connect with us Twitter Facebook Instagram Email
Shift Insider Blog
News header image

The Golden Triangle is going through a period of tremendous growth! Nearly 50 major public, private and transportation infrastructure projects are underway or planned over the next five years. The Shift team is here to help mitigate the impact of possible challenges created by construction and provide transportation choices to make it easier to get around. Check out the shift blog to stay up-to-date on the latest Golden Triangle transportation resources and experiences from commuters, residents and families in this area.

    Helpful Tips for a Carpool Commute
    by Shift San Diego | Apr 12, 2018

    Carpooling has never been so easy. Waze Carpool connects riders and drivers who are along your route and allows you to request rides from them directly! Here’s some helpful tips:

    1. Add your typical work time commute

      To be matched with potential carpool, it is necessary to include your commute time frames.

    2. Add your work/school email and address

      By doing so, your co-workers can find you and you are added to the network of people at the organization. If you didn’t sign up with your work address, you can still add it to your profile by editing your profile and selecting add workplace.

    3. Add a photo to your profile

      Carpoolers can get to know their prospective carpool partners by including a profile photo.

    4. Link your public profiles on social media

      This helps people verify who you are and builds a layer of credibility.

    5. Sit shotgun and make a friend 
      The app facilitates connections between members of the same community, workplace or educational institution. As such, we hope riders take it upon themselves to get in the front seat with their neighbor, colleague and/or classmate.

    Be part of the movement to connect with the community like never before, reducing environmental impact, the cost of commuting and strain on global infrastructure. To download the app and begin carpooling, visit:


    Apr 12, 2018
    Illumina’s Heroic Efforts to Ease and Eradicate Traffic in All Ways
    by Shift San Diego | Mar 28, 2018

    Illumina has made great strides to encourage their employees to take alternative commutes to work and it shows in their company culture. Illumina received a Diamond Award last year for their efforts which included: monthly commuter prize drawings, hosting a Bike to Work Day pit stop, participating in Rideshare Week, an intranet commuter page, and offering a vanpool subsidy.

    “Illumina has been actively working with the Shift/iCommute team to encourage employees to take advantage of a portfolio of commuter benefits and resources. We want to provide a supportive culture for our employees to make sustainable commute choices that lead to cost savings on their commutes, improving their overall wellbeing and helping the environment,” Facilities Coordinator Kelsey Sanchez states.

    Meet some of their employees and find out which way they choose to get to work. Cheers to these every day heroes that help to ease and eradicate traffic by not driving alone to work and commuting alternatively.

    Blaire commutes to work in a carpool.

    Here’s Roger showing off the Compass Card he uses to commute by transit!

    Miriam shares a ride in a vanpool to get to work.

    Ludovic often chooses to “GO by BIKE” when commuting to work.

    Residing in University City, Jenn walks to work.

    James gets to enjoy the beautiful view of the coastline when he commutes to work via train.

    For more information on transportation solutions and how you can be a hero, click here.

    For employers who want to participate in the iCommute Employer Program, click here.

    Mar 28, 2018
    Trying New “Waze” to Get to Work ​
    by Shift San Diego | Mar 16, 2018


    Need help finding someone to carpool with? Waze Carpool does the work for you and transforms the traditional way of finding a carpool buddy into an app! Recently introduced in San Diego, Waze Carpool makes getting a ride and giving a ride easier for commuters. Special for San Diego, Waze Carpool is offering a promotion from February 1st through April 30th in which commuters in select ZIP Codes could get a Waze Carpool ride for only $2! The following are some questions we have received from fellow commuters at promotional events throughout the community.

    What ZIP codes apply to the $2 flat ride promotion?
    Commuters traveling TO or FROM the following ZIP Codes can get $2 Waze Carpool rides:92121, 92126, 92131, 92123, 92128, 92102, 92130, 92129, 92108, 92116, 92104, 92105, 92115, 92182

    What if my home ZIP code is not listed in the $2 flat ride promo, but what if my work ZIP code is listed?
    Whether a rider is commuting to or coming from one of the ZIP codes listed in the promotion, the rider qualifies for the $2 flat ride special through April 30th.

    The $2 promotion is until April 30th. How much will rides cost after that?
    Drivers earn the national standardized reimbursement rate of $0.54/mile. Riders will never be charged more than  $0.54/mile. But the driver can offer rides for less or even make them free!

    Are drivers hired by Waze Carpool?
    No, the drivers who use Waze Carpool are fellow classmates, colleagues or neighbors  going in the same direction as you!

    What if I just want to use Waze Carpool with my co-workers?
    The recently updated Waze Carpool app features a filter that can be applied if a rider wishes to view carpool matches of only co-workers. Using your work email and word address in your profile helps maximize the ability to find fellow co-workers. To help promote Waze Carpool and other carpool resources at your workplace, the Shift/iCommute team can host a ZIP Code Party event at your company. The more your co-workers know about the resources and how to navigate them, the better chances you have of finding a carpool match with them!

    For more information about Waze Carpool, click here.

    To download the app, click here

    Mar 16, 2018
    Employer Spotlight Series: Mission Federal Credit Union Part 1: Moving Means a New Look at Commuting
    by Shift San Diego | Feb 27, 2018

    The Mission Federal Credit Union (Mission Fed) corporate office in Sorrento Valley has been an iCommute Diamond Award winner for the past three years. During this time, their nearly 550 employees at Administrative offices and 30 branches have been able to commit to their initiative of sustainability by reducing their SOV (Single-Occupancy Vehicle) rate from 92% to 88%.

    “Our Green Team has been working on promoting sustainable commutes, whether it’s through our newsletters and HR packets, or through perks like our carpool priority parking spaces,” said Lauren Francis, Green Team Chair and Facilities Management staff member, Mission Fed. “We’re thankful to be working with iCommute and Shift San Diego these past few years and happy to see our efforts producing great results, such as reduced SOV.”

    Mission Fed also participates in annual commuter events, such as Bike to Work Day and Rideshare Week.

    Later this year, Mission Fed will have the opportunity to help their employees plan new commutes. For their first major move since locating in Sorrento Valley in late 1985/early 1986, Mission Fed will be headed to a new location in Scripps Ranch in late 2018. After over 30 years in the same building, Mission Fed is making the move to accommodate the growing number of employees, enhanced technology, more collaborative workspaces, training rooms, and other improvements that will help them provide an even better service experience for their more than 224,000 customers.

    Like most companies who move, Mission Fed acknowledged that one of the challenges will be reshaping commutes for employees. The distance that employees would need to commute was one of the many factors Mission Fed surveyed employees about and took into account when selecting a new location. Thinking ahead, Mission Fed is already working with iCommute and Shift San Diego to strategize a commuting promotional plan for employees that will tie in with the move. Resources such as the commute calculator and Guaranteed Ride Home Program are valuable tools for employees to reassess their commutes.

    A new location also offers the opportunity to introduce commute choices that employees have not considered trying before. From the facilities management point of view, moving to a new location holds great opportunity to implement new commuter amenities and infrastructure. At their new building, Mission Fed will have more carpool priority spaces and new EV charging stations.

    Stay tuned to see Mission Fed’s moving journey unfold throughout 2018.

    About Mission Federal Credit Union:

    Mission Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit organization providing a wide variety of financial services to meet the needs of its customers. With nearly $3.4 billion in assets, 30 local branches, and more than 224,000 customers, Mission Fed is the largest, locally based financial institution exclusively serving San Diego County. 


    Feb 27, 2018
    A New Spin on Getting Around
    by Shift San Diego | Feb 16, 2018

    Amongst the blue and gold that adorns the UC San Diego campus, there’s a new pop of color that can be seen– orange. UC San Diego recently launched a bikeshare pilot program with Spin to provide an additional transportation choice that enhances the sustainability and flexibility of commuters daily.

    Students, faculty, staff, and visitors can access any of the 300 orange Spin bikes on campus, scan the QR code on the bike with the Spin app, and be on their way. To access discounted rates, Tritons can enter their UC San Diego email address in the app. Bikeshare is a transportation management program that cities are seeing pop up more and more across the country. It allows the shared use of provided bikes for quick trips to lunch, errands, or more. In UC San Diego’s case, popular destinations may include lecture halls, labs, and libraries.

    Associate Vice Chancellor of Environmental and Building Services, Garry MacPherson, kicked off the January 18 launch event. Other featured speakers included executive staff from UC San Diego, Spin, and student representatives. MacPherson spoke about how he has enjoyed developing this program alongside colleagues Vice Chancellor Gary Matthews, Director of Transportation Josh Cavanaugh, and Marketing Manager Curt Lutz as it will help to foster the campus’ Long Range Development Plan expansions. MacPherson says that this bikeshare program will hopefully help solve the challenges of multiple abandoned bikes on campus, and the demand for open spaces on the bike racks.

    Mark, graduate president, attests to this as he believes the Spin bikes will be well received by his peers, especially since it will help to connect grad housing with the main campus. “The values this bikeshare program upholds like sustainability and flexibility are what makes a lot of us graduate students excited about this program. A lot of us attend school and work, so it’ll be more convenient going back and forth from campus and grad housing,” says Mark.

    Though this new bikeshare program is already expected to serve a large part of the campus population, UC San Diego is working on education and bike safety awareness to ensure program success. ``This program is very exciting for all of us, but it’s going to take a community led effort to make it work,” says undergraduate president, Lesly. Following closing remarks, campus police/bike enforcement officer, Ian Happle, led event attendees on a bike safety ride around the main parts of the campus with the new Spin bikes.

    For more coverage about UC San Diego’s bikeshare launch, visit:

    For more information about bicycle commuting resources, visit:


    Undergraduate President Lesly and Graduate President Mark are excited about the bike sharing program on campus.

    Feb 16, 2018
    Shifting into the New Year
    by Shift San Diego | Feb 16, 2018

    Now that 2018 is here, we wanted to take time to reflect on all the wonderful moments we shared last year and thank everyone who considered alternative transportation for the first time, changed up their commuting routine or reached out to us with questions about construction. We look forward to the new partnerships and efforts that await us in the new year.

    Here are some highlights of last year of working with inspiring employers, expanding our outreach within the community and continuing to see this dynamic neighborhood move forward with exciting projects:

    Employer Events and Engagement

    The Shift team worked with over 60 employer sites last year to help develop/enhance companies’ commuter benefits programs and transportation demand management initiatives. For example, the Shift team participated in Biocom’s Sustainability Event, where a SANDAG/Shift representative was part of a panel that discussed sustainability efforts throughout the region.


    Another example was coordinating and hosting vanpool events. Through various employer events and promotions, there were 139 vanpools formed and maintained in the Golden Triangle/University City last year. Back in March, Illumina hosted a vanpool formation event for their employees as shown here.


    Bike to Work Day (May 18, 2017)

    We celebrated Bike to Work Day with more than 10,500 visits at 100 pit stops throughout the region. This included eleven stops in the Golden Triangle area, like this one adjacent to the Scripps Health campus.


    Shift Expansion Press Conference (July 26, 2017)

    In July, SANDAG announced the launch of the expansion of Shift in the Golden Triangle area. This expansion builds on Shift’s success providing transportation solutions to also provide a one-stop shop for construction information and project coordination as the Golden Triangle enters a period of major multi-year construction. We were joined by each of our program partners in this expansion: Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Barbara Bry from the City of San Diego, Brian Gregory from UC San Diego, Paul Jablonski from MTS, and Allan Kosup from Caltrans.

    Shift_pressconference (002)

    Back to School (September 2017)

    The shift team was out at UC San Diego with Energy 103.7 at the start of the school year to promote alternative transportation, the use of the U-pass among students and the use of the eco pass among staff and faculty.


    Rideshare Week (October 2-6, 2017)

    More than 1,000 commuters pledged to carpool, vanpool, or take transit during National Rideshare Week. UC San Diego student Kailey was one of three 2017 Rideshare Week pledge winners to win a Fitbit for their commitment to alternative transportation. She pledged to carpool with a friend to and from campus on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.


    SANDAG Diamond Awards (October 2017)

    67 employers countywide were recognized by iCommute with Diamond Awards for their outstanding efforts to encourage workers to use environmentally sustainable transportation choices.  17 of the recognized employers are located within the greater Golden Triangle area, demonstrating this area’s leadership in the region.


    Opening of the south section of the I-5/Genesee bridge (November 2017)

    Work has been underway to replace the existing six-lane Genesee Avenue overpass with a ten-lane structure that will include additional vehicle lanes, new bike lanes and sidewalks, and better accommodate current and future traffic demands in the San Diego region. As of November 28, the new lanes were opened. Work will now begin on the pedestrian bridge and bike lane to allow for different modes of transportation through this corridor.


    Installation of Gilman Bridge Falsework (November 2017)

    The first concrete pour for the Gilman Drive Bridge, an iconic new crossing that will soon gracefully span I-5 just north of the La Jolla Village Drive interchange began on November 30. The new bridge will provide a much-needed connection between Gilman Drive on UC San Diego’s west campus and Medical Center Drive on the east campus.


    Our sincerest thanks to the employers, commuters, and residents in the Golden Triangle for your patience as crews work on transportation improvements and for working with Shift to promote sustainable commutes during construction.  Together, we are shifting into a lifestyle that embraces carpooling, vanpooling, taking transit, walking or biking to work. Cheers and onward to 2018!

    Feb 16, 2018
    Guaranteed Ride Home Program Gives Commuters a Back-Up Plan for Emergencies
    by Shift San Diego | Dec 21, 2017

    When working with commuters on exploring different ways to get to work other than driving alone, one of the most common challenges people face is the flexibility to drive home when an emergency arises. If you carpool, vanpool, take transit, walk, or bike to work, you have a safety net with the Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) program.

    Registered participants can get a free* ride home in an Uber, taxi, or rental car up to three times per year in the event of:

    • Personal or family illness or emergency
    • Unscheduled overtime
    • Being stranded at work due to carpool or vanpool driver leaving for an emergency
    • Flat tire biking on the way home

    To register for the Guaranteed Ride Home program, simply fill out this registration form and your vouchers will be emailed to you within three business days.

    If you choose the Uber option for your GRH ride, you’ll first need to create an Uber account. Visit or download the free Uber app in the App or Google Play stores. 

    Here`s what your fellow neighbors and co-workers have to say about GRH:

    Esther commutes in a vanpool from La Mesa to the Veterans Affairs building in La Jolla. She registered for GRH because, she said, “life is not always predictable and there are times when I have to respond to an ill child.” She found the process to sign up and obtain her GRH vouchers very easy.

    Jennie vanpools from Rancho Bernardo to Illumina daily. She signed up for GRH because there have been times when she has to work late and she misses the ride home with her vanpool. She describes the process to redeem the voucher fairly easy. “I call a taxi, wait for about 15 minutes for the cab to arrive, give the voucher to the driver, and am able to get home about 30-60 minutes later.” She also said that “GRH allows me the opportunity to commute by vanpool daily and accommodates for the times when my work schedule unexpectedly needs to be adjusted.”

    Kenneth walks daily to StepStone and enjoys how he can use the commute time to decompress and get some exercise. “I walk to work everyday. If I need to get home unexpectedly and don’t have my car with me, I would most likely hail an Uber anyway. Might as well have my ride covered under iCommute,” says Kenneth.

    Give an alternative commute to work a try with reassurance that you have a backup plan when life happens and you need to get home in an emergency or work late.

    For more information, see the Guaranteed Ride Home Guidelines, call 511 and say “iCommute” or email


    Dec 21, 2017
    Employers that Shine in the Golden Triangle
    by Shift San Diego | Nov 28, 2017

    Sixty-seven employers countywide were recognized last month by iCommute with Diamond Awards for their outstanding efforts to encourage workers to use environmentally sustainable transportation choices.  Seventeen of the recognized employers are located within the greater Golden Triangle area.

    The Diamond Awards is an annual recognition event hosted by the San Diego Association of Government’s (SANDAG) iCommute program, which provides a variety of services to commuters and employers to help reduce traffic congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions. The number of Diamond Awards recipients continues to grow each year. “SANDAG is proud to recognize the 67 employers honored today for their success in developing programs that help their employees find more sustainable options to commute,” said County Supervisor and SANDAG Board Chair Ron Roberts. “Choosing an alternative to driving solo just once a week helps reduce regional congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and can make a big difference in employee wellness, productivity and retention.”

    Diamond Award recipients promote commuting alternatives such as carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, transit, telework, and compressed workweek schedules. Many provide incentives, subsidies, or pre-tax deductions to support their employees’ participation in eligible programs.

    Congratulations to our local neighbors:

    Platinum Tier:

    BD Biosciences Pharmingen

    Scripps Health

    UC San Diego

    Silver Tier:

    Illumina, Inc.

    LPL Financial

    Qualcomm, Inc.

    US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

    Bronze Tier:

    Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

    Dexcom, Inc.


    Mission Federal Credit Union

    The Scripps Research Institute


    TD Ameritrade

    Texas Instruments, Inc.


    View a full list of winners.

    View the event photos.

    Employers throughout San Diego County are invited to take advantage of complimentary iCommute commuter program services to be eligible for Diamond Awards. 


    Nov 28, 2017
Past Entries: