Staff and faculty can now exchange a parking permit for a free $400 coupon for a bicycle as a part of a new UCLA Transportation program.
UCLA Transportation officials launched the Earn-a-Bike program May 16, allowing staff and faculty who have a quarterly parking permit to exchange the coupon for a hybrid or mountain bicycle from Helen’s Cycles in Westwood.
Officials said in an email statement they will reallocate parking permits that are exchanged for the coupons to other staff and faculty.
UCLA Transportation distributes parking permits based on seniority, transportation officials said. Over the past five years, UCLA gave more than half of parking permits to staff and faculty.
The coupon also covers the cost of a bicycle light, lock set, helmet and a Bruin Commuter Club membership. The membership offers discounted parking and 12 hours of free Zipcar usage per quarter, according to the UCLA Transportation website.
UCLA Transportation officials said staff and faculty must have used their parking permit for at least half of a quarter to qualify for the program. Staff and faculty who get the coupon will not be able to request a parking permit for two years. A staff and faculty yellow permit costs $231 per quarter and a blue permit costs $288 per quarter.
The Earn-a-Bike program will not be available to students, UCLA Transportation officials added. They said the UCLA Bike Library already offers bike rentals to students for $60 per quarter.
Juan Matute, associate director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, said he thinks the program may appeal to staff and faculty who live within biking distance to UCLA. He added people who enjoy biking may not use the program because they probably already own a bike.
Melody Wang, assistant manager of Helen’s Cycles, said she thinks if people participate in the program, more people will become interested.
UCLA Transportation officials said 115 faculty and staff have submitted a form asking to participate in the program.
Some professors said they think most staff and faculty will not be interested in the program.
Bill McKelvey, a professor emeritus from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, said he frequently discourages people from biking because he thinks Los Angeles does not have enough bike lanes.
William Roy, a research professor emeritus of sociology, said he thinks most faculty and staff are ecologically conscious and already bike to work if they can.
Interested staff and faculty can apply at UCLA Transportation’s website.