Commencement is a festive time at UCLA as campus celebrates the achievements of the graduates, but it’s also one of the busiest. With 30,000 guests expected just on Friday, June 14, anyone who normally drives to campus should consider another commute option.
Guests are advised to allow extra time for traffic and congestion as they and the thousands of others who may be unfamiliar with the campus find their way to graduation ceremonies. Visitors should also use the marked Uber and Lyft pick-up and drop-off locations to avoid citations to both drivers and passengers, and check @UCLAcommute on Twitter for updates.
For regular commuters, here are some of the other ways you can get to campus and beat the commencement congestion.
Check about a flexible schedule
Every year, the university encourages managers and supervisors to approve flexible schedules, comp time, vacation time or work-from-home arrangements on the Friday of graduation, and this year is no exception.
“To ensure that parking is available for our graduates and their Commencement guests on June 14, and to mitigate traffic delays, we once again ask that managers and supervisors be flexible in work schedules for their staff,” read the annual letter emailed on May 29 by Scott Waugh, executive vice chancellor and provost. “Please allow staff, including commencement volunteers, to modify schedules for the week and/or take vacation/compensatory time off wherever possible. Please also encourage any required staff to consider carpooling, biking, walking or using public transportation on June 14.”
UCLA is served by multiple bus lines from seven transit agencies, making it a convenient option if you live as close as Culver City or even as far as the Antelope Valley.
If you’re on the Westside, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Culver CityBus provide convenient campus access at a discounted rate. Either swipe your BruinCard (on the Big Blue Bus) or show your card to the driver (on Culver CityBus), and you’ll be able to ride for 50 cents.
Metro buses that stop in Westwood include lines that come from Downtown Los Angeles, Sylmar, Commerce and the San Fernando Valley. You can even take the train most of the way to UCLA with an Expo Line rail station at Westwood/Rancho Park.
Find a carpool
Carpooling to campus saves you time and money. You save time by using high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and you save money by sharing the cost of gas and other car-related expenses. Use the UCLA Trip Planner to find other UCLA community members commuting from the same area.
Share a Lyft or Uber, but follow posted signs to avoid a ticket
If you enjoy the convenience of ride-hailing apps like Lyft and Uber, you can also share a ride to campus. Lyft Shared rides and UberPool match you with others going in the same direction and are cheaper than standard Lyft or Uber rides. Plus if you live within a five-mile radius around campus, you can get a Lyft Shared ride for only $5.49 with a special flat-rate promotion.
Designated Lyft and Uber pick-up and drop-off locations will be in effect on Friday, June 14. Please be aware that passengers and drivers who pick up or drop off outside of these locations will be subject to citation.
Ride with a vanpool
Sit back and relax, read or sleep when you ride with a UCLA Vanpool. There are 145 UCLA vanpools from 80 Southern California communities as far as Oxnard, Moreno Valley and Laguna Beach. In order to vanpool for a day:
- Use the UCLA Trip Planner to find a vanpool near you
- Contact the driver to confirm they have room on the van and the pick-up point
- Purchase vanpool vouchers at the UCLA Transportation lobby (each one is good for a one-way trip)
If you try one of these commuting options for commencement, consider adopting it for your daily commute so you can graduate from driving alone.