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Tag Archives: Vanpool

What Do We Do At UCLA Transportation? [VIDEO]

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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Study Shows Vanpools Drastically Lower Stress

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Vanpool_poolparty001For stressed-out commuters, joining a vanpool might be one step toward a more relaxed 2016. A UCLA study shows that vanpooling drastically lowers the stress of commuting.

“Riders indicated that participating in a vanpool was a source of dramatic reduction in stress and some even said that it was therapeutic,” said Wendie Robbins, the study’s lead researcher and a professor in the UCLA School of Nursing and in the Fielding School of Public Health. “Riders said that their time on the van was restful and provided a chance to meditate, relax, listen to music or just be at peace.”

Vanpooling has long been touted as a way for riders to reduce pollution and traffic while saving money. While there have been studies on the health benefits of active commuting — walking or bicycling — as well as those of taking a bus or train, the health impact of vanpooling hasn’t previously been studied.

“Health Effects of Vanpooling to Work,” published in the journal Workplace Health and Safety, looked at passengers’ and drivers’ perceptions of how vanpooling affected their health and well-being.

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UCLA carpool and vanpool participants commute from far and wide

Participants were recruited through the UCLA Vanpool Program, which has nearly 1500 participants and is one of the largest employer-based vanpool programs in California. Researchers conducted focus groups with 40 vanpool riders and two drivers.

“We know that driving alone is very isolating and creates stress,” said Penny Menton, director of communications and commuter services for UCLA Transportation. “When you ride with others, you become connected and create an environment of relaxation and interaction.”

UCLA carpool and vanpool participants commute from far and wide.

The researchers were surprised by riders’ fierce commitment to vanpooling, Robbins said. “You have to give up independent choices – when you leave, the temperature in the van, who you ride with. Riders are willing to compromise for the reduced stress of not having to drive.”

Menton, one of the original creators of the UCLA Vanpool Program, agreed. “We started this program almost 32 years ago to help reduce traffic during the 1984 Summer Olympics. We have riders who have been with the program since the beginning, including two drivers, and the only way they leave is when they retire. The vanpool becomes like family.”

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UCLA Vanpool

One of these longtime fans is Stan Paul, who works at the UCLA Lu
skin School of Public Affairs and commutes more than 160 miles round-trip each day from the Inland Empire. Paul has been a volunteer driver for most of that time. His vanpool gets 10 other UCLA employees to work and back, and takes that many cars off the road.

“For me, there really hasn’t been any other viable alternative since I started,” Paul said. “I would give up the commute in a second, but not the vanpool as long as I do have to commute.”

Riders did mention a few downsides, including disturbed sleep patterns and the risk of illness, but they saw these as relatively minor issues.

“For many of the vans, napping has become a norm, something that many riders actually look forward to,” Robbins said.

The next steps in the research are to quantify the health impacts of vanpooling, both positive and negative, and potentially to develop strategies to address them. For example, if some vanpoolers experience resultant sleep issues, employers could develop programs for employees to improve sleep habits.

The study’s other authors were Barbara Berman, professor emerita in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Dawn Stone, a Ph.D. candidate in the UCLA School of Nursing.

The study was funded by the UCLA Foundation/Mary Ann Lewis Enhancement, the UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Southern California Education and Research Center.