Kimberly Venegas is a first-year graduate student in the Luskin School of Public Affairs Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree program — and one of the first graduate students to register for the new Bruin Grad Pass (BGP) transit program.
With interests in social justice, sustainable cities, mobility and traffic congestion, climate and the environment, and community development, transit is right up her alley. It's the direction she intends to pursue professionally, hoping to work in the public sector as a transportation planner upon the completion of her program at UCLA.
Originally hailing from Orange County and coming back to Southern California after a stint in the Bay Area, Kimberly has always relied on walking, biking, and public transportation to get where she needs to go.
With the Bruin Grad Pass, graduate students get access to unlimited fare-free rides on LA Metro bus and rail lines, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, and Culver CityBus during the academic year.
Thanks to the pass, which became possible with the passage of a graduate student transit pass referendum, Kimberly doesn't need to worry about having to pay for the bus. She can even use the pass to ride to her favorite spots at the park and beach and explore new places.
You'll find her on board the Big Blue Bus to go grocery shopping, and recently she used the pass to meet her parents at Union Station when they came to visit her.
To her fellow Bruins, Kimberly recommends graduate students register for BGP, "because it provides the opportunity to get around the city without having to worry about the cost. You don’t need to buy a tank of gas or pay for parking after struggling to find a spot. You also don’t have to stress about bad LA drivers — you just sit back and relax."
Faculty, staff, and undergraduate students also have affordable transit pass options through UCLA, so they too can sit back and relax and avoid dealing with traffic congestion alone. Discounted passes are available for eligible employees and students for local and commuter lines.
Public transit is good for the environment and people. Just take Kimberly's word for it, someone who has directly experienced the benefits of public transit and is on course to help improve the system, and in turn, help others.