Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- November 3, 2004

Cal State L.A.'s Innovative Rideshare Program Receives Diamond Award

California State University, Los Angeles' Commuter Services was recently presented a Rideshare Diamond Award in the Innovative Rideshare Program category for its Electrical Vehicle Program at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Metro along with the Ventura County Transportation Commission honored Cal State L.A. among those employers in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the development and implementation of innovative and successful rideshare programs for their employees. A panel of judges representing the five county transportation commissions in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura reviewed the nominations and selected the winners.

CSULA Commuter Services was awarded the honor for its efforts in securing electric vehicles (EV) for campus commuters as part of its Rideshare Program. In December 2001, Cal State L.A. received funding from the Department of Water & Power to install electric vehicle charging stations on campus. When the installation was completed, a variety of electric vehicles were available through an "EV Loan Program" sponsored by the Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Campus commuters participating in the Cal State L.A. Rideshare Program were able to borrow these vehicles during daytime hours for a limited time. After the EV Loan Program ended, Commuter Services Program Manager Carmen Gachupin was able to acquire more vehicles through the program's budget to continue to provide this incentive to campus commuters.

"The primary reason many choose not to share rides is due to the uncertainty and inconvenience of not having a vehicle during the day. However, through the University's Electric Vehicle Program, campus commuters can be assured that they can borrow a vehicle and go to lunch, to the bank, pick up dry-cleaning, or attend a dental appointment when needed," explains Gachupin.

Gachupin adds, "The popularity of this program led a CSULA employee Glenn Rehl to lease his own electric vehicle. He parks in a reserved electric vehicle parking space for free, charges the vehicle while he's working on campus, can use the carpool lane solo, and has a fully-charged car to get home. Coincidentally, he lives near a Costco store and charges his EV there overnight!"

CSULA's Electric Vehicle Program is only offered to program participants who are state employees (for insurance and liability purposes) and have attended a defensive driving course offered through the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Since July 2001, electric vehicles available for loan included a Ford Ranger, a Honda E Plus, a GM EV1 and a Toyota RAV4. Nissan electric vehicles are now available for loan through the program. Electric charging stations are located in Lots B, J and G on campus. To contact CSULA's Commuter Services office, call (323) 343-5277.

Contact: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director (323) 343-3044

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