U Illinois Chicago Debuts Online Campus Ride-Matching Service
With the goal of reducing the amount of solo campus commuters by 30 percent, the University of Illinois at Chicago's Office of Sustainability and Commuter Student Resource Center have partnered with iCarpool. The online ride-matching service helps connect students and employees who drive a similar daily route to campus, or find others to share the costs of a longer trip.
Duke U Acquires 2 New Hybrid Buses
Duke University (NC) has purchased two new hybrid-electric buses to join its transit fleet. Ridership capacity will increase by 30 passengers for each bus.
U Delaware Powers Buses with Biodiesel
The University of Delaware has begun using biodiesel produced by undergraduate engineering students to power its bus fleet. The project was inspired by the donation of a biodiesel processor capable of recycling 130 to 150 gallons of used cooking oil per batch to produce 100 gallons of fuel. Students currently process one partial batch per week, producing 42 gallons of fuel.
U Minnesota Encourages Bike Commuting with New Technology
The University of Minnesota has installed Dero ZAP, a solar-powered, automated radio frequency identification (RFID) system to help manage, monitor and encourage bike commuting. Registered campus participants receive a unique RFID tag for their bicycle, which makes them eligible for commuting incentives and rewards.
U Oregon Student Union to Include Full-Service Bike Center
The University of Oregon has announced that the $160 million renovation of its Erb Memorial Student Union will include a 5,000-square-foot Bike Center. The project, modeled after Portland State University's Bike Hub, will include retail and repair services, secure bike parking, showers and locker space. Additionally, the bike program budget will increase from $26,000 a year to $100,000 a year.
League of American Bicyclists Names 6 New Bike Friendly Campuses
Announced during the AASHE 2011 conference in Pittsburgh, the League of American Bicyclists has designated six new institutions as bicycle friendly. With 26 institutions in the U.S. to date, the Bicycle Friendly University program recognizes campuses that offer a strong on-campus bicycle culture, a growing bicycle infrastructure, and cooperation with nearby towns and cities, among other criteria. The new bike friendly institutions include Chatham University (PA), George Mason University (VA), Ohio State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of North Carolina Wilmington and University of Vermont.
Purdue U Introduces Car Sharing Program
Purdue University (IN) has introduced a new car sharing program on campus through a partnership with Zipcar, Inc. Six cars, including hybrids, will be available to students, faculty and staff for an annual fee of $25 per person.
Salem State U Partners with City for Bike Share
Salem State University (MA) has partnered with the City of Salem to establish a bike share program. Twenty bikes will be available for public use free of charge, 10 of them downtown and 10 on campus. The university hopes the new program not only provides an alternative transportation option but also helps connect the campus community with the downtown.
U Cincinnati Launches Car Sharing Program
The University of Cincinnati (OH) has partnered with Zipcar, Inc. to launch a campus car sharing program for students, faculty and staff. Zipcars can be reserved via telephone, online and on smartphones.
Antioch U New England Builds Bike Shelter
Antioch University, New England (NH) has constructed a new bike shelter equipped with bike racks that will protect about 40 bicycles from the weather. Students worked with faculty members on the design, budget development and procurement of materials. Community members, students, staff, faculty and alumni volunteered to build the shelter.
Ohio State U Purchases Hybrid Buses
The Ohio State University has purchased two diesel-electric powered hybrid buses for the Campus Area Bus Service. Powered by a clean diesel hybrid electrical propulsion system, the university plans to boost campus fuel economy, reduce emissions, decrease noise pollution and reduce maintenance costs with the new mass transit vehicles.
Philadelphia Universities to Debut Electric Vehicles
Electric cars will be placed at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and Temple University as part of a Philadelphia-based initiative among the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PhillyCarShare and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, which includes installing infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles throughout the city.
Emory & Henry College Debuts Electric Vehicles on Campus
Emory & Henry College (VA) has introduced two electric vehicles to its transportation fleet for campus maintenance use. The college's president and her husband also donated an electric vehicle for presidential use across campus. The college is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2036.
Stonehill College Launches Car Sharing Program
Stonehill College (MA) has launched a car sharing program on campus through a partnership with Zipcar, Inc. Two cars on campus are available for students, faculty and staff to rent starting at $7 an hour. The college expects the new program to reduce the use of permanent cars on campus.
Tufts U Celebrates Car-Free Week
Tufts University's (MA) Office of Sustainability recently partnered with MassRIDES to promote Car-Free Week. Participants were encouraged to log every trip they completed without a car on the MassRIDES website. The Office of Sustainability targeted faculty members but also highlighted students’ potential to contribute to the program.
Michigan State U Participates in Clean Commute Challenge
In an effort to raise awareness of alternative transportation options to campus, Michigan State University announced its participation in the 2011 Clean Commute Campus Challenge, coordinated by the Capital Area Transportation Authority. Campuses throughout the state logged their “clean commutes” during the week of September 19-23 for the chance to be named the cleanest commuting college in Michigan.
San Francisco State U Students Put the 'Park' in Parking
Students at San Francisco State University (CA) recently turned local parking spaces into temporary parks using only recycled, borrowed or recyclable materials as part of an annual PARK(ing) Day. The worldwide event is designed to encourage citizens, artists and activists to temporarily transform metered parking spots into spaces for the public to enjoy. This year's student parking spot creations included a labyrinth and a rest stop where passers-by could take a nap.
U Denver Debuts Car Sharing Program
The University of Denver (CO) has partnered with car sharing program WeCar (a program of Enterprise Rent-a-Car) to offer on-campus access to car rentals for personal use. WeCar rentals are available for anyone over 18 years old with a valid driver’s license on an hourly, overnight and full-day basis with an initial enrollment fee of $35. The university hopes to take cars off the road and increase student mobility.
Colorado State U Introduces Car Sharing on Campus
Colorado State University has announced a new partnership with Zipcar Inc. to offer a car sharing program on campus. Students, employees and local community members will have access to five vehicles to start. The university aims to reduce parking demand and traffic congestion on campus.
U Tennessee Launches E-Bike Sharing System
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has launched a new automated electric bicycle (e-bike) sharing system. The pilot program features two bike sharing stations with 10 bicycles each including seven e-bikes. An electric bicycle is equipped with an attached motor that activates when pedaling gets more difficult for the rider. If successful, the program will be developed into a full-scale system. The program is funded by the Southeastern Transportation Center, Tennessee Department of Transportation and the university’s Student Sustainability Initiative.
Humboldt State U to Offer Car Sharing Service
Humboldt State University (CA) has announced a partnership with Zipcar, Inc. to offer a car sharing program on campus. The initiative joins the university’s current free student bus rides, weekend shuttles for on-campus residents, free carpool day parking and the annual “Car Free Day,” during which students are encouraged to use alternative transportation.
Boise State U Opens Bicycle Center
Boise State University (ID) has unveiled its Cycle Learning Center. The center serves as the university’s centralized source for basic bicycle repair services, low-cost instructional clinics and alternative transportation information. Students will be able to rent a bike or a secure a storage spot.
Cleveland State U to Offer Car Sharing Service
Cleveland State University (OH) has partnered with Zipcar, Inc. to offer a car-sharing program on campus. The university will start with two vehicles that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all students, faculty and staff members ages 18 and older.
USA Today Highlights 'Electric Avenue' at Portland State U
The grand opening of Portland State University's (OR) Electric Avenue, where students and visitors can plug in and charge electric cars, trucks, bicycles and motorcycles for free, was recently featured in USA Today. The collaborative, two-year project by the university, Portland General Electric and the City of Portland features seven electric vehicle charging stations from six manufacturers.
U South Alabama Debuts New Bike Program
The University of South Alabama has provided 500 bikes as part of the launch of its new bike sharing program, Jag Bikes. The program originated with a student idea that was promoted by the Faculty Senate and approved by university administrators.
U Toledo Purchases Biodiesel Buses
The University of Toledo (OH) has purchased four new biodiesel buses and one new hybrid bus in an effort to move toward a more environmentally friendly transportation fleet. The university spent almost $315,000 on the new additions, and plans to replace the oldest of the 14 campus buses.
U Arizona Expands Alternative Transportation Programs
The University of Arizona has expanded programs and resources in support of campus community members who use alternative transportation. The university completed renovations of a main campus route to include new curbs, asphalt, crosswalks, wheelchair ramps and bike lanes. Public Transportation Services has also extended the services of its Emergency Ride Home Program to students. The program offers students and faculty a free cab ride home in the event of an emergency. The university hopes the new additions will help promote alternative transportation.
U South Florida to Add 100 Solar Golf Carts
After a successful year-long pilot period, the University of South Florida's Office of Sustainability has announced plans to add about 100 solar golf carts to its campus fleet. Outfitted with a solar panel on top, the carts are also carbon emission free. At $750, each solar panel pays for itself in about two years. The university will use Student Green Energy Fee funds to pay for the additional carts.
U California Los Angeles Offers Green Commuting Incentives
The University of California, Los Angeles' Transportation department has launched a web-based program that offers incentives for students to commute to campus in an environmentally friendly manner. Members of the Bruin Commuter Club can access services ranging from discounted parking to an emergency ride service. The program is designed for students, faculty and staff who carpool, use public transportation or bike and walk to campus. Since the club’s induction on July 11, more than 1,000 members of the university community have registered. The incentives, including an annual gift card for restaurants and online carpool matching program Zimride, will continue to be added to the program in 2012 to encourage ongoing sign-ups.
U Texas Arlington to Add Free Electric Vehicle Charging Station
In anticipation of an expanding electric car market, the University of Texas at Arlington has announced plans to add a free public electric vehicle charging station on campus. Donated by City Electric Supply's Arlington office, the charger is being installed in a new campus garage that is slated to open in 2012. Room for six additional chargers are included in the plans for the final phase of the garage.
U Victoria to Pilot Green Ship Technology
With $1.19 million in federal funding, the University of Victoria (BC) has announced plans to retrofit the former Tsekoa II into a plug-in hybrid "green ship," powered by electricity, hydrogen fuel cells and low-emission diesel fuel. The hybrid system will provide energy for low-speed maneuvering and power for ship systems, communications and instrumentation. The new green ship technology was created by the university's green transportation research team and the Province of British Columbia's marine engineering and alternative power system sectors.
Duke U Debuts New Car Sharing Program
Duke University (NC) has announced that it is replacing its current car sharing service with Enterprise Rent-A-Car's WeCar. The new service provides the university with 16 vehicles, including an electric car that can be rented by students, faculty and staff. The WeCar vehicles will be spread across the university’s campuses. Vehicles can be reserved online, accessed using a membership card and returned to the same location where it was picked up. The new program also offers several enhancements including longer reservations, a higher daily mileage limit and competitive overnight rates.
St. Michael’s College Installs Solar Electric Vehicle Chargers
St. Michael’s College (VT) has installed two solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations. The stations will be paired with a solar photovoltaic system placed atop the college's Klein Center. When the electricity generated by the solar array isn’t needed to charge vehicles, it will go into the grid and offset the college’s overall energy consumption. The stations are compatible with all types of electric vehicles currently available on the market.
U Kentucky Helps Fund New City Bike Lanes
For a more interconnected campus and city bicycle network, the University of Kentucky will help fund new bike lanes and sharrows in the adjacent community. A partnership between the university and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, the project aims to increase the viability of biking as an alternative to driving.
Pomona College Announces Plans for Pedestrian Friendly Campus
With the recent opening of its new South Campus Athletic Field and Parking Structure, Pomona College (CA) has announced steps toward a more pedestrian friendly campus by allowing the closure of several parking areas scattered throughout the campus. The new two-story building, topped by a soccer and lacrosse field, will provide parking for more than 600 vehicles and free up more green space on campus. The parking structure also features sustainable elements including LimeLight, a wireless lighting control system that senses motion; solar PV arrays on the athletic field that will provide shade for spectators and should provide much of the electricity needed for the structure; high-efficiency restroom plumbing fixtures and irrigation equipment; drought-resistant native landscaping; six electric vehicle charging stations; bike racks; and priority parking for carpools.
U Mississippi Launches Car Sharing Option on Campus
The University of Mississippi has announced that it will offer the Zipcar car-sharing service on campus. Registration will be available in mid-August for all students, faculty and staff ages 18 and older, as well as to members of the local community ages 21 and older. The university has also partnered with Zimride, a private online social networking site devoted to establishing rides. Free to the university community, the site allows users to connect with others who are looking to carpool in the area. In addition to Zipcar and Zimride, students can take the Oxford-University Transit system free of charge and rent bikes from the university's Rebel Pedals program.
Villanova U Announces Pedestrian Friendly Campus Renovations
Villanova University (PA) has announced a $15 million renovation to its campus that will reduce vehicle access and increase pedestrian friendliness. The transformation will be implemented this summer and the following two summers with a majority of the renovations affecting the inner campus. The first phase, currently underway, will change the roadways on campus and limit vehicle traffic to be more friendly to pedestrians. Students and staff participated in focus groups to direct the "Transformation of the Campus Landscape" initiative.
Wayne State U Offers Free Shuttle Service to Detroit Surroundings
Wayne State University (MI) has partnered with Henry Ford Hospital and the Detroit Medical Center to provide free shuttle transportation for workers, students and the community to help eliminate car commuting. The shuttle service will allow students to travel between the university and the Detroit institutions. The university is also striving toward obtaining a Bike-Friendly certification from the League of American Bicyclists by working to implement car and bike sharing systems for students and staff.
Blackburn College Purchases Biodiesel Processor
Blackburn College (IL) has purchased a biodiesel processor that will convert fats and oils into biodiesel fuel. The processor will be used to introduce students to “good” chemistry and to create fuel for college vehicles and machinery. Students will also use cooking oil from the college’s cafeteria to make methyl biodiesel. The processor was purchased with money leftover from a U.S. Department of Energy grant.
Louisiana State U Installs Electric Vehicle Chargers
Louisiana State University has partnered with Entergy Corp. to install two new electric vehicle chargers on campus. The chargers will provide free power to students, faculty and staff who use electric vehicles. In exchange, Entergy Corp. will collect usage data for their research. The free electrical charges will be available beginning in the fall.
Inside Higher Ed Covers Rise in Green Driving Alternatives
This recent Inside Higher Ed article looks at a new set of challenges emerging as a growing number of institutions encourage green alternatives to driving to campus. With case studies including Boston University (MA) and Ripon College (WI), the article also explores the solutions being raised.
Universities Turn to Alternative Fuels as Gas Prices Rise
With gasoline prices expected to keep rising over the next few years, institutions are looking for ways to decrease their long-term reliance on fuel, reports a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article. The University of Florida has worked since 2007 to replace aging vehicles with ethanol-fueled vehicles, says the article, and the University of Minnesota is looking to start purchasing hybrid-electric vehicles. Ohio State University has spent $40,000 more on fuel than it budgeted for the 2011 fiscal year and is dipping into parking fee reserves to cover the difference. The university is researching compressed natural gas—cheaper and cleaner-burning than conventional gas—and ways to reduce traffic to campus including a dial-a-ride service.
Georgia Tech Improves Bike Culture on Campus
Students and staff on the Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee at Georgia Institute of Technology have announced plans to make it safer and easier to bike to campus. With a $26,146 grant from the Student Government Association, the group will spearhead additional bike racks and bike lanes, slated for a fall 2011 completion. The group also debuted an online campus bike hub.
U Chicago Launches Bike Commuter Benefit Pilot Program
The University of Chicago (IL) has launched a Bike Commuter Benefit pilot program. The program will offer a half-priced three-month gym membership to faculty, staff and other academic personnel who bike to work. The program is the first in a series of steps the university is taking towards becoming a more bicycle friendly campus.
U Wisconsin Madison Celebrates Bike to Work Week
The University of Wisconsin-Madison recently partnered with the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin to promote various Bike to Work Week events throughout the community. University departments participated in the Get Up and Ride Wisconsin Bike Challenge, which made available real-time reports with miles biked, trips taken, calories burned and gas dollars saved for each department. Prizes will be awarded to participants.
Wilfrid Laurier U Takes on Canadian Commuter Challenge
Members of the Wilfrid Laurier University (ON) community recently competed in the Canadian Commuter Challenge, a friendly competition between organizations in Canada to reduce greenhouse gases. Staff and faculty at the university pledged to use environmentally friendly modes of transportation like biking, walking, car pooling or public transit to get around town and to commute to and from work. The university has also announced that 25 bike racks and three crosswalks will be installed over the summer on campus. The Sustainability Office is also researching a formal carpooling program and the feasibility of an electric fleet of vehicles for use on campus.
Stetson U Replaces Public Safety Dept SUV with Electric Vehicle
Stetson University’s (FL) Public Safety Department has replaced its sports utility vehicle with a MILES Electric Vehicle. The $13,000 electric vehicle is battery-fueled and has an estimated battery life of 25,000 miles. The university may buy more electric-motor-utility vehicles for its Facilities Management Department if the recently purchased vehicle is a success.
Temple U Debuts Car Sharing, Water Refilling Station Initiatives
Temple University (PA) recently implemented two initiatives as part of its Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce the university's carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030. The university has partnered with Zimride, a ride-sharing tool that uses social networking functionality to bring members of the campus community together to share commutes. The university has also installed water bottle refilling stations in the lobbies of several academic building across campus.