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LA Has the Worst Traffic in the World


405trafficDoes traveling around La La Land have you feeling more like screaming than singing? Then you may already know what a recent analysis has revealed about the gridlock-plagued city.

A report released this month from INRIX, a company specializing in transportation analytics and car services, confirms what Angeleno commuters experience all the time: Los Angeles has the world’s worst traffic congestion.

Among five continents, 38 countries and 1,360 cities on INRIX’s 11th annual global traffic scorecard, the Southland merged ahead with the worst congestion ranking for the sixth consecutive year.

According to the annual study, L.A. commuters spent over 100 hours a year in traffic jams in 2017 – more than any other city in the world.Los Angeles traffic.

Congestion costs hundreds of billions of dollars in time lost and fuel burned and lowers quality of life.

Too much traffic is bad for health, communities and the environment. Pedestrian safety is compromised by too many cars, busy roads are noisy and dangerous, and emissions from vehicles pollute the air and contribute to climate change.

If traffic isn’t your jam and you’d rather be part of the solution and not another car clogging up lanes, consider some road congestion reducing maneuvers.

Ride sharing not only improves traffic – it also saves money and helps the environment. Getting more people into fewer cars reduces congestion, smog and carbon emissions and by virtue of freeing up space on the street, typically gets passengers where they need to go more effectively.

Transportation has teamed up with Uber on a new program faculty, staff, students (and even alumni!) with a valid email address can take advantage of. The uberPOOl flat rate promotion offers UCLA affiliates a $5.99 flat rate for uberPOOL rides up to $15 within a five-mile radius from the center of campus.

When it comes to commuting to campus, buckling up with other Bruins can really help improve the flow of traffic – and lessen stress and pollution. Carpool permits are available to UCLA commuters at rates lower than single occupancy vehicle parking.

F86A6815Another ridesharing option available is UCLA Vanpool – a great alternative to driving alone that in addition to cost savings on gas, car maintenance and insurance, gives commuters the ability to take advantage of the high-occupancy vehicle lane, reducing the number of cars coming to campus and as a result alleviating traffic.

Taking the bus or rail does cut down on traffic. Urban mobility studies that look at road congestion in U.S. cities show the importance of public transportation in relieving congestion. Without public transportation, travelers can suffer millions of hours of delay with millions more gallons of fuel consumed.

Just as L.A. County is invested in expanding its public transit system, the University is committed to encouraging public transportation use, through discounted passes for multiple transit agencies and the ongoing Bruin Commuter Transit Benefit that offers a free quarterly transit pass for eligible faculty, staff and students.

There are remedies to combat this kind of congestion. Additional ways to lessen the nuisance of traffic include avoiding peak travel times and route planning. Sharing the ride, using transit, utilizing any form of alternative transportation keeps everyone moving — more quickly, safely and in a manner that takes less of a toll on the population and planet.


10 Tips to Help You Drive Safely in the Rain

Driving in rain

Rainy road with car

After just experiencing our first bout of heavy rain in 2018, we thought it'd be wise to remind all Angelenos how to drive on wet roads. This week’s storm has created some very dangerous conditions to be aware of. Because of Southern California's notoriously dry weather, rain water makes the roads slick with oil. This, paired with low visibility, can be a recipe for disaster. Here are some tips to keep in mind when driving on rainy roads:

1. Slow down

Did you know that “at speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway,” as stated by AAA. Even if it takes twice the amount of time usually spent on your regular commute, the loss of time is worth the prevention of the loss of lives.

2. Check your car before driving

Ensure that all parts of your vehicle (especially your wipers, lights, and turn signals) are functioning properly before getting behind the wheel. Also, check your tire tread to make sure your tires aren't slick.

3. Cancel cruise control

It’s all too easy to hydroplane while on cruise control. In order to be able to make the quick adjustments and reactions necessary in rainy conditions, control speed manually.

4. Turn your lights on

It's the law in California to turn your headlights on during rain, even in broad daylight. It'll help other vehicles see you.

5. Be alert

Please avoid sudden braking or sharp turning, and try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you. Doing these will prevent accidents from happening. Additionally, steer clear of puddles as these may be disguising dangerous potholes.

6. Keep a safe distance

That being said, try to maintain a greater distance between your car and those in front (an extra 1-2 seconds) and around you. If any sudden swerving or braking does occur, this will keep you from harm's way.

7. Know what to do if a skid occurs

AAA suggests that you “continue to look and steer in the direction in which the driver wants the car to go,” and, “avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.”

8. Do things one-at-a-time

Brake before continuing to turn, and only then, accelerate.

9. Don’t attempt to drive in flooded areas and check the weather

If an area seems to have very deep water, please attempt to find another route instead of taking a risk. Check the weather before driving. If rainfall seems particularly heavy, consider driving at a later time.

10. Be extra careful when driving around curves and on-ramps

These spots have proven themselves to be the most dangerous areas of road during stormy weather.

Check out this cool "How to Drive in Heavy Rain" video by Ford. 



Heading Home for Thanksgiving? Share the Ride & Win


zimsigivingThis Thanksgiving holiday is looking to be the busiest for travelers since 2007. With only a few days left, consider getting to your turkey feast by using Zimride to share backlight in traffic jamthe ride with fellow Bruins. You can post your own ride or join someone else's. As along as you carpool, you'll be saving money and alleviating some of the stress of holiday traffic.

Plus, by posting a ride on Zimride, you'll be automatically entered into their Thanks4giving Me a Ride Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card or one of ten $50 Amazon gift cards. For official contest rules, click here.

All you have to do is create an account using your UCLA email or log into your existing account, and click the "Post a Ride" button to find a match with someone from UCLA going the same way.

The sweepstakes runs from now through November 30. Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels!


UCLA Releases Annual ‘State of the Commute’ Report

Westwood, UCLA University Campus, Century City, Wilshire Corridor, LA, aerial

Westwood, UCLA University Campus, Century City, Wilshire Corridor, LA, aerial

Amid a growing population of staff, faculty and students, UCLA Transportation is still on track to reach its Climate Action Plan goal of a 52% alternative transportation commute rate, according to its newly-released "State of the Commute" report.SOTC_2016_COVER

In 2016, UCLA’s drive-alone rate was close to 53% for employees, significantly lower than Los Angeles County as a whole, where approximately 74% of all commuters drive alone to work according to 2015 U.S. Census data. The drive-alone rate for UCLA’s commuting students is even lower at just over 25%.

“UCLA Transportation has worked hard to reduce vehicle traffic on campus, and the results speak for themselves,” said Renee Fortier, UCLA Transportation's Executive Director. "Since 1987, the UCLA employee drive-alone rate has fallen from 74% to 53%."

The University continues to reap benefits from its substantial investment in smarter commute programs, including such measures as providing nearly 50% subsidized transit passes, vanpool subsidies, discounted carpool parking permits, bicycling infrastructure, and other commuter support services. Staff, faculty, and student incentives help employees and students reduce mobile source greenhouse gas emissions and make sustainable transportation choices for both their commutes and intra-campus trips. The annual report highlights the commuting characteristics of the nearly 45,000 students and 31,000 staff and faculty members, featuring graphs, charts, and tables that list program participation levels, specific mode use, and the commuter options and support programs available to UCLA employees, students, and visitors.

The complete UCLA State of the Commute PDF report is available here.

6 Signs Your Commute is Making You Sick

Frustrated girl in the traffic

Frustrated girl in the trafficAs the average American commute lengthens (it's now a 26-minute drive to work, up 20% since 1980), it is important to consider the adverse effects this traveling can have on your health.

Here are six ways to tell if your commute is negatively impacting your well-being:

1. You're coming down with a cold more often. This due to the fact that you are exposed to many bacteria and viruses in an environment as small and as public as a bus or train.

2. You keep having to set your alarm earlier and earlier. If you’ve ever set your alarm a half-an-hour, an hour, two hours earlier than usual just to “beat traffic”, then you know the taxing weight of sleep deprivation that seems to come with the job. What you may not realize is that sleep deprivation is more than just a nuisance that makes you tired all the time; it can pose serious health risks. LA sleep expert Michael J. Breus, PhD, warns that sleep deprivation “slows our reaction time, and that driving when tired or drowsy is like driving when drunk.” Sleep deprivation also leads to slowed cognition and chronic anxiety.

3. You have a bit of road rage. Sitting in traffic for long periods of time can really grind your gears, which can lead to anxiety. This will also raise your stress levels and, hence, blood pressure, possibly culminating in the development of serious heart issues such as heart attacks and heart disease.

4. The left side of your face is aging faster. Something that may not have crossed your mind before is the fact that while driving, the left side of your face is hit more directly by the sun’s rays than your right side, causing it to age faster. Imagine having wrinkles and dark spots only on the left side of your face.

5. Your commute feels just as long as your work day. Sitting for long periods of time can cause deep venous thrombosis, heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. It is advised to “get off of the train a stop or two early to get blood flowing, take a walk at lunch, or if you have a desk job, get up and walk to tell a colleague something instead of sending an email," according to personal trainer Ivica Marc. Follow these steps to help your body recover from sitting all day.

6. Your bicycle has emboldened you. The number of people use bike to work has increased by 64% from 2000 to 2013. That's great news, but it also means an increased risk of accidents and injuries. To minimize this risk, pay attention to the rules of the road and follow them; if you are unfamiliar with them, we encourage you to look them up. And of course, wear the proper safety equipment. Whether you are traveling in your car, by bus, train, or bicycle, we urge you to use your common sense and stay safe.