I am a big fan of taking public transit whenever I can. It's more efficient, better for the environment, and reduces stress when commuting (compared to driving alone). There are so many ways to get around the Bay Area using public transit.
Not sure that there really is a 'legal' way to download music without paying for it. Unless you go to bandcamp and an artist has a pay what you want that starts at $0. http://bythebirch.bandcamp.com/releases