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.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges Introduce Car Sharing Program

Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY) recently launched a partnership with Zipcar, Inc. to offer a campus car sharing program. Two vehicles are currently available for use.

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.

California State U Los Angeles Competes in EcoCAR 2

California State University, Los Angeles' College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology has been selected to build a zero-emissions vehicle for the EcoCAR 2 Plugging In to the Future international competition. Established by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, the three-year collegiate competition provides engineering students the chance to design and build vehicles that demonstrate cutting-edge automotive technologies. The competition challenges 16 North American universities to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability.

Georgia Tech Partners with Ford for Green Eco School Bus

Georgia Institute of Technology has partnered with the Ford Motor Company Fund to convert a school bus to a hydraulic hybrid vehicle that runs on recycled biofuel. The project was financed by a $50,000 Ford College Community Challenge. Students, with the help of a mechanical engineering professor, designed and developed the hydraulic hybrid system for the 16-passenger school bus. The university held an event in which elementary students painted the bus and organized a drive to collect used cooking oil for processing into biodiesel.

Metropolitan CC Debuts Green Bike Program

Metropolitan Community College (NE) recently debuted the Green Bike Program at its Fort Omaha campus. The Green Bike Program encourages biking as a healthy, safe and environmentally friendly way to get around. Students and staff on the campus will have free access to seven bikes. Twenty-four new bike racks were installed on campus, and eight sharrows were painted on campus roads. The green bikes will be available free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis to get around the Fort Omaha campus only. The Green Bike program is made possible through a partnership among the college, Live Well Omaha, the Community Bike Shop and Green Street Cycles. The bikes were painted by students in the college's Auto Collision Technology Program.

U Northern British Columbia Installs Showers for Cyclists

The University of Northern British Columbia has installed two showers for bike commuters. The shower facilities are part of a plan to encourage more people to bike or walk to campus. The cycling community at the university had expressed that the new facilities would be a great help and remove a lot of barriers to biking to campus.

West Virginia U Celebrates Bike to Work Week

West Virginia University recently celebrated Bike to Work Week, part of National Bike Month, by encouraging employees and students to ride their bikes and showcasing the services available to cyclists. The university’s Mountaineer Station offers indoor lockers, bike racks and showers for cyclists who can then ride the Personal Rapid Transit system to their destination. A Confident City Cycling program was created for those who are uncomfortable with cycling on the streets and the university will pay for the cost for employees to attend the program.

U Arizona Adds Electric Vehicle to Campus Fleet

The University of Arizona has added the electric Nissan Leaf to its fleet of 100 vehicles, available to students and faculty to rent. The first step in a plan to add more electric vehicles to its fleet, the car is now accompanied by a new electric vehicle charging station, donated by California-based AeroVironment, Inc.

U of California Riverside Offers Vanpooling Option

In an effort to make commuting to campus more affordable and sustainable, the University of California, Riverside's Transportation and Parking Services has created a vanpooling program. The university hopes the program will reduce traffic congestion and provide another alternative for students, faculty and staff in their commuting options.

Baker College of Owosso Produces Biofuel

Baker College of Owosso (MI) has begun processing its own biofuel using recently purchased processing equipment. The processor can produce 40 gallons of diesel fuel in one 12-hour batch. The college is using waste oil and grease produced by its cafeteria, and is teaching other college and high school instructors how to convert their own cafeterias into diesel producing kitchens.

U Utah Opens Bike Repair Stations

The University of Utah has installed two bicycle repair stations on campus to help facilitate bike commuting options. Installed by Commuter Services, each station features a tire pump, tire levers, screwdrivers and allen keys to help students make minor repairs to their bikes.

Cornell U to Compete in Green Grand Prix

Cornell University (NY) will compete in the 7th Annual Green Grand Prix this month, which will take place at Watkins Glen International racing facility in New York. The university has submitted its diesel hybrid dubbed "Redshift." Entries can include diesel and traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrid models, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell cars and vehicles running on biodiesel, flex-fuel and pure electric.

Rice U Expands Campus Bike Initiatives

With funding from the Rice Endowment for Sustainable Energy and Technology, the Office of Sustainability and a student initiative grant program, Rice University (TX) has expanded its campus bicycle program to include bike sharing, bike reps and a repair shop. Students worked with the Rice Police Department to refurbish abandoned bikes for the bike sharing initiative. The new bike reps will function like campus eco-reps with a focus on bikes. Their duties will include identifying and reporting abandoned bikes, sharing information about campus bike rules and policies with the campus community, and providing minor bicycle repairs and maintenance.

Rochester Inst to Develop Natural Gas Engines for Hybrid Vehicles

Faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) have received a $100,000 grant from the California Energy Commission to develop a natural gas-fueled engine for hybrid electric vehicles. The new engine, which is estimated to save five million tons of carbon dioxide from the air per year if 5 percent of California drivers converted to it, can also be used for electric generators and agricultural uses like power for irrigation pumps.