I do quite a bit of travelling. Most places in Norway are accessible through public transport but I used to prefer using my own car because that is much faster. Especially if you have to change transport on the way. Using public transport you’re also limited to specific schedules.
But lately I have started preferring the much more environmentaly friendly public transport like trains, boats and even long distance busses. Now it saves me a lot of time. Why?
Internet connectivity. Two hours in a car driving gets you there. But apart from that it’s a waste of time. Two hours on a train has turned into very productive hours. Norway has pretty good coverage of Edge and 3G. On my last boat trip from Bergen to Balestrand I could turn the four hours of travelling into productive work. Emailing, answering comments on the blog I work on for the NRK, NRKbeta. Getting some answers from people all over the world through IM. I had a reasonably good internet connection through my mobile on the entire trip. Something between 90 and 160 kbps. Not broadband, but enough to make me productive.
I know that I am no average person when it comes to how I spend my time and what I need to be productive. But more people might want to choose productive transportation as they get laptops, iPhones and all kinds of devices with internet connectivity. To be able to spend more time working and having fun online.
But we need to fix the pricing, speed and stability.
I like the fact that during Live Earth they made note of the fact that buying music online is environmentaly friendly. And I still like the old slogan of the first online only newspaper in Norway, called “Nettavisen”: “Ten of ten trees prefer Nettavisen”.
Actually the internet in general is environmentaly friendly. Especially here in Norway where we power our server farms with hydro electric power.
And by the way. This post was written on board a bus on my way from Kongsberg to Oslo.
(I have also written a Norwegian version of this article over at NRKbeta)