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Good, green fun


Stay fit, get sustainable and have fun while you're at it — that's the unifying theme of an an array of events and kick-offs of new programs this month from UCLA's departments of Transportation and Recreation.

Rideshare Week

On Oct. 7-9, representatives from Transportation set up shop on Bruin Plaza to advocate for alternative transportation, offering bike maps of Los Angeles and guides to van pooling and public transit. Passersby could spin a wheel to win freebie swag, and fill out pledge cards promising they would share a ride during that week. The pledges, from the county's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, also registered them for the chance to win an iPod, gas cards and more.

Be a Green Commuter

Transportation kicked off a new campaign, "Be a Green Commuter," with a blog that encourages people to get out of their cars. The blog offers tips on biking and public transportation, a link to a carbon calculator tool, and comments from blog visitors.

Sustainability Fair

On Oct. 22, Recreation and Transportation will come together for the campus's second annual Sustainability Fair. At Bruin Plaza from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the fair will include a prototype Mercedes hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, a carbon footprint calculator, information on biking, ridesharing and more.

Pac-10 Challenge

From Oct. 27-31, Bruins can compete with other Pac-10 schools to prove who has the most active campus. By logging the number of minutes each day that they exercise — from pounding the pavement to working out at the gym — staff, faculty and students can boost UCLA's score. The department that logs the most activity during challenge week will win a free chair massage for every department member. Log in at Pac-10 Challenge website.

Bike Loaner Program

Transportation plans to roll out a new departmental bike loan program later this quarter, according to Associate Director Penny Menton, who said that as many as two dozen bikes will be distributed among interested departments, allowing staff and faculty to wheel around campus. Details and application forms have been sent to 250 departmental parking coordinators campuswide, inviting them to tell Transportation "how your department will use the bicycle(s) to reduce midday trips and reduce greenhouse gas emissions." The most compelling stories will receive the first bikes.

In 2009, Menton added, the program may broaden to a campuswide network of bike rental hubs. This will expand upon on a program that has been run by Recreation for three years, which offers bikes for rent at the Community Bike Center located in the northwest back corner of Wooden Center. Anyone with a Bruin card can take a two-wheeled ride by dropping $5 a day (and their credit card information, in case the rider "forgets" to return the bike). The fee covers a bike, a helmet and a bike lock. The Bike Center also teaches classes on safety and maintenance, and offers on-campus bike repair to make it easier for bike commuters to keep pedaling.

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