22 March 2012


I happened to hear a T announcement today about new bus schedules taking effect this weekend, and it made me realize that I hadn't bothered to get new paper schedules in at least six months, if not longer.

I used to make sure I always carried the current schedules for the routes I used most frequently, plus a few others it was likely or possible I would need. But with the gradual ubiquity of mobile internet access and apps that tell you how far away the next bus is, I no longer need a printed schedule.

Today I left work early to do an errand in Harvard Square, after which I needed to know how long I would have to wait for the next 86 bus to get me over to Sullivan. I pulled out my phone and checked MBTAinfo, which told me I had seven minutes to get to the underground bus platform inside Harvard station. Progress.

I'd like to think that smartphone use has resulted in the T not having to print as many copies of their bus schedules, perhaps saving some trees in the process as well as saving the T some money.

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