By Sirinya Tritipeskul

This fall, I found myself revisiting the density disclosure maps I created as part of our Micro-Area Carpool research project. Last spring, I created a series of maps for five communities that are near carpool lanes but have few commuters arriving by carpool or vanpool. I sent them off, and got some feedback (luckily, all positive).

We decided to try this again, with some changes.

We picked out two more communities, Inglewood & Burbank. Neither have direct bus service to Westwood, despite their relative proximity to campus (10 and 20 miles respectively). Although there are vanpools which originate from those cities, they can't possibly serve everyone who lives there. And so it is not surprising that most employees from Inglewood and Burbank drive, and they drive alone.

The opening of the carpool lanes on the 405 between the 10 and the 90 creates an extra incentive to reach out to residents of Inglewood, which is located just south of LAX along the 405.

So once again, we created maps with dots to represent where employees live. (The dots are extra big for privacy purposes.) Later today, we will be sending out emails to people who live in those communities with the maps and links to Zimride.

One good reason to carpool is the fact that driving is expensive. I relied on the Southern California club of AAA's 2009  "Your Driving Costs" report to figure out the cost of commuting per day and per month between the pilot communities and Westwood. Based on average costs of operating a car and the cost of parking here at UCLA, commuters from Inglewood could save about $70 and commuters from Burbank could save up to $100.

See this Driving costs from Burbank and Inglewood for the calculations.