Thursday, May 21, 2009

Okay, Okay, UCI Does Support Carfree Efforts Too

Last week, Bike Week, I visited a promotional table UCI's Parking & Transportation Office had set up by the campus bike repair kiosk and was celebrated for my carfree efforts. Really, it was just a table with some granola bars, bottled water (oh, the disconnect!), a bike raffle, and two staffpeople speaking enthusiastically about biking to UCI.
One of them processes my train ticket rebates every month, so she recognized my name. The other, who shares a name with everyone's favorite Marxist critic of LA, fear, and "natural" disasters, I'd spoken to before. We'd chatted a while ago about the relationship between the university and the city of Irvine vis a vis bike paths (there's no signage to indicate how to get from the local train stations to the campus, even though there are off-street paths nearly all the way).
I asked about Autopalooza, the car-centered event UCI is hosting for students today, and they told me that it was really a ploy to encourage students to take all possible measures to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency. I was glad to hear a rationale.
Sadly, I heard from that office again this week when they informed me that OCTA (Orange County Transit Authority) is cutting back on its shuttle routes between the Tustin Metrolink station and UCI. Really, this doesn't impact me so much as makes me worry that it'll be the last straw for other troopers who do that commute and who don't enjoy my bikey flexibility. Each little barrier adds up to making public transpo seem really inconvenient and frustrating.
So I'm going to send the Parking & Transportation Office my bike route maps between UCI and the Tustin and Irvine train stations, in hopes that they can let other train riders know that there is, in fact, another option for getting between the train and school.