2017 State of the Commute

survey response charts

Over the past year, Resource Management & Planning began reviewing campus parking, shuttle and people movement programs, with a goal of developing new initiatives to alleviate impacts of regional transportation projects and campus construction. To achieve this goal, we partnered with the Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives to conduct a survey to understand faculty, staff and student commute preferences. Approximately 11,000 people participated in the survey and we will use this data to shape our programs and services.

Each day, around 60,000 community members visit UC San Diego. We expect this number to increase over the next few years. Providing programs that give community members flexible commuting options is one of the primary strategies to mitigate the impact of growth and construction projects.



  • Frist phase of Superloop preparation and shuttle stop construction begins.
  • Transportation Services launched ADA Transit Service, allowing faculty, staff and students with disabilities to arrange convenient transportation around the La Jolla campus.
  • Construction of the 1,406-space Hopkins Parking Structure, located at the intersection of John Hopkins Drive and Voigt Drive, is completed.


  • For the first time in over a decade, Transportation Services announced that monthly parking permit fees would not increase. Transportation Services and the Transportation Policy Committee collaborated to identify alternative ways to meet transportation needs and avoid the need to increase parking permit fees.


  • UC San Diego and the Metropolitan Transit System celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Bus Zone. UC San Diego was the first American university to partner with a regional transit agency.
  • Transportation Services launched the online parking permit sales for students, offering multiple payment options, e.g., cash, credit cards and student account.
  • Transportation Services conducted a survey to help the campus plan future parking and transportation services and allocate resources to best meet the campus community’s needs. 


  • Increased transit and shuttle ridership helped reduce single-occupancy vehicle commuting from 66% in 2001 to 44% in 2010.
  • UC San Diego vehicle fleet is ranked one of America’s Greenest by the Government Fleet Awards.


The East Campus Parking Structure opened with over 1,248 parking spaces. The west wing has five levels (818 spaces) with one level above grade and the remaining levels built into the canyon slope.


Transportation Services conducted qualitative and quantitative studies to help develop a financial sustainability and communications strategy.


  • The Gilman Transit Center was completed, serving an enhanced network of Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District bus routes.
  • Students passed the Transportation Fee Referendum, creating Triton U-Pass, a UC San Diego universal transit pass program that provides students unlimited ridership on all regional public transit bus and trolley/light rail routes during academic quarters.


UC San Diego received the SANDAG Diamond Award for Green Transportation Programs and the iCommute Diamond Award in recognition of its outstanding efforts to encourage employees to use alternative transportation.


  • Construction began on the $2.1 billion UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley extension to La Jolla and University City.
  • The 1,279-spaces Athena Parking Structure opened on the east campus near Shiley Eye Center.
  • Transportation Services implemented a freshmen parking restriction to alleviate the impact of campus construction and enrollment growth.
  • Transportation Services Implemented two pilot programs:
    • ProRide, an on-demand rides service for faculty that provides a free, sustainable transportation option to improve faculty mobility on campus
    • Valet parking for faculty and staff servicing the School of Medicine Neighborhood


  • UC San Diego receives a record 88,451 freshman applications for Fall 2017.
  • This City of San Diego Regents Road project widens Regents Road between Genesee Avenue and Executive Drive from two to four lanes and adds new bike lanes. 
  • The first Transportation, Parking, and People Movement Survey was conducted to help drive strategic planning efforts to better meet campus access needs.
  • UC San Diego partners with Lyft to provide the Lyft FLEX commute program for students.


  • Two new parking structures will open:
    • The 1,400-space Osler Parking Structure located on the west campus near the School of Medicine
    • The Mesa Housing Parking Structure, located on the east campus near Mesa graduate housing and Moors Cancer Center, will have 600 staff and faculty spaces and the remaining spaces for Mesa Housing residents.
  • Interstate 5/Genesee Avenue interchange widening will be completed to improve local traffic circulation and freeway access.


  • The Gilman Drive Realignment and Gilman Bridge will be completed, facilitating smooth traffic flow between east and west campus. The bridge and intersections on both sides will have three-lane configurations: One lane of traffic each way with a protected left-hand turn lane. Sidewalks and bicycle lanes will also be included on the bridge.
  • Student U-Pass Transportation Fee referendum ends.


The UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley extension is expected to be completed, connecting downtown San Diego with the UC San Diego La Jolla campus.


Transportation Services will analyze and revise parking principles, supply planning and financial projections after the Trolley arrives.


Cordon Counts

Since 2001, Transportation Service has conducted annual cordon counts during the month of March. On varying days and times, staff count all commute modes to compile this data.

  • During Fall Quarter 2016, UC San Diego enrolled nearly 36,000 students.
  • Over the last five years, UC San Diego enrollment has increased by 22%, with undergraduates increasing by 5,081 and graduate students by 1,411.
  • Although nearly 11,000 students live on campus, more than 13,000 drive as a primary mode of transportation.
  • In 2017 according to the survey, approximately 7,668 people entered the Hillcrest Medical Center area and 59,519 people entered the La Jolla campus each weekday.
  • Results indicate that 56.9% of UC San Diego commuters used alternative transportation modes to get to campus and 43.1% drove alone.


Campus Population


Undergraduate 28,127
On-Campus 10,672
Off-Campus 17,455
Graduate 7,689
On-Campus 2,983
Off-Campus 4,706
Faculty & Academic Personnel 6,302
Senior Staff 1,309
Staff 13,113<
Total Campus Population< 56,540


commute graph

 smart commute pie chart

Transportation, Parking and People Movement Survey Results

State of the Commute