Move LA & Transit Organizations Supports the UC Academic Workers

Move LA, ACT-LA, Safe Routes Partnership California, Streets for All, Bike LA, Active SGV, and Let's Green California are joining in support of the demands being made by 48,000 striking Academic Workers at all 10 University of California campuses for free public transit passes and subsidies for bikes/e-bikes. Move LA Executive Director Eli Lipmen joined striking workers at UCLA in solidarity and sent the below letter to University of California President Dr. Michael Drake.



Dr. Michael Drake
Office of the President
University of California
1111 Franklin Street, 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607

In what is the largest-ever academic strike in higher education, almost 50,000 Academic Workers at all 10 University of California campuses are striking against UC’s bad-faith bargaining to win fair contracts with better pay and benefits for teaching assistants, postdoctoral scholars, graduate student researchers, tutors and fellows. As housing, transit, and climate change advocates, our organizations stand in solidarity with these workers and support their demands.

Academic Workers are demanding that UC work harder to combat climate change and reduce emissions by providing free public transit passes for all workers who want them, cash incentives to help workers commute via sustainable means, subsidies for the purchase and maintenance of bikes and e-bikes, and improved campus cycling infrastructure.

They note the high cost of housing means academic workers often live far from where they work, and that those who choose sustainable transportation options—such as riding a bike or e-bike when transit isn't available and/or taking the occasional rideshare or bikeshare—aren't provided any financial help, which makes sustainable commutes burdensome.

This is why Academic Workers with UAW joined efforts to pass and fund student transit passes through transit agencies across California with Assembly Bill 1919 (Holden). This policy was based on at least three peer reviewed papers[1] [2] [3] conducted by several University of California researchers over the past twenty years that provide academically rigorous research indicating fare-free student transit is an effective program to improve educational outcomes, increase ridership, decrease VMT, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As the state's largest employer, the UC's 48,000 UAW-represented academic workers generate more than 1 million vehicle miles traveled in single-occupancy vehicles per week, not including the 100,000 non-UAW staff and more than 200,000 undergraduates. The Academic Workers point out there there is no way for the University of California to become truly sustainable without addressing this problem. We agree!

These demands benefit all of us. Fully-funded transportation passes for workers will increase transit ridership and service levels across the state. Support for bike and e-bike commuters will help clean our air and reduce traffic. UC - the state’s largest employer- must show true leadership on sustainability by addressing California’s top source of greenhouse gas emissions–transportation.

We believe these UC workers will, and should, win. Their climate proposal would set a standard that would benefit all of us. As such, we urge UC President Michael Drake to be a true climate leader and reach a fair agreement that addresses the climate impact of commuting as quickly as possible.


Yours sincerely,

Eli Lipmen
Move LA

David Diaz, MPH
Active San Gabriel Valley

Jonathan Matz
Safe Routes Partnership

Heidi Harmon
Let’s Green CA!

Eli Kaufman

Olga Lexell
Streets For All

Alfonso Directo Jr., UCI BS 2007 & UCLA MURP 2018
Alliance for Community Transit - Los Angeles (ACT-LA)


[1] Saphores, J., Shah, D., & Khatun, F. (2020). A Review of Reduced and Free Transit Fare Programs in California. UC Office of the President: University of California Institute of Transportation Studies. Retrieved from

[2] Nuworsoo, C. (2004). Deep Discount Group Pass Programs as Instruments for Increasing Transit Revenue and Ridership. University of California Berkeley. Dissertation Series UCB-ITS-DS-200402, May 1, 2004, pages 1-292.

[3] Brown, J., Hess, D. B., & Shoup, D. (2003). Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities: An Evaluation. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23(1), 69–82.

  • Eli Lipmen
    published this page in Blog 2022-11-29 16:28:48 -0800

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