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Your Green Commute Guide to LA’s Best Summer Events

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  1. IMG_4767It’s no sweat using alternative transportation to discover everything LA has to offer. Hot or not, you shouldn’t take a breezy attitude when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Explore the city without hurting the environment. Here’s our carefree and car-free compendium of summer happenings that you can reach by bus, rail, biking or walking.
  2. Bases covered: Go Metro to Dodger Stadium by connecting with the Stadium Express at two convenient locations – Union Station or South Bay. Your Dodgers ticket is good for the fare! To plan the route that’s best for you, use Metro’s Trip Planner. Big Blue’s on a hot streak and you wouldn’t want to miss the action or that quintessential summer culinary delight known as the Dodger dog.
  1. Transit is so hot right now: Take the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus to one of the city’s favorite summer traditions, the ultra-popular free Twilight Concerts on the pier. The city is packed on concert nights so take transit to avoid traffic headaches. You can also use Santa Monica's easy public Bike Share to navigate the beach community. There are 500 bikes at over 80 stations city-wide. Weekly through August 17 from 7-10 p.m.
  1. Image result for hammer museumA stroll through the village: Walk from campus to the Hammer Museum’s free summer program Rebel Rebel, featuring an eclectic line-up of female-fronted bands. Tour the galleries until 9 p.m., and catch live music in the courtyard. Thursdays in July starting at 7:30 p.m.
  1. Smooth operator: LACMA’s Friday Night Jazz Series features some of Southern California finest jazz musicians. Metro’s 20 and 720 lines on Wilshire and the 217, 218 and 780 on Fairfax all stop within half a block of the museum. Bicycle racks are located on Wilshire near the intersection of Spaulding, and just inside the 6th Street gate. Weekly through November starting at 6:00 p.m.
  1. Where summer plays: The Hollywood Bowl Park & Ride allows you to park in your neighborhood and ride directly to the tinseltown amphitheater to hear performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other acts.
  1. Get your summer on downtown:
    • Dance under the stars at the Music Center’s Dance DTLA, every other Friday through September 1 from 7-11 p.m. Go Metro and save 20% on tickets to Dance DTLA! Take the Red or Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station. You can also use the DASH system.
    • Image result for broad museumThe Broad Museum’s Summer Happenings is a late-night mash up of art, music, dance and spoken word on various dates through Sept. 23 starting at 8:30 p.m. The closest Metro station is the Civic Center/Grand Park Station (Purple or Red Line) located at First and Hill Streets. The museum is just a 0.4 mile walk from the station. Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus also offers weekday and weekend service to The Broad.
    • Beats from live music set the mood for Natural History Museum of L.A. County’s Summer Nights in the Garden. Sip a garden-infused cocktail, check out various science and nature experiences, and brighten your life with nature-inspired take-home activities in the museum’s enchanting Nature Gardens. There are Expo Line stops on both sides of NHMLA: Expo Park/USC and Expo/Vermont. Two Dash bus lines have stops directly across the street from the museum: the Dash F and the Dash Southeast.
  1. Anchors away: Go Metro to the Long Beach water taxis and use Metro Rapid 704 or Bus 2/302 to Sunset/Echo Park or Metro Bus 92 to Glendale/Santa Ynez to visit Echo Park Lake and rent pedal boats to see lotus blooms, as well as a picturesque view of the downtown skyline.
  1. Out of the studios and into communities: KCRW’s Summer Nights series of outdoor shows features live band performances and DJ sets, and spans from Chinatown to right here in Westwood. Various dates, locations and times through September 23. For the Chinatown event, the local Metro stop is the Chinatown Gold Line Station (at Spring & College). Union Station is only a short walk away. Several bus lines serve the area as well, including DASH.
  1. Peak performances: Sunset Concerts at the Skirball CulturalImage result for skirball cultural center Center showcase eclectic music, singing and dancing in a stunning, one-of-a-kind hillside setting. Arrive early to dine, shop and view the exhibitions. Take the Metro Rapid 734 or Metro Local 234. Concerts held on various dates from 5:30 - 10 p.m.
  1. Cinema under the stars: Share the ride with your fellow film aficionados to the various outdoor movie screenings around the city hosted by Eat|See|Hear, Cinespia, Street Food Cinema and others. For a complete listing, click here.

Ready for something even cooler? Not only do we already offer discounted quarterly transit passes, just in time for all these seasonal activities, we’ve launched a new transit benefit program that provides free transit passes for commuters who haven’t tried transit before! Hop aboard before the summer fun ends!

 

It’s National Dump the Pump Day!

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dumpthepumpSummertime and the living’s easy – when you dump the pump and try public transportation! National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride transit instead of driving a car to take them where they need to go.

happy young woman sitting on chair at beachThe timing couldn’t be better as summer is the perfect season to get out of your car and try alternative transportation: The days are longer, public transit is less crowded (school's out) and you can spend the money you’ll save on that well-deserved vacation.

When gas prices spiked during the summer of 2006, Dump the Pump Day was created as an opportunity for people to discover the many benefits of using public transit, namely to save money and decrease their carbon footprint.

Public transit helps people and their communities, and plays a crucial role in solving economic, environmental and social challenges.

Need more reasons to ride? Check out the other advantages to ditching the car.

Save up for a summer getaway and stimulate the local economy

Public transportation alleviates the financial burden of owning and operating an individual vehicle. Hand with gas pump and moneyYou can use Metro’s commute cost calculator to determine your savings. Transit also drives community growth and revitalization.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, every $1 invested in public transportation returns $4 in economic benefits to the community. Public transportation infrastructure lasts for decades and has enduring impacts on urban development, generating jobs and enabling economic progress.

Cleaner summer skies and healthier living

Every year, public transportation saves 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions and 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline nationwide.

Public transit gets cars off the road, reducing pollution and energy consumption. Letting transit take you where you need to go leads to a healthier environment, with fresher air and less traffic congestion. Shaping land use and development patterns, public transportation supports policies regarding energy use, air quality and carbon emissions.

There are a number of health impacts associated with using public transportation too: less stress, fewer pollutants in the air and safer traveling compared to personal vehicles.

Public transit use is also linked to increased physical activity, which helps with weight control, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and certain cancers, strengthens bones and muscles and improves mental health.

Paint the town summer long aboard public transportation

Public transportation services provide personal mobility for people of all walks of life. Access to transit gives people May302017_2318_1commuting options for education, employment, and social and recreational activities. It also promotes community cohesion!

It may seem like cars offer freedom, comfort and convenience but now is the time to dump that expensive polluter and give the more attractive alternative option a spin.

To find out more about how you can commute to UCLA using public transit, visit our website.

 

 

New BruinBus Summer Schedule!

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bruinbus_blog_launchChanges are coming to the BruinBus for summer quarter!

Starting Monday, June 19, the Campus route will run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the Wilshire route will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Both routes will have stops every 12 minutes.

These schedule changes will remain in effect until Friday, September 22.

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Road Trip? Here Are 5 Tips to Minimize Your Carbon Footprint

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roadtripHalf of toxic air pollutant emissions in the U.S. are caused by motor vehicles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The organization also reported the total miles people travel by vehicle rose 178% between 1970 and 2005. It’s easy to overlook our responsibility to reduce our impact and offset environmental pollution when summer travel is just around the corner. But there are several ways to help reduce your carbon footprint on a road trip without compromising on fun. Here are a few easy and innovative ways to help contribute to the health of our planet one emission-reducing technique at a time.

Choose a Low-Carbon Vehicle
Trade in your gas guzzler for an environmentally friendlier low-carbon vehicle. An electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf generally won’t generate CO2 if it’s fueled by clean electricity. Aside from helping the environment, an electric car can also be cheaper than driving with traditional fuel options. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, annual fuel savings typically range from $750 to $1,200. Electric cars and hybrids are often cheaper, or only marginally more expensive, than traditional options and may come with tax incentives and reductions, making this an even more economical option.

Take Care of Your Tires
You can improve the fuel efficiency of your car without having to trade it in for a new one. Start with your tires. Keeping your tires well-maintained and properly inflated can save up to 700 pounds of CO2 a year. Choose tires that offer high fuel-efficiency, fuel-saving options and responsive handling to further reduce your carbon footprint. Shop online to find the best selection of environmentally friendly tire options.

Use Renewable Fuels
Seek out alternative fuel options that are made from renewable resources like corn. Flex Fuel vehicles can use E85 fuel with a combination of ethanol and gasoline in case you can’t find alternative options on the road. Diesel vehicles can be driven on biodiesel fuels made from diesel and biodiesel. Don’t let finding alternative gas stations intimidate you when planning your next summer road trip. Instead, use the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fueling Station Locator with nearly 17,000 alternative fuel station options across the country.

Drive Conservatively
Your summer travel planning should include a look at your driving style and an efficient route to your vacation destination. In addition to keeping an eye on your tire pressure, look to see what's inside your car and how you're driving it. Clean out your trunk to reduce weight and travel with fewer suitcases to use up less fuel. Before your summer trip, keep your car in good condition with regular maintenance to avoid overworking your car and burning off unnecessary fuel.

How you drive can also affect your carbon footprint and your emissions use. Avoid heavy traffic when possible, accelerate slower, don't speed and watch your braking. Accelerating and braking aggressively can use 30% more fuel, not to mention increase the maintenance needs of your car.

Purchase Carbon Offsets
It’s not always possible to reduce your carbon footprint and emissions as much as you would like, especially when summer road trips are involved. Businesses have been investing in carbon offsets for years to compensate for the emissions and pollution produced. Individuals can also buy offsets and help contribute to global projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in other areas. The idea is if you can't reduce your own emissions, then you can balance it out by removing the same amount of emissions elsewhere. TerraPass offers the purchase of offsets starting at $5.95 per 1,000 pounds of CO2 to support sustainable emission reduction projects.

 

Susan Finch is a freelance writer with a passion for travel and helping small businesses find their online voice through content marketing, blogging and beyond. She is an eclectic writer with more than 10 years of experience contributing to guidebooks, magazines, iPhone apps, online publications and more. Susan can be found at BySusanFinch.com

7 FREE events you just can’t miss this summer (and how to get there on transit from UCLA)

Twilight Concerts

 

Summer is here and there are plenty of FREE events in LA! Ranging from music festivals to art showcases, boardwalk bike rides to food tastings, you’ll definitely have plenty of things to do. Here are seven events and activities you must do this summer. Don’t forget to think green and save money by walking, biking or using public transportations, and avoid the hassle of driving in a hot summer day:

1 - Take a bike ride from the Venice Boardwalk to the Santa Monica Pier

Venice Boardwalk  SantaMonicaPier[1]

There are plenty of activities to do in Venice and Santa Monica. If you already own a bike or have rented one from the UCLA bike shop then take it with you! Metro offers bike racks on the front of their buses for riders to use at their own convenience. Venice does not only offer you  the beach, but also various FREE outdoor spaces such as paddle tennis, handball, volleyball and basketball courts, boxing and gymnastic areas, a biking and/or skating path, and of course the very famous Muscle Beach. If you are a shopper, you can also enjoy the various boutiques the boardwalk offers. Once you get on the bike path, you can head north into Santa Monica where you’ll enjoy the Santa Monica Pier.  In addition, don’t forget to check out the Venice Summerfest between July 26 and 27 on Venice Beach. The annual festival will start at 10 a.m. and it will feature live music shows and delicious food to sample.

Directions from UCLA via public transit


2- Twilight Concerts at the Santa Monica Pier

Twilight Concerts

One of L.A. favorite concert series returns this year for its 30th consecutive year. Every Thursdays,   starting on July 10th, the Santa Monica Pier will start its outdoor concert series showcasing a diverse line-up of talent including reggae, rock, indie pop, R&B and even a little '80s music.For more information, please visit http://santamonicapier.org/twilightconcerts/

Directions from UCLA via public transit

 

3 – Grand Performances Summer Festival at the California Plaza

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Every Thursdays and Fridays from June 13 to Sept. 13, 2014, the non-profit organization, Grand Performances, offers a series of art events at the California Plaza, an urban amphitheater, to celebrate LA's diversity. Throughout the summer, there will be an eclectic lineup including a wide array of film screenings, music, theatre, and dance performances. For more information, call 213-687-2159 or visit www.grandperformances.org.

Directions from UCLA via public transit


4- Summer music series at the Original Farmers Market

Music Festival Farmers Market

For the 80th consecutive year, every Thursdays and Fridays from May 29 - Aug. 29, 2014, the Original Historic Famers market is offering a fun summer music series with eclectic evening concerts. For more information, please visit http://www.farmersmarketla.com .

Directions from UCLA via public transit

 

5- Wine & Jazz: Live Music at Hollywood & Highland

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Now in its 11th year, the Wine & Jazz Fest at Hollywood and Highland offers Angelenos hours of smooth classic jazz tunes. The summer series takes place every Tuesdays this July. For more information, please visit http://hollywoodandhighland.com

Directions from UCLA via public transit

 

6- Pershing Square Summer Concert Series

Pershing Square

Located in the heart of Downtown LA, the palm tree oasis, known as Pershing Square, is a postmodern iconic park of the LA lifestyle.  Between July 10 and August 18, join the community for lunchtime concerts on Wednesdays, rock concerts on Thursday and Saturday nights, films on Friday nights and salsa music on Sunday nights. For more information, please visit http://laparks.org/pershingsquare

Directions from UCLA via public transit

 

7- El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument - Olvera Street

Olvera Street, Los Angeles, CA  El Pueblo 1

If you are in the mood for a traditional Mexican experience, you should explore the Mexican marketplace at the Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument at Olvera Street. You are welcome to visit on your own or join a free walking tour Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The marketplace offers 27 historic buildings of which 11 are open to the public. For more information, please visit, www.elpueblo.lacity.org.

Directions from UCLA via public transit