UCLA continues to make progress in reducing car trips to Westwood campus







UCLA recently released its annual State of the Commute report. The gist of it: even as enrollment has climbed in the past 20-plus years, the number of car trips to and from campus has fallen. The folks at UCLA credit this drop to several factors, most notably policies to encourage students and staff to take transit to campus or to carpool or vanpool.

I’ve plucked a few graphics from it that I think are interesting; the ones above and the nifty info-graphic posted after the jump that sums up the report’s major findings.

The campus population at UCLA is about 68,000 people — about 41,000 students and almost 27,000 faculty and staff. About 56,000 students and staff commute to the campus on a regular basis. The nearest rail stations at present aren’t so near: the Culver City Expo Line station (eight-plus miles by the most direct route) and the Purple Line’s station at Wilshire/Western (11 miles from campus).

Of course, rail transit is on the way to UCLA. The Westside Subway Extension will stop at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards, albeit that won’t happen until — gulp — 2036 under the current funding scenario. Unless, of course, Metro can find a way to accelerate the project.

In addition, the second phase of the Expo Line will have a station at Westwood Boulevard, just south of Pico Boulevard. It’s a 2.2-mile walk between the station and the intersection of Westwood and Le Conte (the south side of the UCLA campus) or, at present, a 15 to 16 minute bus ride on the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus’ 8 or 12 lines. In the future, let’s hope that there’s speedier bus service between Expo, the Westside Subway and UCLA’s campus, not to mention safe and fast bike routes.

Big, entertaining graphic after the jump — please check it out!


10 replies

  1. “The nearest rail stations at present aren’t so near: the Culver City Expo Line station (eight-plus miles by the most direct route) and the Purple Line’s station at Wilshire/Western (11 miles from campus).”

    The forgotten-line: Green Line station @ Aviation/LAX. It’s 12 miles south, but the Culver City Bus #6 (and its Rapid#6) provides direct-connection to UCLA.

  2. I work at UCLA and travel 1 1/2 hours each way, everyday, for a total commute of over 3 hours plus walking (I live on the Eastside due to my income and westside rent prices). The BH opposition to the Westside Subway is evil, it is inhumane, and it shows everyone how little Beverly Hills really thinks of the “little people” – all of us who wash their cars, clean their dishes, and take care of their children. In the meantime, I really wish we could get a bus lane on Wilshire, and for Metro to run more 720 buses! It is INHUMANE to be packed like sardines in a bus running along the (arguably) bumpiest road in LA. Please Metro, have MERCY on the people who must use your service because we have no other options.

  3. When I was a student there I took the bus all the time, mostly the BBB #12. The purple line extension will help; the Sylmar – El Segundo rail line will help more. “Improve the local bus service” won’t help much as the streets are already packed to capacity with cars and other busses. The only useful bus improvement I can think of would be to re-open the bus stop on the East side of campus–the one that was shut down in the mid 00’s because of neighbor complaints.

  4. The make up of student body only has a tiny effect on driving… it’s not as if UCLA students from outside LA area can’t afford cars – in fact, they are more likely to be wealthy and thus more likely to own cars. The big difference between now and say 20 years ago when I went to college, is that UCLA now charges near-market price for parking. When students have to pay $30 a day to park their car on or near campus vs. 50 cents with BruinGo on Big Blue Bus, the choice is pretty simple.

  5. Students do get out of UCLA to work.
    People do come to UCLA to take extension classes at night.
    Not all the jobs in WLA are near train stations.
    Get to the basic, improve the local bus service

  6. One other thing to keep in mind… As UCLA has gotten more selective over the past 20 years, they are drawing from a larger pool of people, not just those from the Los Angeles area. So in the past, where more students were commuting from home, UCLA has built more dorms and created a campus community similar to that of other major universities. People from Northern California or out of state are not going to commute from Downtown LA to UCLA every day to go to school, but rather from the immediate area, since the time it takes to do that is brutal. It’s less brutal if you were living at home and pocketing thousands of dollars in housing savings.