Vanpool Saves University Employees Gas, Money, Nerves

Employees at California State University, Dominguez Hills who live in the Inland Empire aren’t worried about the rising costs of gas, wear and tear on their vehicles, or the stress of a long commute to work. Since January, eight residents of cities as far from campus as Moreno Valley, Chino Hills, and Beaumont have been sharing the ride with the university’s Employee Vanpooling Program.

“CSU Dominguez Hills employees can spend hundreds of dollars on gas each month traveling to and from work,” says Cynthia Jones-Hunter, employee transportation specialist, Transportation Services. “By participating in the Employee Vanpooling Program, employees can save significant money on gas, reduce wear and tear and insurance costs on their own vehicles, eliminate the stress of driving solo, and also help the university meet regulatory requirements mandated by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.”

Employees save resources and enjoy a less stressful commute to work with the university's vanpool. L-R: Theo Mai, records and registration specialist; Eric Rodriguez, aministrative assistant to the associate vice president, Administration and Finance; Lawanda Gutierrez, administrative support assistant, University Library; Gilbert Ambriz, interim coordinator, Mail Services; Toby Bushee, manager, Ceremonies and Events; Vernesta Johnson, coordinator, Facilities Scheduling; Tracey Haney, administrative analyst specialist, Academic Programs; and Ruby Martinez, assistant to the dean, College of Arts & Humanities.

CSU Dominguez Hills and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) subsidize the vanpool fees, leaving participants to pay the $140 a month difference, a tremendous savings for those who live 80 or more miles away from CSU Dominguez Hills. In addition, each of the eight participants takes a weekly turn at sharing the driving duties while the other passengers sip their morning coffee, chat, or what invariably happens when on a 90-minute ride early in the morning, go back to sleep.

Ruby Martinez, assistant to the dean, College of Arts and Humanities, lives in San Jacinto, which is approximately 86 miles from CSU Dominguez Hills. After commuting and carpooling with a co-worker for a year-and-a-half – which took about three hours – she jumped on the chance to save time and cost with the vanpool.

“It’s cut down my commute time by 45 minutes,” she says. “And it’s cut down on the wear and tear on my car, and the gas guzzling.

“It’s less stressful to have company and the time goes faster,” Martinez adds. “You look forward to hearing people’s stories. It’s a fun drive to work.”

For more information on the CSU Dominguez Hills employee vanpool or other alternative transportation options available to employees, contact Jones-Hunter at (310) 243-2893 or email


  1. I agree. For those of us who don’t have cars and can only take night classes, it’s hard to find a way home at night. Especially if you’re a girl and have to take the bus home at night.

  2. Something like this would be good for students who live at home too…

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