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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.

    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
    A Commute Tidbit from a Winner of Fitbit
    by Shift San Diego | Nov 15, 2017

    A round of applause for UC San Diego student Kailey, one of three 2017 Rideshare Week pledge winners who won a Fitbit. She pledged to carpool with a friend to and from campus on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. She commutes from Mission Valley every day, but continues to carpool three times a week to campus.

    When asked why she carpools, she happily replied, “I choose to share a ride because not only is it hard to find parking on campus, sharing a ride helps get more cars off the road and conserves gas.” 

    Carpooling is an easy way to instantly reduce your commuting costs by 50 percent or more. Carpools also can take advantage of many free amenities throughout the region including carpool lanes, Park & Ride lots, and the Guaranteed Ride Home program. You’ll save time, money, and wear and tear on your car, all while helping to save the planet. Get started by finding someone to share a ride to/from school or work. Here are some carpooling & ridematching resources:


    Nov 15, 2017
    Back to School By Carpool
    by Shift San Diego | Oct 25, 2017

    Back to School By Carpool

    School is back in session and that means more vehicles are on the road. What better way to help reduce congestion than by featuring a student who has chosen to carpool to school? Andrew has been carpooling with his girlfriend and another school friend since their first day as freshman at UC San Diego. Now in their second year, they continue to commute from Chula Vista to La Jolla each day.

    Andrew drives his car and picks up each passenger, who both live  within a mile from where he lives. They drive 35 miles to school, which would usually take about an hour, but without traffic it's closer to 25-30 minutes. When asked why they started a carpool Andrew replied, “As students, we are on a budget. We save a lot of money by carpooling.”

    Here`s a breakdown of their carpool expenses and savings:

    Shift_CarpoolBlog_Graphics 4c (003)

    In addition to saving money, Andrew and his friends like carpooling because it also allows for more efficient transportation on/off campus and also helps the environment.

    Andrew offers his advice to those students who want to try carpooling: ``Carpooling requires organization, good communication, and patience.”

    Here are some of additional takeaways from his carpool experience:

    Shift_CarpoolBlog_Graphics_v2 (002)

    Riding together helps to save money and time together. Not sure how to start carpooling? Check out these resources here. Want to learn more about UC San Diego parking? Get info here. Access traffic information before your drive at: 511SD, Caltrans QuickMap, WAZE, Google Maps, or Shift San Diego.


    Oct 25, 2017
    Construction Traffic Tips for Back to School
    by Shift San Diego | Oct 03, 2017

    With various construction projects in progress and school back in session, traffic can be challenging. Take some time to rethink your commute to school or work. Shift your solo drive and try an alternative transportation solution like carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking, or taking transit. Check out some simple tips to get started:

    Tip #1: Carpool to school. Share the costs. Reduce congestion.

    Share your daily commute and save! Carpools benefit frommany free amenities throughout the region including HOV lanes, Interstate 805 Direct Access Ramps, Park & Ride lots, and the Guaranteed Ride Home Program.

    Carpooling is an easy way to instantly reduce your commuting costs by 50 percent or more. Learn more and find a carpool match through iCommute. You can also check out these on-demand apps to share a ride via LyftLine, UberPOOL, or WAZE Carpool.

    Are you a faculty  or staff member looking to save on your commute? A vanpool brings five or more people together to share the costs of getting to and from work in a van or SUV. Vanpool participants generally pay less than $100 per month to get to work! Learn more and find a vanpool match here.

    Tip #2: Get construction alerts for an easier commute.

    Over the next five years, nearly 50 major public, private and transportation infrastructure projects are underway or planned for the University City/Golden Triangle community that can impact traffic flow and daily commutes to school or work. Text ShiftSD to 797979 to receive construction alerts on your smartphone. That way you can determine a route that works better for you and avoid any freeway, road, or ramp closures.

    Tip #3: Take transit and multitask on the bus.

    Learn about trying transit here. There are eight routes that serve the La Jolla UC San Diego campus, including Rapid and SuperLoop. Need to get to Downtown San Diego? Take routes 30 or 150. Live in Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs, or Mira Mesa and need to head to class? Take Rapid 237. Need to get around University City? Take SuperLoop Rapid Routes 201/202. With so many options, why not give one a try?

    Tip 4: Share a ride to school for a chance to win a prize.

    There are monthly prize drawings for commuters who use alternative, more sustainable ways of getting to work or school. Anyone who makes at least eight round-trip transit, carpool, vanpool, walk, or bike commutes per month and logs trips is eligible. Simply sign up to log your commute trips using TripTracker and you will be automatically entered for chances to win! Prize drawings occur the first Wednesday of each month. For details, view the monthly prize drawing rules.

    Tip #5: Learn about your bike commute resources.

    GO by BIKE to catch a bus, train, or trolley instead of driving. You can leave your bike in a secure bike locker at more than 60 transit locations. You also can take your bike on the bus, trolley, or train and finish your commute to work or school by bike. Learn more about bike commuting options here.

    If you are unsure how to get started with finding a new way to work or school, start with using the TripPlanner. Find the best way to get where you need to go by comparing multiple transportation choices in one place. Just enter your starting point and destination in TripPlanner, and click "Let's Go!" It's that easy. TripPlanner compares carpool, vanpool, transit, walk, and bike options, and will provide you with ridematching options that meet your preferences. Have fun trying a new commute that works for you!

    Shift Web Slide Transit Option

    Oct 03, 2017
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