An increasing number of people are commuting to New York jobs from hundreds of miles away or even the other side of the country, according to WNYC’s Transportation Nation. There are about 4,000 regular plane commuters, accounting for more than 1,000 tons of carbon every week. Has nobody told these people about the internet?

“What we’re seeing is the collapse of a region’s boundaries,” said Mitchell Moss, the director of the Rudin Center, a New York University transportation think tank. “Distance has been overcome.”

Indeed it has — you can talk to someone else like they’re in the same room, using only a free chat program on your computer! Or, you know, you can spend hundreds of dollars and hundreds of pounds of carbon carting them around the country, because surely that’s easier than firing up Skype.

Oh wait, no, they do know about Skype — they just think it’s a program you use to talk to your family while you’re waiting in an airport for the next leg of your commute.

[I]n the last few years, technology has made this easy: commuters can interact with kids via Skype or iChat and can work on the plane.

WNYC is blaming this on the economy, but they sort of admit that mostly people just want to make New York money without living in New York.

The reasons for the air commuting phenomenon are various – but all recent.  The economic collapse meant there were more well-paying jobs in New York than elsewhere.  But outside New York, housing values dropped 25 percent, and people couldn’t sell their homes.

Nor did they necessarily want to.

 And why would they want to? I mean, does your commute give you free shitty pretzels and headphones? I thought not.