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Tag Archives: Transit

How Your Commute Can Make You Happier

Happy-Commute

Happy-CommuteCommuting to work can be traffic-laden, tedious and dreadful. But it turns out there's a way to lighten the load, and it starts with picking the right transportation mode. According to a paper published last month in the journal Sustainability, the way we commute can affect our sense of happiness and well-being. In particular, sustainable commutes can reduce bad feelings and lead to greater contentment.

Using the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index (WBI) and commute data from 187 U.S. cities for one year, researchers from four universities looked at the relationship between sustainable transportation modes in metropolitan areas and individual well-being. The WBI is based on five elements: physical well-being, community well-being, social well-being, financial well-being and purpose, and associated career well-being.

The general pattern of results indicated that regions that favor sustainable commute modes over driving-alone had higher well-being scores, even when controlling for other important predictors of happiness. Driving alone was associated with lower well-being scores, whereas carpool and non-motorized modes were associated with higher well-being scores.

Automobile use has been found to increase boredom, social isolation and stress, while active transportation users (walkers and cyclists) have significantly higher self-reported happiness levels than those who drive—even when accounting for differences in income, health and attitudes about travel.

Physically active commute modes likewise have been shown to reduce the number of sickness incidences over time. Commuters who bike or walk report better health, lower exhaustion and stress, and fewer missed workdays than their counterpart car commuters.

The study also suggested that providing incentives for commuters to use more sustainable commute options could offer greater opportunity for happiness than those that do not. This summer we launched the new Bruin Commuter Transit Benefit Program, which gives eligible faculty, staff and students the opportunity to try public transit free for one full quarter.

Happiness can be influenced by transportation systems—with sustainable infrastructure and policies potentially enhancing quality of life. Being able to begin and end the workday in a less stressful manner can contribute to physiological and psychological wellness.

These findings demonstrate more sustainable transportation modes are associated with well-being, with the evidence presented supporting the notion that commute mode affect the pursuit of happiness.

Ready for a brighter future by changing your commute habit? See what alternative transportation programs we offer on our website.

 

 

BruinBus introduces two new all-electric buses to its fleet!

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bruinbus

On Tuesday, September 27, UCLA Transportation reveled two new, all-electric buses as part of the BruinBus transit program. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place at Dickson Court North featuring music, light refreshments, fun BruinBus giveaways and a test ride on one of the buses.

These zero emission, clean-fueled transit buses can run for up to 145 miles and only require 4 hours of recharging time. Built by the automotive company BYD, the battery-electric buses are five times more efficient compared to diesel, CNG, and hybrid technologies and will replace the last diesel buses in the BruinBus campus shuttle fleet. The buses will be the first electric buses at any public university in California!

Check out some of the photos from the event below!


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Weekly Wrap-Up

This week's biggest headlines in transportation:

Here’s How to Stay Green, UCLA

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shutterstock_179577842Here you are, a college student at an amazing university in an amazing state. Your generation is wise to the green game and often accounts for environmental issues when you make decisions. But being green isn't always easy, especially if you live off-campus.

Renting an apartment provides you with a rental history, which you’ll need after you graduate. Off-campus housing also affords you more freedom than you would get while living in the dorms. But how can you live off-campus and still be green when you have to commute to school? What steps can you take to minimize your footprint?

UCLA BruinLink, a newsletter for UCLA students and their parents, has a section dedicated to helping weigh and compare housing and commuting options. It is a solid site that also provides the following printable forms: roommate needed form, room in private home/room for service form, sample rental documents and sublet listing forms.

Off-Campus: Look Close to Travel Smart

Living away from campus doesn’t mean you have to live in the boondocks. That's exactly what you do not want to do. The closer you are to campus, the greener you can make your commute. So look for an apartment that will allow you to easily travel to and from your classes and school events. Perimeter homes are easy to find if you know where to look. Rent.com is a great resource for UCLA students, as the site covers the area thoroughly.

Vetted apartments on Rent.com have a badge next to the listing. You'll also want to search for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified apartments or apartments that embrace aspects of LEED-certification. You may have to make a few tradeoffs, but you should still be able to find a home that is compatible with your green lifestyle.

The Green Commute

Sustainability is important to the UC system, as demonstrated by the fact that the UC system recently became the first system in the U.S. to have 100 LEED-certified buildings. Since 2006, all new construction in the UC system has met LEED standards. Being a part of an organization that takes sustainability so seriously makes it much easier to make environmentally-friendly choices. The system makes sure to offer green(er) commuting options too.

The BruinGO! Transit Program

Like the rest of the UC system, UCLA has a proven commitment to sustainability and provides students with ample options to travel smarter.The BruinGO! Transit Program allows eligible UCLA students and staff to travel on several bus lines at a reduced cost. For $33 per quarter, students and staff can travel on any Santa Monica Big Blue Bus or Culver City Bus.

 

LA Getting Sued Over Mobility Plan 2035

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WestwoodBlvdBikePlanRemoveNothingVersion2

It's ironic that a group with the name Fix the City filed a lawsuit against the city for trying to implement a plan that would make it safer for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians and ultimately change the way we live.

Approved by the LA City Council last month, Mobility Plan 2035, nearly four years in the making, is a bold plan that envisions a new way of moving around the city by shifting the focus from a car-centric metropolis to one that better accommodates all forms of transportation, including public transit, biking and walking. The vision for a more free-flowing network of thoroughfares—replete with some street calming improvements, upgraded crosswalks, bus-only lanes and protected bike lanes—places a high priority on safety. It also targets carbon emissions in an increasingly polluted environment.

The Westside nonprofit group Fix the City, however, claims that the plan would actually increase traffic congestion and air pollution, divert motorists onto parallel residential streets, and is detrimental to safety because it hinders emergency response times.

Is there merit to this? Well, according to Damien Newton and Joe Linton from StreetsBlogLA, “the lawsuit cherry-picks data” and “takes the worst-case-scenario projects and presents them as fact.” And it’s not the first time naysayers of the plan have aggrandized the outcome of its measures.

Headed by President Mike Eveloff, Fix the City further contends that the Mobility Plan was approved with insufficient environmental reviews and public outreach.

What's your take on Mobility Plan 2035? If you’re not caught up with what’s going on, check out our full coverage of the Mobility Plan saga.