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Things to Do While on Public Transportation


Inspiration on the Subway

I thought about this subject while on the subway train. I lived in Boston for a year, and my job was a bus and two trains away. It took one full hour in each direction, so I had to find ways to avoid boredom. Here are some of my ideas.

The T Station

The T Station

Things to Do

  • Read a newspaper or magazine. In Boston, many of the subway stations have both a free newspaper and a free local magazine. You can learn a lot from browsing the many publications out there.
  • Read a book, or else listen to an audio book. Give your mind a vacation, and sink deep into another world, or a subject you're interested in.
  • Learn another language. There are many programs out there that are helpful in teaching you. If you don't care to learn a regular language, learn Klingon, or Pig Latin. You will be popular in some circles!
  • Memorize something useful.
  • Study. If you are a student, take the time to study for a class. Or if you are just someone who's interested in learning, study from a book on whatever subject interests you.
  • Bring a planner, and jot down goals and plans.
  • If you have things you want to do later on, take the time to write a to-do list. I find that doing so frees up my mind to think about other things. Once the time comes to get things done I can just start, without having to think about it too much.
  • If you have certain information with you, and perhaps a calculator, you could use the time to budget your money. I wouldn't physically take your cash or credit cards out, but crunching numbers isn't too obvious. If you are not quite into the idea it's a good time to jot down things you may need or want in the future, so that when you do work on your budget you have some notes to refer to.
  • Take the time to think. I personally enjoy writing down my thoughts, but many people would be fine with just thinking. There are many things to contemplate.
  • Meditate, and concentrate on your breathing. Think about a time in the past that was peaceful or fun, or daydream about something that would really make you feel happy and content.
  • A puzzle book is a wonderful way to pass the time, and can be a great way to exercise your brain.
  • If you are interested in crafts, find one that doesn't take up much space, and can be done while on public transportation. You may not want to be waving around sharp scissors or other instruments that could be perceived as a weapon, so be careful.
  • Enjoy the scenery. Part of my trip to work was above ground, and I enjoyed looking out the window during that time.
  • Apply your makeup with caution. You may not want to apply eyeliner, because a wrong move could poke your eye. Be considerate of your fellow passengers as well. No one likes the stench of strong smelling cosmetics.
  • File your nails.
  • Comb your hair, especially if the weather messed it up while you were waiting.
  • Talk to people if you dare. This can risky business, because they may not want to talk, they may talk to you for a little longer than you would like, or they may turn out to be very scary or intimidating. But in my opinion, the day we stop talking to people altogether for those reasons is the day that we really lose something great about humanity. That being said, I don't always talk to people. In Boston, even a large group of people are likely to be pretty quiet, and keep to themselves. But every once in a while I would come across a friendly person who wanted to talk, and it was refreshing.
I enjoy writing in my journal while I'm on the train

I enjoy writing in my journal while I'm on the train

Write to Preoccupy Yourself

As a writer, this is my favorite suggestion. Writing covers most of what I do to keep myself busy during my commute.

  • Write in a journal. It's good to jot down notes, events, reflections, and plans and feelings.
  • Write letters. I know many people nowadays don't utilize "snail mail", but I think it is pretty cool to write a letter to a friend or loved one while you are riding. A couple of weeks ago I wrote to an Aunt, and I know she was delighted to get a letter from me. If you have a device to type up an e-mail to someone, that is certainly an option.
  • Are you working on writing a novel, or have you ever wanted to? If you have a long enough ride, this could be a great way to pass the time. You may even get inspired in that environment.
  • If you are a website or blog writer, this is a good time to prepare for an article or a post. I have a special notebook I carry with me everywhere, and I use it to brainstorm, and to jot down notes that will help me when I actually sit down to write. I wrote down many ideas for this article while on the train!
  • If you are a writer, being on a bus or train is also a great time to get inspiration for characters, scenery, and events. You're around people, and passing scenery, so ideas are pretty likely to flow freely.
  • Maybe write an essay, poem or story based on a writing or photo prompt. It's a great way to get your creative juices flowing!
  • Bring a book on writing, and read it. If you're like me, it will not only be inspiring, but you will also get absorbed into it.
  • Other books that would be useful to read or study during the commute are ones that enrich your vocabulary, your knowledge of words, or your spelling or grammar skills.
Listening to music is a good way to enjoy yourself while waiting to get to your destination

Listening to music is a good way to enjoy yourself while waiting to get to your destination


Technology is great for engaging yourself during a trip.

  • Listen to music. I see many people with earbuds or headphones on, listening to music on their mp3 player or cellphone. Just be careful, and be aware of your surroundings. You don't want to be oblivious if something bad happens.
  • If you have the ability, watch a movie, tv show, or video of some kind on an electronic device. Nowadays many people have tablets, electronic book readers, and smartphones that have this ability.
  • Browse online, if you have the right gadget. Just don't be startled if your reception goes away when you go through a tunnel!
  • Find events and places that you are interested in, and maybe start adding things to your calendar that could increase your fun and entertainment in your life later on. I have discovered many places and occasions when I have free time to look for them.
  • Read an electronic book or publication of some kind, if you have an electronic book reader or tablet.
  • Maybe send text messages or instant messages to one of your pals. Just don't drive them crazy! You may be bored, but that doesn't mean they are free to chat for long.
  • Play games on your electronic gadget. Many of them are free!
  • Play around with various amusing apps for your E-gadget or smartphone.
  • Use a social or dating website or app to communicate with friends or potentials, or to find someone new to communicate. You never know who you may find along life's journey.

Observation: I would have suggested to use your laptop computer, if you have one, but:

  • I have never seen anyone use one while on the bus or subway. In the movies, but not in real life.
  • It is probably not safe to show everyone you have such an expensive portable gadget.
  • Many times they take up more space than would be polite to take up, particularly if it is crowded.

Here is a list of several movies that involve planes, trains, automobiles, and even spacecraft.

Movies to Watch During Your Commute




Snakes on a Plane




Throw Mama From the Train



Con Air

The Aviator

Top Gun

Air Force One

The Flight of the Phoenix

Unique and Silly Ideas

  • Practice maintaining your balance. If you are standing up during the commute, you are probably going to be forced into learning this great skill!
  • Become an expert at being packed like a sardine. No need to study up on this subject, just commute during the peak hours, and you will become a pro at it.
  • If you don't get self-conscious very easily, do stretches. You can do this while waiting for your bus or train to arrive, or else combine it with the skill of maintaining your balance if you are standing up during the commute.
  • Stare into space for a while, and then jerk your head suddenly to stare at somebody, or else right beside them. I guarantee you it will get some kind of a startled reaction. On second thought, please don't do it. I'm only joking here.

Humorous Look at the Types of People Often on Buses and Trains

What Not to Do While on Train or Bus

  • Do not spray perfume.
  • Do not put on nail polish.
  • Do not put on eye makeup that could lead to a poked eye.
  • Do not leave your bag unattended for any length of time.
  • Don't put your bag in the seat beside you, spread your stuff out to take up too much space, or hog an empty seat by sitting on the aisle seat.
  • Please don't play your music so loud that everyone hears it, or play games with the volume up. No one wants to hear it.
  • NEVER touch the driver, or threaten an operator or transportation worker in any way.
  • You probably shouldn't eat while riding, especially if you're touching the poles. Germs thrive in that environment. I have eaten on a bus before, especially during a long trip, and I didn't get sick. Just be careful if you do.
  • Try not to touch your face after touching anything on the vehicle.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • You may not want to fall sleep if you are on a city bus or train. A lot of bad things could happen to someone who is oblivious to their surroundings.
  • If you brush your hair, be careful not to bump anyone, or get your loose hair on anyone. That would be inconsiderate and gross.
  • For everyone's sake, don't try to agitate anyone!

Don't Forget...

Can you think of anything else that can be done while on public transportation, or do you have a story about riding? I enjoy hearing from my readers!

abira on May 05, 2018:

Thank you so much for your ideas . This would help me to bring in a good design for railway station. My thesis :)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on February 24, 2014:

Thanks, Jeanie. I had a lot of experience on public transportation, and it was interesting to find different things to do. I'm glad you liked.

You're welcome, and have a wonderful day!

~ Kathryn

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on February 23, 2014:

These are great suggestions. I might have to start using public transportation again myself, so I will make sure to come back to this hub. Thanks for sharing!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 28, 2013:

Au fait,

It sounds like you have some great memories of your time in Boston when your daughter was little. There's certainly a lot to do around here.

There are a lot of people to watch on the subway, that's for sure. It is interesting to see them.

It is great to be able to do things while on the subway.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my hub, and have a wonderful day!

~ Kathryn

C E Clark from North Texas on July 28, 2013:

I rode the subway in Boston a few times when my daughter was little and her father was in law school. It's much easier than fighting traffic and trying to find a parking space in downtown Boston. We took advantage of a lot of their museums and the Disney Ice Show Beauty and the Beast while we were there. Daughter was 4 and she was enthralled.

I preferred to people watch on the subway. I think they can be so interesting. I didn't take any really long trips though. Just Arlington to downtown Boston. I always drove to the university since we were just a block from the Arlington/ Cambridge city limits.

You have a lot of great suggestions here so that a person who must take a long commute every day won't have to feel like the time is wasted. After all, one of the advantages of taking the subway besides not having to drive is being able to do something else.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 25, 2013:

Alicia, you're welcome.

Wow, you travel on more vehicles than I do! I ride 1 bus for about 10 minutes, take one train on a quick ride only a few stops away, and then spend about 30 minutes on the second train. I also walk for about 13 minutes, although if I timed it right, I could take an additional bus from work to the train station on the way home. The past 2 days I wish I had crossed the street to get a ride, rather than walking, because it has been hot and humid (90s), and my dress code at work isn't very cool (pants and a black shirt).

I always try to occupy myself during the trip. Doing nothing at all would drive me crazy!

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article, and have a wonderful day.

~ Kathryn

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 24, 2013:

Thanks for sharing the useful ideas, Kathryn. I travel to work by bus and train sometimes. I really need to keep my mind occupied during the journey, since it requires two buses and two rapid transit trains. Some of the activities that you describe I already do, but you've given me some great ideas for new activities!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 24, 2013:

Shanmarie, I'm glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to brainstorm for this article. I could have easily turned the entire thing into something funny, but I decided to actually give people information they could use!

You're welcome, and thank you for gracing my page with your presence, and for taking the time to read and comment.

Have a fantastic day!

~ Kathryn

Shannon Henry from Texas on June 24, 2013:

Oh my, how this brings back memories of overly crowded buses and trains and doing the balancing act you describe so well.

I do think it would be rather amusing for everyone else to attempt to learn a language while taking public transportation.

And the video was humorous, too. Fun read. Thanks.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 20, 2013:

Seafarer Mama, this is actually the Newton Highland Station on the D line. It is near where I work!

Thanks, I'm glad you like the layout.

That sounds like a cool game to play with your girl when she is with you. I like seeing how kids react to being on a train. I never had to travel like that when I was a kid, with the exception of a couple of times in Washington D.C.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful day! I hope to see you tomorrow.

~ Kathryn

Karen A Szklany from New England on June 19, 2013:

Great hub, Kathryn....very fun. Is that a picture of the Longwood station on the D line? Looks like it.

Great layout, too....and inspiring. I love to read and write on my commute into Boston....and if I am with my daughter, we play "hand people" vignettes. It's become a tradition with us. :0)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 18, 2013:

Sheri, that sounds like an interesting read. I like living in the now, although I also enjoy reminiscing, and looking forward to the future. I love planning, so I would not be able to live in the moment every minute. But I do like those kind of mind-expanding books! And that is the good thing about spending time on transit, you can often have time to really dwell on what you're reading, and let it sink in.

Thanks for gracing my page with your presence, and commenting. I'm glad you like my ideas.

Have a fantastic day!

~ Kathryn

Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on June 17, 2013:

Good ideas Kathryn! I just finished reading a great book called The New Earth by Erakrt Tolle and it is all about being present and living in the NOW. I think time on transit would be a great time to explore this wonderful life expanding idea. Just be present...no past..no future...ha!..easier said than done.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 17, 2013:


Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

That is a long trip! I think the longest I have been on a bus (including layovers at stations) was 22 hours.

I like it when the buses have electric sockets and internet access! Some of the Peter Pan/Greyhound buses I have been have those amenities. I'm glad that you have some of the same ideas of staying busy as I do, because a trip that long would be boring without things to do! That sounds like it was a pretty useful and entertaining trip.

Thank you for sharing your story with me. I enjoyed it.

I hope you have a wonderful week! Take care.

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 17, 2013:

Prasetio, Many countries' traffic regulations are different, but many of these tips would probably work in most places.

You're welcome, and thanks for the encouragement and compliments, and for taking the time to read and comment. Have a wonderful day!

~ Kathryn

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on June 17, 2013:

Up, Useful, and Interesting. Those are all good suggestions.

Last month I took a bus from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Moscow, Idaho, an over 2,000 mile trip each way that by bus takes circa two and a quarter days, most of that time on buses and a little of it in bus stations and at break stops. Because I bought my ticket a week in advance and ate mostly out of a supermarket bag of various foods, it was the cheapest way to travel. Some buses had Internet access and electric sockets, and when lucky enough to get such a bus and such a seat, I spent my time online. But even on the buses that did not have that, I was never bored, thanks to doing many of the pastimes you suggest. I got a lot of first drafts of creative writing and of correspondence done with just pen and scrap paper. I did some editing and revising of a printout of a story in progress. I read books. I watched the scenery. I talked a little bit with seatmates. I slept. I ate. I exchanged cell phone text messages with my wife back home. I meditated. I made plans. . I observed.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on June 17, 2013:

Very informative hub. I learn many things here though I live in Indonesia where maybe we have different rule for traffic regulations. Thanks for writing, sharing and remind us about the important things to do on public transportation. Good job and voted up :-)


Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 17, 2013:


Out of all of the funny things I have thought about while brainstorming for this, that is something I didn't think of! Now when I go on the bus, I will be thinking of it. Haha. I have noticed some of the people who are standing struggling to stay upright when the bus or train jerks, though. And I, myself have stumbled during the early days of commuting.

Jimmy the jock from Scotland on June 17, 2013:

I always sit near the back on Public transporttion because I think it is funny to watch the other passengers heads bobbing up and down with the bumps in the road or rails, when a bus turns a corner it can be hilarious watching the passengers struggling to stay upright especially if it is a sharp turn.....jimmy

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 17, 2013:

Susan, thanks for gracing my page with your presence, and for commenting.

I just downloaded the Kindle app on my Smartphone, and bought my first e-book. I love it! Technology is great. I get so much out of my phone, above and beyond just talking, that I would not want to be without it!

I'm glad you like my suggestions. Thank you for the votes and share!

Have a wonderful day.

~ Kathryn

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2013:

When I used to take public transportation I would usually read a book. That was back in the day before cell phones and kindles. Now I always have my iPhone on me to play games or read a book. Great way to pass the time especially when waiting at doctor appointments, long car rides, and while flying.

Great suggestions. Voting up and sharing.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 13, 2013:

Suzie, thanks for taking the time from your busy day to read and comment on my hub.

Wow, so you have probably been taking different forms of travel for many years. It must be nice to be able to drive now when you want to.

Texting is great! When I travel on a Greyhound bus (a bus that travels out-of-state, not within the city), I text part of the time. I used to be able to get on Google Plus with my phone, too, and that was always a fun way to pass time.

Wow, I haven't had too much trouble with nut jobs, so far. But I'm sure you have some interesting stories to tell, as a result of those "interesting" characters.

Thanks for commenting, and sharing what you do on public commute.

Have a fantastic day!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on June 13, 2013:

Hi Kathryn,

Apologies, so late to the par-tay! What a great list of ideas! As I only got driving 3 years ago, I am more than familiar with using public transport for travelling different lengths and different types of transport. The nut jobs for some reason are always the ones who are drawn to me for some reason and sit beside me. Texting is probably the thing along with thinking of things to do that day in work (if going to work) and jotting down, are what I did most on buses.

Great ideas my friend, votes across, shared the love everywhere!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 13, 2013:

DDE, it is great to think during that time! I do, too, I just usually write my thoughts down on paper. But the good thing about thinking is that you don't need anything with you to do it!

Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful day!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 13, 2013:

Interesting and helpful suggestions Things To Do While On Public Transportation,I don't think of anything to take with but when I am there then all sorts go through my mind. I prefer enjoying that time thinking.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:

Nell, oh, I hate it when I forget a pen! Most of the time I have a bag with me, including at least a couple of pens. But I have accidentally left them at home before.

I have to act like a sardine every once in a while, although I am fortunate to miss the really busy times of the day most of the time.

I remember when I first started using the buses and trains here, I was so nervous about standing up. Sometimes I had trouble keeping my balance! In only a few months, I am so used to it.

Thank you for gracing my page, Nell, and have a fabulous week!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:

Rebecca, your comment made me laugh. I was actually thinking that I would rather commute this way than be caught in a traffic jam every day. I'm sure those poor people could get a lot done while they are stopped! They just need to be alert, so they move forward when everyone else does. Haha. "finish dressing". I could picture that!

Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful night.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:

Janet, reading is a wonderful way to pass the time!

My boyfriend has a car, but since parking spots in the city cost a lot of money (and traffic can be awful), he takes public transportation, as well. Some areas are hard to find spots in, too.

That's a good point, about the laptops- I have seen some people with their tablets, and it's likely more people have those instead of laptops, at least for most of their travel. That makes sense.

You're welcome, and thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article!

Nell Rose from England on June 12, 2013:

So you wrote about what to do on a train because you were on a train! Haha! sheer brilliance! and yes I go with the sardine look, squashed to the hilt so to speak! I do carry a notebook around with me, and sometimes get ideas, but most of the time I forget to take a pen! lol!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 12, 2013:

Cool Hub, and very useful. I had to laugh. Here around Atlanta, traffic jams give one time to read the newspaper, eat breakfast and finish dressing for work!

Janet Giessl from Georgia country on June 12, 2013:

You have found so many great tips for things to do while on public transportation. I mostly use public transportation as I live in a city where you hardly find any parking space. I have done a lot of the things you mentioned. My favorite activity is reading. You wrote that you haven't seen any people sitting with their laptop. Before the introduction of the tablet pc's there were many people here in Germany who were sitting in the subway or train with their laptops. Nowadays, they take their tablet pc's with them.

Thank you for sharing this great, useful and interesting hub!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:

Natasha, it's cool that your mother knits wherever she is! Haha, I guess if she commuted this way, she'd have to start selling her work on Etsy!

I am one of those people that can fall asleep on a vehicle. I really try not to fall asleep during my daily commute, because I am paranoid about missing my stop, or being robbed. But I have always been able to fall asleep on a moving vehicle very easily. My boyfriend thinks it's funny, because I will drift off to sleep in his Toyota MR2 (car), which has a turbo right behind our head (and is quite loud). But I usually only fall asleep like that if I feel safe.

I have to say, even though I can fall asleep easily on a vehicle, I would have a very hard time sleeping at an airport.

It is funny how everyone is so different when it comes to where they can and cannot fall asleep.

Thanks for gracing my page, and for commenting. I enjoy your visit :)

Have a fantastic week!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:

Joe, those certainly are unusual things to do during a commute! But you are definitely like me, in that you like to get things done during those otherwise boring trips. It's nice when we get things done during that time, so we have one less thing to do once home! And when you have such a long commute, it's especially good to have some free time.

I could easily get lulled to lala land. Once in a while I have to work hard to keep from falling asleep. I'll let myself drift off when I'm on the Greyhound bus to Hartford or to Northern Mass, but on my daily commute I try not to. I'm afraid I'll either get robbed, or miss my stop! Or maybe do something embarrassing!

Oh, it would be great to talk to you about hub ideas during commute! Inspiration is all around us, and I have come up with so many ideas while commuting, or while walking. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

I like to write hubs that I am particularly inspired by at any given moment. Lately it has been happening more and more frequently! I have come up with several ideas I need to put some research into, and was trying to figure out which one to work on today. This morning I started thinking about how I want to see my folks and enjoy a cookout, like we try to do near Father's Day. Not only am I re-inspired by that thought, but I decided to collaborate with my mother. It's so exciting! I look forward to what my mother will bring to the table. She is a writer, too, but she writes for herself. Anyway, I have a couple of days off in a row, so it will be easier to compose another hub.

Life is so beautiful and rich, and writing adds a depth to it that is priceless.

I like that you are always thinking! So am I.



Natasha from Hawaii on June 12, 2013:

My mom knits everywhere! If she commuted with public transportation, she would run out of people to give knitted things to she'd have so many! You know, people who can physically fall asleep on a bus or a train amaze me. I couldn't even sleep on the floor with blankets and my legs on top of my suitcase with an alarm set when I was in the Newark airport coming home from Guam. I'd been awake 24 hours, but I still couldn't sleep under those better than train conditions! My man and I took the train in to NYC from Connecticut last March and he was totally snoozing on the way home. Unreal.

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on June 12, 2013:

You've reminded me, dear Kathryn, of my days in Seattle where I had an hour and a half commute each way, catching a link light rail and a bus. Some of the unusual things I've done while commuting include counting fishing hooks and re-packaging them for mailing to eBay customers and ripping up magazines, taking out the staples, and getting the pages ready for my vintage ephemera niche, also eBay-related. Oh, yeah, and snoring like a big dog when the sleep deprivation and gentle movement of the commuter vehicles lulled me into lala land. You know what I'd enjoy? Talking with you about Hub ideas during the commute. I have some interesting experimental writing projects I'd like to someday try with fellow Hubbers.

Always thinking,


Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:

Eddy, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and commenting, and I hope you have a fabulous day, as well!

Eiddwen from Wales on June 12, 2013:

Such a great hub Kathryn and I vote up. Enjoy your day.


Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Peach, it is so sad that you have to be that alert for pickpocketers! It is definitely good to be aware of your surroundings, but around here it is okay to get a little involved without risking anything. But then again, I'm sure it happens more than I realize.

I hope you get some enjoyment out of your commute, and that your fierceness keeps those bad people far, far away from you!

Have a fantastic week, and thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. It's nice to see you!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Colin, that is a long commute. Maybe it's nice to not have to do that anymore?

Thanks, I'm glad you like my hub.

I envy you for your lake to swim in! It must be great. Here in Boston it was very rainy and cloudy all day. I thought it was funny, because somewhere downtown fireworks were being let off. Quite a few of them. It's not very good weather for those!

I would love to have a deck to have lunch out on. But at least I live near a beach. I think one of the next sunny days I will go on a walk, and maybe have a little picnic lunch somewhere along the way.

I hear almost nothing on tv except for the finals! They love to talk about it on the news.

Thank you for gracing my page, Colin, and I give you and your cats all big American hugs. Have a fantastic night.

~ Kathryn

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 11, 2013:

when i am on public transport whether bus, taxi or train, I never put myself at ease because there are pickpockets, frequently lurking for "customers" So I am always alert, never listen to MP3 , write or read. Just stand still and look fierce! LOL!

epigramman on June 11, 2013:

Hello my Kathryn of Kool you really do know how to put together a world class hub presentation and you do it in such a thorough and engaging way.

I used to commute on the Go Bus from Hamilton to Toronto back in the day when I had a co-op job which was one hour and then another hour on the subway and bus system until I got to my destination.

I had a reading time and a sleep time and I found that most commuters kept to themselves but it was also amazing on how you would see the same people everyday.

More of a summer day today again so I went in for a dip in the lake and had a nice supper outside on my deck with my cats.

I am looking forward to Wednesday and the first game in the Stanley cup finals with you know who and I am sending 3 big Canadian hugs from Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 6:45pm

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Kashmir, thanks for the compliments, as well as the feedback. I had fun putting this together, and now that I have finished it, I feel like I have accomplished a lot! It is very satisfying to write on HubPages!

Have a spectacular day!

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on June 11, 2013:

Great ideas and advice within this well written article on how to spend your time while on public transportation .

Vote up and more !!!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Tattuwurn, I have never heard of "scrobbling", but it looks like an interesting music site.

I'm glad you enjoyed my tips. I like hearing what other people do to preoccupy themselves!

Thank you for reading and commenting, and have a fantastic day!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Livingsta, those are definitely great ways to keep yourself occupied! I just started bringing my music with me this morning, and it was very enjoyable. And I usually use the time to brainstorm, as well as write my thoughts in my journal. I enjoy getting things done while I am commuting.

Thanks for coming here, and for the votes and shares! Have a fantastic day!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

MsDora, Sudoku puzzles are a great way to exercise the mind! I have only recently thought of getting a puzzle book to work on during my commute.

I'm glad you enjoyed the video. I watched a few of them to come up with one that I thought would be good for this article.

You're welcome, and thank you so much for gracing my page with your presence! It's always a pleasure. Have a beautiful day.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Elias, I'm glad you liked my suggestions.

I definitely enjoy staring out at the scenery. I am on a train for 30 minutes of my trip, and half of it is in the dark tunnel. But when we get out of the tunnel, sometimes I stop what I'm doing to look outside. We go by pretty buildings, houses, a park, ad a couple of bodies of water, so the scenery is worth checking out.

Thanks, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Millionaire, haha, I don't think I have seen anyone comb their hair on the bus, although I have snuck a comb through mine real quick. My hair gets terribly messed up when the wind blows!

That is a really sweet memory you have of riding the bus when you were a teenager. It's cute to picture a kid asking questions to the passengers. I get the impression you were not shy!

I didn't even think of doing puzzles until I was at the end of writing my article. I should buy a puzzle book for those times when I want to do something a little different. My Mom is really big into puzzles, and I think I could get into it.

Today was actually one of those days when I ended up talking to a couple of people for a few minutes of the trip. I was in a particularly good mood, and it was nice to talk.

Have a great day, and thanks for reading and commenting on my article. I appreciate it.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Haseena, thanks, I'm glad you like this. I appreciate that you took the time to read, comment, and provide feedback. Have a wonderful day!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Rajan, thanks, I'm glad you like my ideas. I don't like doing nothing, so I always have to figure out what to do when I am traveling. By now I have a routine, and the time usually goes by pretty fast.

I appreciate your support, and your input. Have a great day, Rajan!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Carola, that is even more awesome than I thought! I didn't know some phones had the ability to have a Word program on it. I'm excited now. The next time I get a cell phone (soon, I hope) I want to see if I can get one with that program. Or maybe find an app that would be compatible. I would love to type up my articles on the train! Thanks for clarifying. Have a wonderful day! I hope your neck of the woods has less gloomy weather than the cloudiness Boston has right now. But it is good weather to sit inside and write!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

WND, thank you for gracing my page, even though you are super busy with your 30/30 challenge! I'm glad you think this is interesting.

It is quite a bit of traveling, but it's better than spending hours driving in heavy traffic, like some people have to do. It takes a while to get used to it, but it has become a routine for me. Boston has a pretty good transportation system, with buses, light rail, and trains. And there are plenty of cabs, Greyhound buses, etc, in town. It's pretty easy to get around. Fortunately, I am not usually traveling during rush hour, when people have to really pack into the trains.

Nail polish is terrible to deal with on a bus or train! Fortunately, most people don't do that.

Have a wonderful evening, and I hope your pets are providing you with some good entertainment!


livingsta from United Kingdom on June 11, 2013:

Interesting and useful ideas. I try to read or listen to something while on public transport. Sometimes I write down thoughts that come to my mind, reply to emails and these keep me occupied. Thank you for sharing these ideas with us. Voted up and sharing!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 11, 2013:

Great suggestions. I try to have my Sudoku puzzle book with me at all times. The videos great. Thanks for a good article. Voted up and Useful.

Elias Zanetti from Athens, Greece on June 11, 2013:

Great hub, Kathryn. Your suggestion of do's and don'ts are really interesting. While I have tried some of the things you suggest, my favorite is simply staring outside the window admiring the landscapes. Voted and shared!

Shasta Matova from USA on June 11, 2013:

These are all great ideas, and having ridden on public transportation for many years, I have done many of them. Here, I wouldn't try to brush my hair, and I don't think I have seen anyone else do that. I really like talking to other passengers. When I was in high school, I used to walk around to all the other passengers and ask them survey questions. I got a lot of homework done on that bus, even if it was last minute! Sudoku, word search and other puzzles are also fun to do on public transportation.

Haseena from India on June 11, 2013:

Really inspiring and useful. Voted up.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 10, 2013:

Lots of interesting and useful ideas to spend travelling time constructively. Not getting bored and utilizing time usefully.

Great hub, Kathryn!

Voted UUI.

Carola Finch from Ontario, Canada on June 10, 2013:

Kathryn, just a clarification on my blackberry - I can use Word on it. When it is plugged into my computer, I can transferr files to my PC. Pretty cool, huh? I can surf the web but it is too slow for my creative juices.

wetnosedogs from Alabama on June 10, 2013:

Wow, you have quite a day getting to work and home. Alabama's transportation is kind of on the lousy side. I think it got a little better since I got here.

I guess you just get used to it. Good points on what to do and not. That nail polish smell is outrageous.

Very interesting write-up.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Eric, I'm glad your evening is complete. I want everyone who visits my page, and who interacts with me on others, to feel welcome. Have a restful night, and a great week!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Theresa, thank you, I'm glad you like it. Thanks for sharing of your experiences. It's nice to see what it's like at some point in life, like you have. It is definitely an experience!

The first subway I ever went on was in the DC area. My grandparents and Aunt on my mother's side lived in Sterling, a suburb of DC, and a few times when we visited we traveled that way.

Historical research. That sounds interesting. For college?

Thank you for gracing my page, and have a restful night, and a wonderful week.

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on June 10, 2013:

kathryn - This is a great Hub with wonderful suggestions...something for everyone. :) I have never used public transportation regularly, like to go to work. But about fifteen years ago I spent part of three summers in DC doing historical research. And I rode the subway then. And you are right, it was mostly quiet. I enjoyed this. Sharing. Theresa

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 10, 2013:

Kathryn it is as though I stuck out my hand, and you took it in both of yours and kissed both my cheeks, my evening is complete.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Eric, I love that saying! Does that make me crazy?

I'm glad you enjoy public transport. I suppose it is a calm experience, when you have little kids!

Thank you very much for gracing my page. I enjoy seeing you!

Have a wonderful evening.


Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

You always make me laugh, MJ!

Thanks, I'm glad you like my hub. Speaking of book, maybe I should take up my idea of writing a novel while on the train! But then again, I already have the third draft of one already completed, I just need to type it up and edit it one (or two?) last times. If only I could do that part on the train!

Sure, a chainsaw on the train would get a lot of conversations going. Haha. Or more likely, you would have the entire train car all to yourself. Those poor passengers would be all squooshed into the other end of the train!

I keep thinking of other things I could add to this. Hmmm, people could study up on how to impress the opposite sex. Memorize pick-up lines. Girls could learn some "car talk", so they can sound intelligent to a grease-monkey... at least until he starts asking questions. There's so much to do while traveling!

I'm sure some of these tips could come in handy for when you're on your motorcycle, too! Can't you multi-task?

Thanks again for reading, commenting, voting up and sharing, and for being supportive and super awesome!

~ Kathryn

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 10, 2013:

Crazy people like me have a saying: "wherever you go, there you are" I cherish all my time on public transport. Sometimes I would leave the house with nothing -- fixing a hole where the rain comes in and keeps my mind from wandering -- concept, other times it was hard at work with an agenda the whole way. Hey try reading with two wild toddlers running around -- PT is a calm experience. Loved it, great hub, great wisdom.

mjkearn on June 10, 2013:

Hi Kathryn

WOW fabulous hub. With this amount of work you'll soon have a book.

The title sent my wee mad head into overdrive and then I realized you were being serious, LOL.

I liked the bit about crafts and not waving scissors and thought well I don't use scissors when servicing a chainsaw and it isn't that big. I also thought that would be a good way to meet people and start conversations.

You are right about talking to new people but as you say, you never know what you are going to get and you are also a captive audience or is that captured.

You should be OK re the scary people bit as there is little chance I'd be on a train in Boston.

Learning a new language definitely appeals. I wonder which one I'd pick, LOL.

Great job, great hub. Voted up and shared.


Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Carola, That's awesome! I have a Samsung Moment Android phone with a slide-out keyboard, and it's great for texting. But unfortunately, I haven't been able to get onto HubPages from my cellphone. My service is a bit spotty and slow at times, and when the train is in the subway tunnels, there's no reception at all :(

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, and I'm glad you like my ideas. Have a fantastic evening!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Bill, thanks, I'm glad you approve!

It would be awesome to bike to work, but it would be too dangerous. Boston has many places that are good to bike, but every once in a while there's a fatality involving a biker, and I would not want to be one of them! I do envy those who can bike around. I also miss having a car, but in this area it's not practical to have more than one car, and Andy has his little car that I don't drive. Since each parking spot costs quite a bit, and insurance would be a beast, it wouldn't be worth getting a car while I am here. I do look forward to the day I have one again, though. Car= freedom!

I like my commute, for the most part. On days I'm tired, it's a little rough. The only times I get a little annoyed is when I'm scheduled a 3 or 4 hour shift, and my round trip commute (including 30 minutes of walking, total) is 2 1/2 hours. But I try to be positive, and appreciate the fact that I have a job! Nothing good happens when we let negativity overcome us! So I just focus on the positives.

You're welcome! I couldn't possibly write about writers without mentioning your blog, Bill!

Speaking of writing, that is one thing I like about my commute. It gives me a lot of time to think and write. And in the process of finishing this article, I have given myself even more inspiration for what to do during my commute!

Have a wonderful evening, Bill.

Carola Finch from Ontario, Canada on June 10, 2013:

Lots of good ideas here. I actually take my fancy blackberry with a slide out keyboard and write my heart out - thumbs flying. I have actually written entire artlces this way.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

R.Q., I like walking, but it would definitely not be possible for me to walk that far away! Dangerous, very long, and several towns away. But I can imagine that it would be nice to walk if there's pretty scenery. It's healthy, for sure!

I'm used to the commute by now, although it was a lot to get used to when I started riding all of the time. Actually, I walk the last 15 minutes of my trip to work, so I automatically get in about a half hour of walking every day I work! The route I walk is very pleasant, and it is a very good start and end to my work day.

Thank you, RQ, I'm glad you liked this. It was fun for me to put together.

Have a wonderful evening.

~ Kathryn

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 10, 2013:

Great suggestions, Kathryn. I don't remember the last time I even took a bus. On the west coast, we either drive or bike it anywhere we want to go...an hour each way? You are definitely an expert in this field.

Thank you so much for mentioning my blog. I really appreciate it.

Have a great Tuesday!


Romeos Quill from Lincolnshire, England on June 10, 2013:

A great Hub Kathryn.I used to walk to work(personal choice)- an hour there, and an hour back, but was fortunate enough to have some decent scenery to look at, whilst making that daily trip.I always used to avoid public transport(too many restrictions, as you've concisely pointed out), and the journey was so tedious and boring....sure could have done with your Hub back then lol!

Walking is obviously a lot healthier, but I understand it's nigh on impossible for many commuters.

Very well presented article, I thought.

Best wishes,


Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Rose, thanks, I'm glad you think so. I put a lot of thought into it!

Many times I travel quietly, but it is refreshing to talk to somebody on occasion. Sometimes I miss living in Virginia. I went on the same bus for years, and actually got to know a couple of people. But here in Boston, it seems like most of the time everyone is just doing their own thing. And there's nothing wrong with that, it just leaves me feeling really detached.

You're welcome, and thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on June 10, 2013:

Kathryn, I think this article is absolutely marvelous and so thorough. Love it! You're right about talking to strangers on the bus may have its' consequences, however, it might make for an interesting ride. Thanks for sharing! (Voted Up) Take care. -Rose

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

epbooks, Thank you very much, that is a wonderful compliment. I had quite a long time to come up with ideas, so once I sat down to put this together it worked quite well!

It would be terrible to be near someone who's putting on nail polish! That stuff is potent, and especially bad to have in a closed in space. She was obviously really inconsiderate, or else clueless.

Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and voting it up! I appreciate it. I hope you're having a fabulous day! And now that I am done with this, I can see what you have written lately. I noticed a couple of your articles in my e-mail notification. You are busy, girl!

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 10, 2013:

Perfect hub. These suggestions also go well on an airplane. And I love what NOT to do. I recall a woman applying nail polish on an airplane on a 5 hour flight. That strong smell lasted the entire time!. Voted up!!

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