Eco-Friendly Transportation Solutions for College Campuses
Transportation is a significant component of life on campus. In the face of climate change, it’s become increasingly important for colleges and universities to implement eco-conscious travel initiatives and reduce their environmental footprint.
By revolutionizing campus transportation, colleges can minimize carbon emissions, encourage physical activity, alleviate traffic, and even lower the cost of campus commutes.
In this article, we will look closer at the initiatives that can make student transportation more sustainable.
Mass transit on campus is one of the ways to reduce carbon emissions. It can take various forms, like carpooling and car sharing. Carsharing offers students and employees to use a vehicle from a campus fleet when necessary. Carpooling allows two or more people to share a ride to the same destination and lower commute costs by 60%.
A few incentives can help to support mass transit on campus:
- A system where students can list their rides and find a carshare partner;
- Carpool parking discounts;
- A guaranteed ride home for personal emergencies via carpooling.
A shift to sharing instead of owning needs a mindset change. This requires a complex approach, including academic support. Colleges should encourage students to research the importance of green transportation. An online essay writing service can support students by helping them create impactful essays that raise awareness about sustainability. This will give students an outlet to express themselves and help the cause.
With minimal investment and maximum health benefits, biking is one of the most popular alternative transportation options on campus. Yet, its successful implementation requires investment in several areas:
- Evaluation of infrastructure and biking lanes coverage;
- Installation of racks;
- Cycling stations on campus with anti-theft systems and charging points for electric bikes;
- Awareness campaigns on the benefits of biking;
- Showers and change rooms;
- Bike repair and maintenance discounts for students and staff;
- Free or low-cost bike-sharing programs on campus;
- Renting or sharing biking equipment and making it branded;
- Bike repair stations.
The University of Louisville, for example, embraced biking on campus. According to Environment America, to encourage more people to use bicycles, they launched a program that allowed students to exchange their vehicle parking permit for a $400 voucher in local bike shops. As a result, the program doubled the percentage of students who biked on campus.
College campuses can take advantage of the available network of public transport to make campus commutes easier and more cost-effective. This option is reliable and predictable.
To encourage students to use public transport, college campuses should make comfortable bus stops in collaboration with transportation providers. It also helps to offer students and employees discounted or free public transit passes. The ride privilege gives them the flexibility to plan commutes while the campus gets a reduced carbon footprint and fewer cars on its grounds. With lower demand, campuses can also save on maintaining their parking facilities.
Visual communication is important too. Signs, directions, and orientation maps should be accessible to students to help them navigate the local area. Students also need apps with real-time information on timetables to stay informed and plan their day.
Switching to electric vehicles requires an investment in infrastructure, but renewable energy and sustainable communities are some of the key sustainable development goals. How to prepare for change?
First, campuses will need to build charging stations. Luckily, it should be easy to turn into reality since there are a lot of state and local programs that help to fund such initiatives and promote campus fleet electrification.
Second, colleges and universities can also partner with industry. There are many successful examples of companies that offer electric mobility solutions partnering with educational institutions. For example, Bird operates across dozens of campuses in North America, providing e-scooters and e-bicycles. It serves the unique needs of college communities for efficient and eco-friendly transit.
Students are used to having everything on their phones and leveraging smart resources. They use the best dissertation writing services for their studies and apps to organize their learning (and their entire lives). It’s only wise for colleges to mirror this approach in sustainable transportation initiatives.
To make the transition to eco-friendly transportation smooth for students, offer them the necessary resources. It helps to develop versatile online platforms to empower students in their sustainability efforts. These could be online transportation platforms where students can leave their feedback on critical issues and offer interventions. Campus carpooling apps can help them find people to travel together with.
The University of Maryland has a successful initiative called Smart Commute Trip Planner. It helps students to discover transportation options, plan their trips, and discover local transit, bike routes, and walking paths. The platform also has the elements of gamification. By making their commutes greener, students can earn points and exchange them in the Smart Commute store.
These initiatives have the potential to drive change and pave the way for a greener campus. By promoting sustainable transportation, educational institutions shape the future of society. They show the efficiency and feasibility of green living that will help people form a more sustainable mindset.
What eco-friendly transportation solution would you like to have on your campus?