This year, UCLA Transportation is celebrating its sustainable transportation program – now 30 years strong! 2014 marks a three decade-long effort by UCLA Transportation to reduce traffic, improve air quality and offer economical and more enjoyable transportation options to UCLA students, staff and faculty. Whether through public transit options, vanpools, carpools, walking or biking, the University has paved the way in changing how people get to and from campus.
Here is a look back at history of our sustainable transportation programs and how they continue to change the way we think about our daily commute.
For decades, Los Angeles was known for having some of the worst air quality in the nation. Brown skies, smog alerts, and limited mobility options were the norm. In 1984, UCLA decided to be a proactive part of the solution.
1984: UCLA sustainability program begins
In preparation for the much anticipated traffic from the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles (and with UCLA designated an Olympic Village), UCLA Transportation began investing in alternative transportation programs. The first was the UCLA Vanpool Program, now 30 years strong with 154 vanpools on the road.
1987: UCLA Transportation rolls out the Campus Express shuttle bus program
The Campus Express was created to provide efficient and timely transportation between key points on campus and to allow students, staff and faculty an alternative to using their own personal vehicles for short trips. In 2010, the Campus Express was renamed BruinBus. BruinBus shuttles currently transport nearly 1.3 million passengers each year.
1990: UCLA formally commits to reduce vehicle trips to campus
In 1990, UCLA signed an unprecedented Trip Mitigation & Monitoring Agreement with the City of Los Angeles to reduce traffic to and from campus. Now, 24 years later, the UCLA employee drive-alone rate has dropped to nearly 50% (compared to approximately 73% for LA County commuters).
1998: Alternative fueled vehicle program starts
In the late 1990s, most University vehicles ran on unleaded gas or diesel fuel. Starting in 1998, UCLA Transportation made a commitment to change that trend. Today, 41% of UCLA's fleet operates on alternative fuels like compressed natural gas and electricity.
2000: Subsidized transit pass program begins
In 2000, UCLA Transportation began subsidizing rides on the City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus through its BruinGO! program. By 2008, the department was providing at least a 50% subsidy toward the cost of transit passes for six service providers: Big Blueu Bus, Culver CityBus, Metro, LADOT, Santa Clarita Transit and Antelope Valley Transit Authority.
2008: BruinBikes Program launched
In 2006, the UCLA Bicycle Master Plan declared in its mission to “improve cycling conditions and promote the bicycle as a transportation mode on, to and from campus.” With that in mind, the BruinBikes Program was launched in 2008. Additional bike racks, lockers, lanes and sharrows were added to the campus. The UCLA Bike Library was also created, which provides low cost bike rentals to students. In 2011, UCLA was designated a Bicycle Friendly University. And since 2006, the bicycling community on campus has more than doubled in size!
2011: Bruin Commuter Club unveiled
The Bruin Commuter Club (BCC) provides access to products, services, information, benefits and incentives to UCLA employees and students who choose to use alternative forms of transportation to get to campus. Commuters such as transit riders, vanpool participants, bicyclists and walkers have access to benefits that include discounted parking, Metro Rewards and more. For further details on the program, click here.