When I joined UCLA 5 years ago, the distance of my commute (from Orange County) made choosing a vanpool commute a no-brainer. Joining a vanpool, I expected an efficient means of transportation to work, but what I did not expect was how much I would enjoy and appreciate my fellow vanpool family. Whether it’s a spontaneous rendition of “Happy Birthday” for our driver, exchanges of holiday gifts, or the willingness to wait a bit for a late-arriving member (who calls ahead), the ways in which we look out for one another is a very special part of my UCLA life. Given that we spend 12-15 hours together per week in mind-numbing traffic, we’ve become a sort of family. Small family disputes can arise, but as True Bruins, we sort it out and move on. Laughter is the best problem solver; nothing like leaving a vanpool rider behind and forgotten and returning to pick him up with a bright chorus of smiles and greetings.

-Bob