Commuting programs that encourage alternative transportation options such as bicycling, vanpooling or busing continue to pay off at UCLA, where the annual State of the Commute report shows vehicle trips to campus have dropped 25 percent in the past decade despite the university’s growing population.
UCLA Transportation published its 2016 State of the Commute report this week, analyzing the results of the campus’s 2015 South Coast Air Quality Management District survey and Student Transportation Survey.
With 40 percent of UCLA’s 60,000 commuters driving alone to campus in 2015, the campus’s drive-alone rate was once again significantly lower than the countywide rate of 73 percent. The other 60 percent of UCLA commuters use options like carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking or busing to campus.
Among the plans detailed in the report, UCLA Transportation intends to increase the number of electric-vehicle charging stations on campus to support the growing numbers of Bruins using electric vehicles. The department will also continue to expand its support and infrastructure for biking, efforts which this year earned UCLA a silver ranking as a Bicycle Friendly University from the League of American Bicyclists, placing the campus in the top third nationwide.
Roughly 54 percent of UCLA’s 30,000 commuting employees drive alone, and the rate is even lower for the 30,000 students who commute from off-campus, with only 26 percent driving alone. The average of 100,961 daily trips in and out of campus reflects a 5 percent decrease from five years ago, despite a 3,000-person increase in the campus population. UCLA has also achieved a 25 percent decrease in the past decade.
“With fewer motorists on the road, UCLA has significantly contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the region,” said Renee Fortier, UCLA Transportation’s Executive Director. “Instead of giving cars priority, we reserved more of our campus streets for bicyclists and pedestrians. Our success also garnered the university the 2015 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the state’s highest environmental honor.”
The university encourages sustainable transportation with a number of programs, and incentives, including providing subsidized transit passes, vanpool subsidies, discounted carpool parking permits, bicycling infrastructure and other commuter support services. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions from UCLA commuters and makes it easy for Bruins to make sustainable transportation choices for both their commutes and on-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.