Commuters are using the time they spend riding the rails buses productively, according to a new survey.                     

A passenger sleeps as she rides an Amtrak train. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

The survey was conducted by Citi Cards and according to Chris Fred, head of Proprietary Product Management at Cit, 3 in 4 commuters consider their ride to work a time of relaxation before the workday begins. The survey also showed that  24 percent use the commuting time productively.

"It is really about how to create some type of productivity or efficiency," Fred said.

So how are riders being productive during the commute? The survey finds 6 in10 are brainstorming ideas for work, and 1 in 4 are reading and responding to email, according to Fred. "There is a lot of diversity in how people actually approach that time. The opportunity to work on e-mails and think about things where you are not just getting bombarded at work from a variety of different places and running from meeting to meeting, there is definitely that opportunity to use that time for yourself and to make your life a little bit easier, whether it is for at home or it is for at work."

According to the survey, within the "brainstorming crowd," about half say their time to make "to do" lists. It also found that only 30 percent of all the commuters are actually using technology in some way shape or form while riding the rails and buses.

"One of the big differences between a car and being on a train, as an example, you do on a train have the opportunity to crack open your laptop, potentially join a conference call and to do things," Fred said.

But whether they are working or "chilling" during the ride, Fred said passengers see the commute as their "me time."

Fred says the survey revealed some negative feelings among bus and rail riders when it comes to fellow commuters' bad habits.

"Two things popped out of that. One was, they don't like the, 'germ spreader,' the person that's coughing or doing something unseemly in public," Fred said. "And of course, people do not like when someone is on a phone, talking. That is a big nuisance that definitely came up when we talked to these guys."