Today’s Daily Bruin published two stories related to happenings inside UCLA Transportation.

1. “Public transit eases commute to UCLA”

Highlights the launch of the AVTA direct service between the Antelope Valley and UCLA. Jeremy Wilson, a fifth-year neuroscience Ph.D student, is an AVTA convert after taking advantage of a complimentary round-trip from UCLA Transportation.

Dave Karwaski, our planning and policy manager, also got talked up the importance of maintaining student accessibility to campus as a social justice cause:

“To get people to even consider coming to UCLA, from east LA or from Koreatown, especially from lower-income levels, (it is necessary) to shrink the city through more effective transportation, (thus) opening doors for students”.

2. “Walking event helps health, environment”

The header of "Where the Sidewalk Starts" by Katie Cooper Matchett's MA '09.

Walking, which my friend, blogger, and pedestrian activist Katie Matchett MA ’09 laments as the most downtrodden mode of transportation, gets a step-up in today’s Daily Bruin coverage of the fourth-annual I <3 Walking Week. Culminating today at the IM Field, I <3 Walking Week’s purpose is to promote walking for your health and as a way to get around campus.

A trainer from UCLA Recreation leads I <3 Walking Week participants in stretching before starting the walk. Source: UCLA Recreation.

Our student body knows this well. The bulk of the student body walks at least 20 minutes each way between housing on the Hill or in North Westwood Village to classes and activities on the east side of campus.

However, in an interview for today’s Daily Bruin story, I <3 Walking Week co-organizer and UCLA Transportation Marketing and PR manager Kyrie Bass ’86 notes how there is values in promoting walking to staff:

“(Walking) is something you can do to be multimodal, with taking the bus and biking. A lot of staff who drive to campus also drive around to different meetings. We are trying to highlight that you can walk around to meetings instead of driving.”

Indeed, Kyrie, I think you are right.

I think that it is neat that I <3 Walking Week coincides with the launch of the “Lets Move” campaign, organized by the White House and First Lady Michelle Obama. The campaign, which was developed in conjunction with public health experts, focuses on wide-range policy changes which seek to make improvements in the healthiness of what kids eat (particularly at school lunches!) as well as in infrastructure that enable kids to be more active and ambulatory, like fixing sidewalks.