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Improved Commuting

Category: Behavior Changes, Campus Design

Improved commuting programs transition students, faculty, and staff from using single-occupancy vehicles to using public transportation and ride sharing. These programs often include improved bus systems, carpool lots, and subsidies for public transit. They might also include micro-mobility options, such as bike or scooter sharing systems.

When implemented correctly, improved commuting offers numerous benefits beyond reducing transportation emissions. They can improve safety for students, faculty, staff, and the community as a whole by reducing vehicle related accidents. Facilitating alternative means of transportation improves the lives of people who cannot drive for myriad reasons, financial or otherwise. Reducing the amount of single-occupancy vehicles traveling into campus also improves air quality and reduces noise. Additionally, the campus community can benefit from the numerous health benefits of traveling by foot, bike, skateboard or scooter. Finally, parking spaces and lots can be transitioned into more beautiful, healthy, and beneficial uses.

Benefits of Improved Commuting

  • Makes commuting to campus less stressful and more accessible for students, faculty and staff
  • Improves community relationships by addressing regional traffic and transportation issues
  • Alleviates parking and traffic constraints


  • Even with incentives, there is no guarantee that individuals will change their commuting behavior
  • Typically involves expensive infrastructure upgrades
  • Overcoming cultural/social stigmas associated with public transportation can include lots of marketing


  • GHG Impact


    Commuting is often the largest single source of emissions for campuses with a large commuter population.

  • Economic Impact

    Small Net Cost

    Avoided construction of parking stalls is the most common avoided cost.

  • Feasibility


    Getting people to change their commuting preferences is easier said than done.

  • Timeline

    1-2 years

    Some programs can be rolled out quickly, but changing transportation culture is a long-term project.

  • Maintenance


    Staff need to run awareness campaigns, manage regional partnerships and perform analysis of commuting patterns.

  • Publicity

    Under the radar

    Carpooling is not likely to grab headlines. But things like shared campus bikes or lime/bird scooters get people more interested

Improved Commuting Providers