Level Up Your Public Transit Commute

Commuter on the Trolley

With these free resources, maximize your time spent on transit in San Diego

Using public transit has a number of advantages, such as helping reduce carbon emissions, reducing traffic congestion, saving money on gas and parking with our Park & Ride lots, and freeing up a little time in your day. You can utilize that time wisely during your commute - transit is often what you make of it. Why not read a magazine or a new book? Learn a new language? Listen to a radio station on the other side of the world? Practice your meditation? All of these options are available when you let someone else do the driving on your way to work, school, an appointment, errands and more.

In our most recent Rider Insider, we asked our riders how they like to level up their commute and the most popular ways were:

  • 61% of participants replied reading a book, magazine, or newspaper
  • 45% said listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks
  • 41% answered catching up on emails

Read below to check out some free resources to help maximize your time spent on transit.

Read a Book for Free

The best way to read a book is for free! Using an app in combination with your Public Library card, you can have access to thousands of books. Go on a journey with a new book while riding MTS. (While these resources focus on digital download options, you can always get the real thing for free, too! And, if listening to an audiobook, remember your headphones!)

Libby is great for borrowing eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines from San Diego County Libraries. Don't have a County Library card? You can easily sign up for one online with proof of identity. 

cloudLibrary is good for borrowing books from San Diego City Libraries. You need to already have a library card to log in, which you can sign up for online and then pick up at your closest City library branch.

Project Gutenberg
If you don't have a library card, you can also get free books to download from Project Gutenberg (which supports epub and Kindle eBooks). Read classics like Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Dracula, or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. All of the books are copyright free.

Listen to Music from a Distant Radio Station and more

Listening to music is good for you! It can help elevate your mood and reduce stress to get you into the correct mindset for the day. Change up your routine and instead of listening to the same thing over and over again, try one of these resources and give yourself something to look forward to.

Radio Garden
Ever wonder what radio stations sound like in another part of the world? Visit Radio Garden and use the browse feature for curated playlists in addition to radio stations. Also has suggested stations to listen to in case you don't know where to start. Also available as an app for Android and Apple.

Need to tune out your fellow commuters or need something to relax you? myNoise offers a number of different background noise generators - from a cafe to an office, rain and waterfall generators, and more. No app is needed to download - play right from the browser.

San Diego Bus Commuter

Relax and Meditate

Using one of these guided meditation projects can help you lengthen your attention span, help control anxiety, and improve your overall well-being. Try one of these free apps to help guide you through meditation.

Healthy Minds Program
Healthy Minds Program is a donations-based app that is freely available to all users. The app contains podcast-style lessons to guide you through meditations. 

Smiling Mind
A free daily meditation app with videos and lessons developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to your life.

A Little Bit of Everything Else

These resources have it all – from video and audio to learning new information and skills, and much more.

Open Culture
Open Culture has tons of cultural and educational media available for free! You must sift through the site a bit to find what you want but it has tons of resources.  Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Or take a free course about the Pyramids of Giza or learn how to overcome public speaking anxiety? These courses (often by professors at UCLA, Harvard, MIT, and more) are available free of charge. Check out all of the free online courses here.

Internet Archive
This resource has it all - from free books and movies to music, and lots more. Sift through live recordings of the Grateful Dead, watch Anime and Cartoons, find a podcast and so much more.

We hope this list helps you to increase your productivity while commuting in San Diego.

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