Telecommuting and Space Use at UCLA

As COVID-19 took hold in spring 2020, UCLA closed its campus to all but essential employees and its world-renowned medical center, which continued to operate throughout the pandemic, as expected. Beyond that, however, nearly 80 percent of campus employees (excluding medical center staff) were sent home and asked to telecommute for the foreseeable future. A committee was formed to assess the state of telecommuting on campus, and to seek how to lock in, or continue, the benefits of telecommuting that seemed to be existent during the mass telecommuting period.

At the same time, it had become apparent that—contrary to published research that suggested public transit was not a significant source of coronavirus transmission—many bus riders who were part of the essential workforce were no longer traveling via public transit. In fact, many were driving to and from campus on a daily basis. As expected, modes of travel that involve close proximity to other people experienced dramatic declines in participation during the pandemic. As society recovers and campus activity returns to previous levels, survey data indicates strong and continued reticence for many of these previous sustainable transportation commuters to get back on the bus or into a vanpool, which worries parking administrators.

Read how UCLA is preparing for campus re-opening this fall, including its plans for cars, transit, and other modes of transportation in a COVID-transformed environment. The whole case study is in the July issue of Parking & Mobility magazine; click here to read it.