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Sustainable Transportation Cuts Traffic to Campus by 25 Percent in a Decade

By Kristen Hardy '17

Published Mar 31, 2016 8:00 AM

The decrease, which comes despite a growth in university population, also reduces greenhouse gases.


Photo courtesy of UCLA.

Programs that encourage alternative commuting options such as bicycling, vanpooling, busing and walking have cut vehicle trips to UCLA by 25 percent in the past decade, according to UCLA Transportation’s 2016 State of the Commute report, released earlier this month. The report analyzes the results of the campus’s 2015 South Coast Air Quality Management District survey and Student Transportation Survey. In 2015, only 40 percent of UCLA’s 60,000 commuters drove alone to campus, far below the countywide rate of 73 percent.

The report details plans to cut traffic and pollution even more. 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 that earned UCLA a silver ranking as a Bicycle Friendly University for 2015 from the League of American Bicyclists, placing the campus in the top third nationwide.

Just over half, or roughly 54 percent, of UCLA’s 30,000 commuting employees drive alone, and the rate is lower — 26 percent — for the 30,000 commuter students. 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.

“With fewer motorists on the road, UCLA has significantly contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the region,” said Renée 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 by providing subsidized transit passes, vanpool subsidies, discounted carpool parking permits, bicycling infrastructure and other commuter support services. This enables Bruins to make sustainable transportation choices for both commuting and on-campus trips.

This story is based on an article in the UCLA Newsroom. To view the original full-length article visit http://ucla.in/1R9kHBL.