UCLA's new head of commuting programs favorite modes of transportation? Surfboard, bodyboard, and kayak. A waterman as he'd go by in Hawaii, Tony Lucas is here to keep Bruins and campus visitors moving on land.
Tony arrives at UCLA from Cal State Sacramento, where he oversaw parking and transportation, space management, sustainability, and other units in the school’s Division of Administration and Business Affairs. Under his direction, the institution implemented an award-winning bicycle infrastructure project, piloted an autonomous shuttle for the campus, and rolled out a bio-CNG bus system that ran on organic waste from the university.
Thrilled to set foot in Southern California during surf season, Tony assumed his role on July 17. Yet, UCLA is more than just a campus in a city with a stretch of beaches (which he’s using a Go Metro transit pass to reach).
“With my non-traditional educational journey, going from active duty in the United States Air Force to being assigned to an ROTC unit at San Jose State University and getting inspired to enroll in college myself, being the first in my family to graduate and then work in higher ed, I feel honored to work for the #1 public university,” said Tony.
“I think about when my daughter got her acceptance letter to UC Berkeley, how proud she was, and how proud I was for her. Now here I am—I got into UCLA!”
Whether supporting bike commuting, running a paratransit van service, enhancing BruinBus operations, partnering with regional transit agencies, or managing parking needs, Tony says he appreciates the complexities of serving a diverse community and wants to make commuting to campus a positive experience.
“I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Ultimately, access is what we do. We’re that first point of interaction: for a student going to class, a parent coming on a tour, a community member here to see a play, and guests heading to a graduation ceremony.”
“My vision is to provide friction-free and sustainable options for the UCLA community, in a way that works for everyone. Because I’m a first-generation college graduate, I really understand the importance of enhancing access, and the transformations made possible by making a place accessible.”
Access also applies to Tony’s role in leading the events office for the administrative unit. He’s keen to continue making campus grounds and facilities available for TV and film shoots, large-scale meetings and receptions, and pull off the biggest annual campus event – commencement.
"I'm thrilled to have Tony join UCLA Administration's leadership team as Events & Transportation's executive director. I know one of the attributes that attracted Tony to UCLA was the opportunity to join the E&T team, which is well respected across the country as an innovative leader in transportation demand management. Tony brings a wealth of higher education experience that will benefit our university," said Michael Beck, UCLA's administrative vice chancellor.
Welcome aboard, Tony!