Image of empty highway with numbers 2018 toward an upward arrow on the end of road

Start 2018 on the right (carbon) foot(print) by resolving to give a smarter, more sustainable commute option a go. Switching from solo commuting to alternative transportation actually makes it easier to achieve popular resolutions like saving money, reducing stress, improving mental and physical health, optimizing time management and helping the environment.

Here are the keys to keeping your resolutions shorter than that holiday shopping list and how to become healthier and happier along the way.

Public Transportation

Riding transit has substantial benefits: Public transportation users get more physical activity (30 minutes of exercise is recommended each day), and taking transit reduces stress levels, keeps the air cleaner and saves you money. Buses are also safer than individual vehicles.

Take advantage of the subsidized passes UCLA offers students and employees. First time riders can try transit for free for one quarter through the Bruin Commuter Transit Benefit. Once you board, you likely won’t hop back into that tension-inducing driver’s seat.

Ridesharing

Out with the solo commuting and in with sharing the ride in the new year. The UCLA Vanpool program has added routes in Orange County, Mid-City, Antelope Valley, Ventura County and the San Gabriel Valley. In addition to driving less and smiling more, there are some extra incentives to joining a vanpool: Drivers receive a discount on the monthly fare, and there are programs that reward riders who refer a friend and new members who join select routes.

Carpooling offers convenience and flexibility and saves on the cost of vehicle wear and tear. Bruins get to split the price of a carpool parking permit which costs less than what a single occupancy vehicle driver pays.

Sharing the ride means fewer cars on the road, resulting in less traffic congestion and pollution, which helps everyone and planet Earth.

Biking and Walking

Active commute alternatives allow you to exercise during your workday, leading to not just improved health but also economic, social and environmental benefits.

Ready to give up that parking permit as a New Year’s goal? Our Earn-A-Bike program geared toward employees and graduate students offers a free $400 bicycle package, including a hybrid or mountain bike, if you commit to not having a parking permit for two years.

Coming in 2018, Bruin Bike Share will connect with the Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood bike share systems. This means expanded mobility for the campus community. You’ll be able to take a bike share bicycle from a campus or Westwood Village hub and return it to one of the regional stations.

Walking to work is more than just good exercise. Walkers experience a greater sense of well-being and lower their risk of chronic conditions. Every step provides an opportunity to be outdoors and get some creative thinking time in as well.

If distance is getting between you and biking or walking, consider multi-modal commuting, and ride the bus or rail to make up the extra miles.

A new year is the perfect time to try something different, and our services and programs provide a perfect solution for the commuting resolution.

May your days on and off the road be merry and bright!