Thought Leadership

Recognizing UCLA Energy Champions: Sustainable Transportation

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Submitted by Jean Vreeland on January 3 2017
Energy Upgrade California commends campus transportation and events team

The UCLA Bruins basketball game on November 20, 2016, was not your usual basketball game. It was dedicated to sustainable transportation and the UCLA Transportation & Events Team.

Energy Upgrade California presented Renee Fortier, executive director of UCLA Events and Transportation, and team members Dave Karwaski and Penny Menton with its annual Energy Champion Award, recognizing them as leaders in making California a model of clean energy and sustainability.

The UCLA team provides sustainable transportation options designed to encourage the entire UCLA community to use mass transit, carpools, bikes and other ways to commute to campus. UCLA has dramatically reduced traffic generated by single-occupancy vehicle trips and corresponding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The UCLA employee drive-alone rate has been reduced from 74 percent in 1987 to 53 percent in 2016, far lower than Los Angeles County where approximately 73 percent of all commuters drive alone to work. UCLA is working to change this drive-alone culture by increasing awareness of the variety of transportation options available to throughout the campus and the local area.

UCLA Transportation’s smarter commute programs include:

  • Subsidized transit passes on all six bus providers serving campus
  • An award-winning commuter vanpool program
  • Discounted carpool parking permits
  • Bicycle program enhancements


Biking is big at UCLA

Last year UCLA received the silver status designation as a bicycle friendly university by the League of American Bicyclists. The bicycling program includes bike lanes, a commuter bike loaner program for staff and faculty and self-service bike repair stands across campus as well as an opportunity to trade in staff/faculty parking permits for a free $400 bicycle package. These programs help the entire UCLA community make sustainable transportation choices for both their commutes and on-campus trips, helping to reduce GHG emissions.

Alternative fuel vehicle program

UCLA has reduced mobile source emissions by having over half of their 1,000-plus vehicle fleet being alternative fuel vehicles, saving more than an estimated 1,900 metric tons of GHG emissions annually.

Green events

The UCLA Events Office helps produce more than 10,000 events on campus each year. They offer a Green Events Certification process that empowers event planners to take the necessary steps to plan and execute sustainable events. Obtaining the certification lets everyone know that UCLA is committed to an eco-friendly and sustainable environment.

Congratulations to the team!

CSE is proud to recognize and promote the UCLA Transportation team through Energy Upgrade California. We can all be Energy Champions by making sustainable transportation choices for our daily commutes and all of our destinations.

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