6 ways to make your State Road 37/I-69 commute easier

Indianapolis and Bloomington commuters can attest that the 52-mile stretch between the state capital and Hoosier campus can add additional stress to the work day. With daily traffic jams and construction projects on State Road 37/I-69 plaguing the most direct route between the two cities, the nearly 90-minute drive can be a bit of a drag. But it doesn't have to be. Shake up the monotony by adding one of these to your day-to-day commute:

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Nothing helps pass the time like having a friend or co-worker along for the ride. Create a schedule and plan to alternate drivers on different days. The environment will thank you, too.

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Use Waze

Invest in apps that will help you avoid traffic and cut down your drive time. Waze, a favorite app among commuters, helps drivers find the quickest route to their final destination, alerting them along the way to accidents, police, cars parked on the side of the road and more. Extra tip: Always set up your app before you start driving.

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Listen to music or subscribe to a podcast series

Commercial-free music, like XM radio, or listening to playlists on apps like Spotify, can add some excitement to the commute. Have a dash of road rage? Classical music is said to ease stress and calm nerves. Podcasts, a combination of education and entertainment, have recently made the ultimate comeback and are more popular than ever. They let listeners catch up on the latest headlines, learn more about political and social issues, and follow human interest stories. The best part? Most of them are free. Check out this list of recommended podcasts from The New York Times to get you started.

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Have snacks available

The roads are unpredictable, so plan ahead for the possibility of stand-still traffic, with an extra bottle of water or a few snacks to munch on readily available.

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Relish the solitude

Use the time to yourself to decompress and clear your mind. Unplug from technology and enjoy the views of Indiana.

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Utilize the Campus Commute

Let someone else take the wheel, and relax on Indiana University's Campus Commute shuttle. This intercampus shuttle service transports faculty, staff and students between the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses. Shuttle fees cost $12 per ticket one way.