By Sirinya The Intern

I think I am moving home after I graduate from my program at UCLA.

And home is in The VALLEY, which wouldn’t be so awful if it weren’t for the fact that my parents’ air conditioner doesn’t work, which is compounded by the grueling, 100-degree summer days stemming from this thing called the blacktop effect and global warming.

The Tritipeskuls don’t actually live that far away from UCLA. Our house is about 10 miles and 45 minutes by car from the UCLA campus. Via public transit, the trip is approximately an hour barring any hiccups. We live one mile east of the 761 so on prior trips home using transit to visit my parents, I have used my bike (RIP) to travel the Last Mile to their house. Now, I’d use my Xootr Scooter to travel that Last Mile.

Meanwhile, I’m worried that I can’t continue to do my car-free thing if I live in the SFV. For starters, connections between the SFV and anywhere I want to go are very poor late at night. Will I turn into an early-evening hermit? Truthfully I will put myself on the car insurance so I can access one of my parents four cars (yes, four cars) when necessary. But there are people who live in my area who do not drive. I sense from my analysis of the Census data for the area that there is a correlation between income, race, and car ownership.

Do any of you readers live in the East Valley (aka The EV)? How do you get to UCLA? Are any of you using alternative modes? And if so, do you still own or drive a car? How has using an alt mode to commute to UCLA changed your overall travel behavior?

Sirinya The Intern is graduating next month (!) from her MA in Urban Program at the UCLA School of Public Affairs. She uses a Xootr Scooter as her primary form of transportation, followed by transit, Juancar (her boyfriend’s car), and Zipcar.