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UCLA Bruins Can Now Save More With uberPOOL Flat Rate

Uber Flat Rate blog 700x240

Uber Flat Rate blog 700x240UCLA students, staff and faculty can now ride uberPOOL near campus for a low flat rate!

Request an uberPOOL for pick-up and drop-off within five miles from the center of campus and pay a maximum of only $5.99 for all fares up to $15. This offer is valid from February 1, 2018, through April 30, 2018.

How to sign up

  1. Download the Uber app on Google Play or through the Apple Store.
  2. Register with your UCLA email OR log in to your existing account and update it with your UCLA email.
  3. Go to the Payment tab in your Uber app, and under Promotions, enter the code UCLAWINTER2018. Please allow up to three hours for the promo code to apply. You will receive a confirmation email once flat fares are active for your account.
  4. Take your uberPOOL ride within the qualifying area (approximately a five-mile radius from the center of the UCLA campus).

How the flat rate works

The $5.99 flat rate is available for uberPOOL rides between $6 and $15. For rides over $15, the additional amount will be added onto the flat rate (i.e., a $16 ride would only cost $6.99). If your standard fare is less than $5.99, you will only be charged for the lower fare.

UberPOOL is Uber's version of carpooling. With tens of thousands of Uber riders already on campus, this new promotion aims to encourage Uber passengers to share the ride by providing a sustainable and affordable way to travel.

Please note that you must have a ucla.edu email address to qualify, and all rides must begin and end within the qualifying area. This flat rate offer only applies to uberPOOL rides.

Disclaimer: The uberPOOL flat fare pilot program is operated by Uber Technologies Inc. UCLA assumes no responsibility or liability for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages arising out of or in any way connected with participation in the uberPOOL flat fare program.

7 tips to consider when starting a carpool

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Are you considering starting your own carpool? Whether your reason is to be environmentally responsible or just to save money at the gas pump, forming a carpool is a great way to achieve your goal. To help you get through this process, here are some helpful tips to consider:

1. Spread the word!
Someway somehow you have to make people aware of your intentions to start a carpool. Try reaching out to family, friends, coworkers and neighbors using a combination of both email and social media. Also, if you are a UCLA student, staff or faculty, you may want to consider the ridesharing service Zimride to start your carpool.

2. First conversations
Be sure to have a conversation with all of your carpool buddies and try to sort through any potential compatibility issues. The conversation should cover the rules for the carpool as well as topics such as: pickup and drop off locations, schedules and times, expenses, etiquette, routes, communication protocol, etc.

3. Policy double check
Just to be on the safe side, you may want to consider double checking your insurance policy. In case of an emergency, make sure that you and anyone riding in your car are covered under the existing policy. If you are unsure then don’t hesitate to contact your insurance agent to go over your policy with you.

4. Car check-up
It’s important to get your car “ready to roll” before hitting the road with your new carpool. Be sure to have your mechanic inspect your car and address any potential issues. Also, be sure to wash your car and gas up the day before it’s your turn to drive. You don’t want to waste precious time by stopping at the gas station during the commute.

5. Research alternate routes
Traffic conditions can sometimes be unpredictable. Be prepared for whatever life may throw your way by researching alternate streets and highways as a backup plan. Also, consider using a traffic app to help navigate through bad conditions during the commute.

6. Wait or keep it moving?
Is five minutes enough time to wait? Decide how you and your fellow carpool members will handle a situation when someone is running late. The entire group should agree on how much time is appropriate to wait for one person holding up the carpool. Set the terms in the beginning and stick to the rules.

7. Getting acquainted
Make an effort to ensure the carpool experience is pleasant for everyone. Think about an interesting story that you can share with your new carpool buddies. Also, don’t get nervous if there’s silence in the car. Simply take advantage of the quiet time by reflecting on your day, then sit back and enjoy the ride.

8 tips to help you buff up on your carpool etiquette

Carpool

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When riding in a carpool it’s important to be respectful and courteous to everyone inside the car. Keep in mind, something very minor to you could be annoying to the person riding next to you. Here are some tips to help keep harmony in tact with your carpool buddies:

1.  Respect the agreement
Be sure to hold up your end of the bargain as to whatever was discussed and agreed to during the initial setup of the carpool. Have a clear understanding of what’s expected from you in terms of driving responsibilities, expenses, pickup locations and times, and notifying others in case of an emergency.

2.  Clean car
Let’s be honest! Nobody wants to ride in a dirty or messy car. When it’s your turn to drive be sure to wipe the car down inside and out. Also, be sure to move any miscellaneous items from the seat to the trunk of the car.

3.  Advance notice
Life happens and sometimes you can’t avoid running late. That’s okay! Just be sure to notify the people in your carpool so they can make other arrangements if need be.

4.  General conversations vs. urgent calls
That funny story about your dog chasing a squirrel up a tree can probably wait until later. Try to minimize conversations on your cell phone to urgent matters and be mindful of the length of time.

5.  Food & beverage
Treat everyone’s car as if it was your own car. Never assume it’s okay to eat and drink inside someone else’s car. Be sure to get permission from all carpool members before entering the car with your breakfast fare. If you do eat in someone else's car, always clean up after yourself and gather any trash before exiting.

6.  Silence vs. entertainment
Some people may prefer to ride in silence while others enjoy listening to the radio. If you are the driver, don’t hesitate to ask if someone has a preference and be sure to keep the volume at a reasonable level. Also, you may want to consider rotating who’s in charge of selecting the music each week.

7.  Avoid hot button topics
Given everything in the news, it’s difficult not to have an opinion on issues. However, in order to avoid any potential conflict, it’s best to shy away from discussing these types of issues. Try having friendly and lighthearted conversations during the commute.

8.  Distracting the driver
Whether it’s playing games on your smartphone or putting on your make-up, you should always be aware of your actions inside the car. Make sure that you do not become a distraction by preventing the designated driver from concentrating on the road.

Rideshare week is almost here! Join the fun now until Oct. 22

UCLA Celebrates Rideshare Week 2014
UCLA Celebrates Rideshare Week 2014

UCLA Celebrates Rideshare Week - Thursday, October 9, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Bruin Plaza

Are you tired of traffic congestion, stressed by aggressive drivers and exasperated by the cost of gas? If so, have you ever thought about ridesharing? Join UCLA Transportation in the celebration of the Rideshare Week 2014 events.

The California Rideshare Week 2014 is Oct. 6-10 and is an opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of sharing a ride to work! Ridesharing helps commuters reduce trip costs and contributes to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. There are also health benefits associated with commuting by foot, bike or even transit. Carpooling and vanpooling allows commuters to enjoy the ride while traveling.

UCLA faculty, staff or students may share the ride and win prizes by participating in any of these activities:

Pledge To Share the Ride

Pledge with UCLA Transportation to commute to UCLA by public transit, carpool, vanpool, bike or foot now until Oct. 22. Those who pledge will have the opportunity to win gift cards, emergency kits, gift bags and many other prizes. Please click here to pledge to UCLA Transportation Rideshare Week.

Show Us Your Ride on Instagram

Submit a photo of your ride on Instagram by following @UCLACommute and using #UCLARideshare14 anytime now through Oct. 22 and you could win gift cards, emergency kits, gift bags and many other prizes.

Rideshare Week Fair

Come celebrate with Bruin Commuter Services on Oct. 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bruin Plaza. The event will be filled with fun activities, prizes, free t-shirts and various ridesharing experts. Remember to sign in at the Transportation booth to receive a raffle ticket for special prizes such as Fitbit One, gift cards, emergency kits and gift bags.

Pledge with Metro

Pledge to share the ride on Metro’s Website now through Oct. 10 to win a variety of gift cards.

All pledges and Instagram entries must be received on or before Oct. 22, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. For UCLA pledge entries, 10 winners will be randomly selected. The top-three photos from the Instagram contest with the most “likes” as of Oct. 22 at 6:00 p.m. will be selected to win. All winners will be announced through our blog and Facebook page on Oct. 23, 2014. Click here to read the terms and conditions.

For the latest updates, join our Facebook event page: 2014 Rideshare Week!

Below is a list of our fabulous prizes:

Pledges:
1 Fitbit One or
A gift bag or
$20 gift card from Ralphs or...
$5 on your BruinCard

Instagram:
1st place: An emergency car kit
2nd place: $5 gift card
3rd place: $5 gift card

Thank you for joining us in our quest to promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Q&A with Tim Banuelos, UCLA Vanpool +One

Tim Banuelos is one of our fantastic customer service representatives in Bruin Commuter Services, and he's also a UCLA Vanpool +One. He joined UCLA Transportation about a month ago. You can find him behind our front lobby desk in the Strathmore Building helping Bruins find their smart commute.

We asked Tim a few questions about his experience as a UCLA Vanpool +One. Check out his answers below. Thanks, Tim!

From where do you commute to UCLA? How many miles away do you live from campus?

My commute is a long ways considering how bad traffic can be. I live in Whittier, CA which is approximately 35 miles southeast of Westwood.

How did you hear about the UCLA Vanpool Program?

Well, a close friend of mine has been working at UCLA for quite some time now and he always rides a vanpool to and from UCLA. Once I started working at Bruin Commuter Services, I immediately tried to get into the Vanpool system as well. However, the van that worked around my schedule was already at full capacity – so I became a +One Rider for that van.

What exactly is a UCLA Vanpool +One?

As a +One, I am the 12th passenger of an 11-passenger van. This is how the +One program works:

  1. I make a monthly payment like every other full-time rider.
  2. I check in every day with the drivers to see if they have an open seat. If there is, then I have priority.
  3. I have priority over part-time riders and those seeking to ride a different van home other than their primary vanpool.
  4. I also have the flexibility to get on a different vanpool when my van is full.
  5. If no seats are available, I have to provide my own transportation that day.

One great aspect about the +One program is that when a regular full-time passenger decides to leave the van, the seat will automatically become mine.

What is the difference between being a +1 rider and a part-time rider?

+One riders pay the same monthly fare as a full-time passenger. Part-time riders are those who are seeking to ride one-way either to or from UCLA. Part-time riders only pay a one-way fare for each time they travel. They must pre-purchase vouchers at the cashiers window in the Transportation Lobby. The neat thing for a +One rider is that once a seat becomes open on their particular van, the seat is automatically theirs. A part-time rider may be on the waitlist for that very same van but will always be behind the +One. So I highly recommend anyone to become a +One because it is very convenient and you’ll hopefully have a full-time seat before you know it!

What do you like most about vanpooling?

As a vanpool rider, it allows me to sit back and relax to/from work. I save myself the stress from driving, and traffic is no longer my problem. I also save the $400 I would spend on gas alone every month and the maintenance on my vehicle. I can use the extra money I save on the days I have to provide my own transportation as a +One. It's a “win-win”  for me!

What is the atmosphere like in your vanpool? 

My van is pretty quiet. The other passengers are usually sleeping. I take a nap occasionally, but I mainly listen to Chopin, the Romantic pianist, and relax on my way home. But we are also social on many days – in my short time as a vanpool rider we have already had a birthday on the van! We all sang happy birthday for one of the passengers and they received gifts from other fellow passengers. It is great to see things like this occur because it builds a sense of community and solidarity among the vanpool riders.

Have you ever had to use an Emergency Ride Home (ERH)?

I have not had to use Emergency Ride Home, but since I work at Bruin Commuter Services I have seen a handful of Vanpool Riders use ERH. But it is definitely reassuring to know that I have a back-up plan in case of an emergency.