my productivity and happiness while using mass transit, but I still find using the Touch in a public environment uncomfortable. On the other hand, the ability to play podcasts, and to play them double speed, has dramatically improved my enjoyment of driving. Therefore, although the device has increased the quality of both experiences, the balance tilts more toward driving than it used to.

In both cases, I marvel at the increase in utility and enjoyment of what used to be wasted time.

I suppose the punch line is that I live five blocks from my office.