Washington University in St. Louis’ goal is to become a model in the Midwest for alternative and low carbon transportation.
Through the addition of new alternative transportation programs, partnerships to enhance public transit access, as well as bicycle and pedestrian improvements to our built environment, single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) commuting to the Danforth Campus decreased by 9.7 percent between 2010 and 2012 when adjusted for growth of the campus population.
Washington University is a strong supporter of expanding the regional transit system. Our partnership with the transit agency, Metro, includes transitioning a campus-operated bus fleet to Metro operations, building light rail stations on our two academic and two administrative campuses, and providing free, unlimited “U-Passes” to all full-time staff, faculty and students. The university distributed over 26,000 U-Passes in fiscal year 2015.
We expanded the Enterprise CarShare program from a fleet of seven vehicles in 2008 to a fleet of 21 vehicles in 2015, and we subsidize use of the program to support and encourage students, faculty and staff to go car-free. All of the vehicles are hybrids or plug-in hybrids.
We partnered with regional greenway builder Great Rivers Greenway to build a section of the Centennial Greenway through the heart of the Danforth Campus, connecting Forest Park to the vibrant Delmar Loop mixed-use district. We are currently partnering with Great Rivers Greenway to develop a section of the Chouteau Greenway through the School of Medicine campus, which will connect the Cortex innovation district to Forest Park.
Bicycling on Campus
We added over 300 bike parking spaces in “bike nodes,” many of which include self tune-up Fixit stations, pervious pavers for stormwater infiltration and trees for shade. We have added other bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, including the first bike boxes in the region.
Education and Outreach
We have launched new education and outreach programs to build a safe and fun culture of active transportation, including two Active Transportation Months per year, the Courtesy is Contagious safety campaign and the Driving Change campaign to promote alternatives to SOV driving.
The university has also taken steps to reduce emissions from the campus fleet. We have replaced a number of vehicles with higher fuel economy options and operate three Dining Services delivery trucks on biodiesel.
Kick the Car Habit
During Active Transportation Month every April and October, the Washington University community is encouraged to kick the car habit and try active, low-carbon means of transportation. Hundreds of our faculty, staff and students participate each year.
In April 2014, challenge participants logged over 16,500 car-free miles, saving an estimated 16,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the air!