Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Injustice

Local Bands Sing Of San Diego Bus Travel

Riding the Bus

A tune by San Diego band "Buck O Nine" becomes a music video to promote use of the bus.

— San Diego mass transit has enlisted the help some local bands to encourage use of the bus and the trolley.

The Metropolitan Transit System, or MTS, has hired five popular San Diego bands. They include Todo Mundo, We are MTNS, the KneeHighs and Vokab Kompany.

The San Diego transit agency gets some jingles about bus and trolley use from hip local bands.

Halloran, a DJ for the radio station 91X, took the lead in curating bands to write what are essentially jingles for the MTS. The fifth band he helped to hire was Buck-O-Nine, which is the favorite band of a marketing director at the Metropolitan Transit System. Halloran said when he suggested the director hire the band, she didn't believe they could do it.

"I think she was just skeptical because Buck-O-Nine in her mind is massive, and wouldn't do a jingle for public transportation," said Halloran. "And of course they loved the idea."

Rob Schupp, a spokesman for the MTS, said the groups all wrote original lyrics and music, with some guidance from the transit agency.

"We gave them message points that we wanted to have included," he said.

Schupp said the marketing campaign came out of an effort to improve on-time performance. The tunes have lots of talk about using the "Compass Card" to speed up boarding and eliminate cash fares. Songs also counseled riders to arrive at the station on time and stand behind the yellow line.

Halloran said all of the bands were into it.

"All of them agreed that public transportation is something that people need to look at as a viable alternative, and they talked about how they used to ride the bus," said Halloran. "The guy from Todo Mudo said that's how he got everywhere."

Eventually, all of the songs will be animated. They have already begun airing on local TV and radio.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.