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Tag Archives: Vanpool

How Your Commute Can Make You Happier


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.



What Do We Do At UCLA Transportation? [VIDEO]

Dickson Plaza 01-00354 copy2 blog

Dickson Plaza 01-00354 copy2 blogPeople often think all we do is provide parking on campus, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, parking is part of it. Most of it, however, is getting you access to campus. That's what we're all about: being green, sustainable and safe.

To highlight some of our goals, accomplishments and best practices, we've made this nifty video. Check it out below and on our YouTube channel.


Vanpool Driver Appreciation Program


driver-appreciation700x240It's hard work being a vanpool driver. Vanpool drivers play an essential part in making the UCLA Vanpool Program successful, and we can't thank them enough.

But hopefully, our new Driver Appreciation Program will help. To reward vanpool drivers for their continued commitment, we will be organizing monthly prize drawings.

Bruin Commuter Services will randomly select one or more vanpools per month, and every driver in those vanpools will receive rewards. Winners will be announced via email and on MyVan.

Once a vanpool wins, it will be removed from the drawing pool until all vans have been selected to receive rewards.

Rewards include one UCLA promotional item, as well as one of the following:

  • Two movie tickets
  • Six 1-day Metro passes preloaded onto a TAP card
  • A quarterly BruinGO! Flash Pass preloaded onto a TAP card
  • $25 BruinCard credit

The first drawing will be held Thursday, November 10. Keep an eye out for the winners announcement.

One Month of Free Vanpool!


rideshare-vip-700x240Rideshare Month is still underway, and this week we're focusing on vanpool.

Vanpools pick you up near your home and take you to and from work. Not only do you avoid driving in traffic, you save time and money, and you can relax or sleep during your commute.

We're offering one month of free vanpool based on availability. If there's an open seat on your selected route, we'll give it to you free of charge for one month, no strings attached.

We have over 150 vanpool routes serving 85 communities as far as Moreno Valley, Laguna Hills and Rialto.

If you're interested in this offer and want to find out if there's an open seat on a vanpool you'd like to join, register here.

UCLA Releases Annual ‘State of the Commute’ Report



Amid a growing population of staff, faculty and students, UCLA Transportation is still on track to reach its Climate Action Plan goal of a 50% alternative transportation commute rate, according to its newly-released "State of the Commute" report.

In 2015, UCLA’s drive-alone rate was close to 54% for employees, significantly lower than Los Angeles County as a whole, where approximately 73% of all commuters drive alone to work according to 2014 U.S. Census data. The drive-alone rate for UCLA’s commuting students is even lower at just over 26%.UCLATransportation_SOTC_2016_COVER_small

“Through our wide range of alternative transportation options, we have dramatically reduced vehicle trips to campus,” said Renee Fortier, UCLA Transportation's Executive Director, "a decrease of 25% in the last decade. With fewer motorists on the road, UCLA has significantly contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the region. Our success recently garnered the University a Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the state's highest environmental honor.”

Additionally, UCLA was honored with a Silver status as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists.

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 more than 43,000 students and 30,000 staff and faculty members, featuring graphs, charts and tables which 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. For further information, please visit the UCLA Newsroom.