Written by Richard
The UCLA Vanpool has brought me savings I would have never imagined. Prior to joining the UCLA Vanpool I noticed I had just put 21,000 miles on my new truck within the first year commuting to-and-from Ventura County! It was time for me to explore alternatives to driving alone to campus.
After discussing options with my supervisor I found a Vanpool in my area. I tried it out and really liked how it operated, so the decision to join full-time was simple and I’ve been riding ever since 2001.
Vanpool has opened up many opportunities for me when it comes to saving money. Here are some of those savings:
- My odometer went from 21,000 miles per year to approximately 4,000 miles per year
- My ride-alone commute went from 54 miles roundtrip to 2 miles, which is the distance from home to our Park & Ride in Ventura County
- I fill up my truck with gas every 2-3 weeks
- I was able to give up my monthly parking permit, which has literally saved me thousands of dollars over the last 10 years
- When I signed up, I became eligible for payroll deduction.
- In conjunction with the Pre-Tax incentive by joining automatic payroll deduction, I was able to save even more on my paycheck
- Being a vanpool driver has also given me even more savings on my paycheck. Drivers/co-drivers are offered a discounted rate depending on how many drivers the van has
In addition to the above monetary benefits I have also met 10 other people on my van whom I consider friends. We share information on neighborhood plumbers, services, restaurants, etc… Recently, I grew some tomatoes for the first time–I’ll be sharing the tomatoes with my vanpool friends as well!
Another great advantage of vanpooling is that I am able to take the HOV lanes which I wouldn’t be able to if I were to drive alone every day.
I encourage everyone to at least try Alternative Transportation—either by vanpool or public transit– once or twice a week, instead of driving by yourself every day. After all, when you see a UCLA vanpool on the freeway, don’t you wish you were in one relaxing, sleeping, or reading instead of driving your own car?
UCLA Vanpool allows current UCLA student, staff and faculty to ride part-time with a voucher and UCLA ID with a confirmation that space is available for the day you will ride. Consult with your supervisor to get his/her approval to tailor your schedule to vanpool hours.