If you are a frequent visitor of the UCLA Transportation help desk, it's hard to miss Jumy Rollin's welcoming smile and cheerful voice. Not only is Jumy a guru of our alternative transportation services, she is also one of the 450 experienced vanpool drivers in the UCLA Vanpool program.
Q: How long have you been in the UCLA Vanpool Program?
A: Five years, ever since I started working at UCLA. It's actually a big part of the reason why I decided to work here! I live in the South Bay, so sharing rides with my vanpool buddies during the 45-minute commute makes it a lot less stressful.
Q: Were you always a vanpool driver?
A: No, I started out as a vanpool passenger and a backup driver, then gradually transitioned into a "full-time" driver. It's more work being a driver since I have more responsibilities like doing headcounts, but it's generally not that difficult since my passengers are very cooperative. It's nice to be a driver too because you get to enjoy a discounted fare.
Q: What are some challenges you face as a vanpool driver?
A: Traffic. Being stuck in traffic can be very stressful sometimes, but that's why I would prefer commute by vanpool rather than driving alone. The company of others really helps to alleviate the stress.
Q: What do you like most about vanpool?
A: The financial savings from gas and wear and tear, of course, since I'm sharing the cost with other people, and I don't have to drive my own vehicle. I'm a huge fan of green commute, so I also like the fact that a van can replace ten cars on the road. Vanpooling is a great opportunity to network and form friendships too! I've met people from different parts of the UCLA community, ranging from students to department directors.
Q: What is it like on your vanpool?
A: My vanpool is all about food. We love to share recipes with each other. Some members would bring desserts for the rest of us, or bring chocolates from their vacations. We also had a baby shower on the van and Secret Santa gift-exchange during the holiday seasons. My vanpool got really close, and we recently just went out for dim sum during the weekend!
Q: What advice would you give to other vanpoolers?
A: Communication is the key to a happy vanpool experience. It is best to be honest and courteous to your driver and fellow passengers, and ask whenever things are unclear.
Thanks for the great advice, Jumy!
Leave us a comment and share you vanpool experience with us! You may find out more about UCLA's vanpool program here.