The UCLA/Westwood bubble is a severe impediment to students being able to access and understand Los Angeles. In general, students live only as far away as the Palms neighborhood and eastern Santa Monica, and only drive to visit the city’s hotspots (beaches, clubs etc). Moreover, they do so mostly in their last two years when many move to apartments and bring their cars. So most Bruins are not likely to explore the rest of the city, which is filled with amazing neighborhoods as well as areas that are crucial to a full social and political understanding of Los Angeles.
One day, LA will have a functioning subway system, bringing it to par with the worlds best cities. Here are the plans currently bring tossed around:
A huge bonus to UCLA will be that with a subway line in place, accessing the university will be a lot easier from all over the city. Cars won’t be as necessecary to getting around, residency will no longer be restricted to a radius governed by gridlock, and access to areas that are important and often ignored by the student body will become a lot easier. As a former student myself, I can only imagine what a positive effect this might have on the myopia and isolation of many UCLA students.