Within the next few years, 15-passenger commuter vans will be replaced on most California public university campuses, according to a report in the UCLA Bruin, the campus newspaper. The replacement plan is in accordance with a California bill passed last September requiring that only those with commercial driver’s licenses be allowed to drive the vans used at all school districts, private schools, community colleges and the California State University system, starting Jan. 1, 2005. Though the bill does not require that the University of California System adopt the regulations, the UC system schools will do so voluntarily, according to the report. According to studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vans have high centers of gravity, making them more likely to roll over. Approximately 180 of the 15-passenger vans are being used throughout UCLA in the commuter vanpool program and as campus shuttles. In the next three years, UCLA will phase out the larger vans and swap them for 11-passenger vans. UC Irvine will swap the larger vans for smaller eight-passenger vans by the end of the year.
In addition to taking advantage of a new military pilot program, fleet operators can proactively hire through apprenticeship programs, greater community visibility, and internal motivation.