New public transit options open up for campus
UCLA Transportation collaborates with regional transit organizations to make getting to and from campus cheaper, easier, and more flexible.
"This new bus service offers greater flexibility to accommodate work schedules than do vanpools and provides a more cost-effective and relaxing option than driving."
By Charles Carter
Originally published in UCLA Today
There are now more public transit options to UCLA/Westwood with the start of new commuter bus service from as far away as the Antelope Valley and as near as the Metro Green Line station just south of LAX.
Last week, the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) expanded service on its Commuter Route 786. The direct commuter bus now picks up at both the Lancaster City Park and Palmdale Transportation Center park-and-ride lots and goes first to Gayley/Strathmore, before heading to Wilshire/Westwood. The expansion of Route 786 doubles from two to four the choices of daily round-trips offered. Riders may now choose any one of four trips in the morning and four return trips home in the late afternoon.
“This new bus service offers greater flexibility to accommodate work schedules than do vanpools and provides a more cost-effective and relaxing option than driving,” said Renée Fortier, director of UCLA Transportation. “With AVTA’s Route 786 now stopping next to campus (at Gayley/Strathmore) four times each way daily, it makes it more convenient for commuters who are currently driving alone to UCLA from the Antelope Valley to get on board,” said Fortier.
AVTA motor coach buses feature comfortable reclining seats, overhead reading lights, plenty of storage space and a restroom.
UCLA Transportation is giving away complimentary one-day round-trip passes to the first 100 UCLA commuters living in the Antelope Valley who stop by the Transportation lobby and request them. Participants will also be entered in a drawing for one of five free AVTA monthly passes.
This expansion of public transit service to campus means UCLA Transportation’s subsidized transit pass programs are expanding. Starting next month, Transportation will pay 50% — $155 — of the cost of an AVTA Commuter Route 786 monthly pass ($310). UCLA students, staff, and faculty may purchase the subsidized passes at UCLA’s Central Ticket Office starting on the 25th of the month. Payment via payroll deduction is being offered to staff and faculty.
The monthly pass will be in the form of a ‘TAP’ card, which is a plastic card with an electronic chip that stores fare information.
Per-trip rides for occasional users of this service (for example, students living on campus needing a ride home) will be available by paying cash on board. Or riders can save nearly 50% of the cost of a one-way trip by using a pre-purchased TAP card, available only at the AVTA office in Lancaster and not at the Central Ticket Office.
AVTA’s Commuter Route 786 is one of two new sustainable transportation options the campus now has. On Jan. 4, Culver CityBus Rapid 6 began running along Sepulveda Boulevard, with limited stops every mile between UCLA and Metro’s Aviation/LAX Green Line Station. The Rapid 6 route is operating with six new specially designed buses equipped with transponders — signal priority technology — to ensure buses can pass through busy intersections more quickly by holding green lights longer or shortening red lights. Travel times are as short as 40 minutes from end-to-end during rush hour.
The Line 6 Rapid Service will operate every 15 minutes during weekdays during morning and afternoon peak hours. The first morning bus departs the Aviation/LAX Green Line Station at 5:50 a.m.; the last morning bus departs at 8:50 a.m. The afternoon service starts from UCLA at 2:20 p.m. while the last afternoon bus departs UCLA at 6:35 p.m.
Line 6 Rapid Service will follow the regular Line 6 route, with the exception of southbound service in the Westwood area. The Line 6 Rapid Bus will travel down Westwood Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard and then back to Sepulveda Boulevard. The remainder of the southbound route will continue along Sepulveda Boulevard.
Line 6 Rapid Service is part of UCLA Transportation’s BruinGo bus subsidy program. UCLA Transportation, located on the first floor of the Strathmore Building at 555 Westwood Plaza, is open Mondays through Fridays, 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. To stay in touch with UCLA Transportation, subscribe to updates from its Be a Green Commuter blog or follow on Twitter @uclacommute.
Published: Wednesday, February 03, 2010