Green in Higher Education: Transportation

Sean O’Connell - Contributing Writer
Posted on Friday 29th May 2009
As a hotel offers an airport shuttle, they not only make traveling more convenient, they decrease auto emissions but putting more people in one vehicle. Most universities also offer a shuttle or transportation around and between campuses. For those with a larger commuter population they offer many other “green” commuter benefits. It has been a common practice to pay for health benefits on pretax income. Temple and Penn offer similar programs for public transportation. This is another simple benefit employers can offer employees that will save them money on travel or parking and also promote the use of public transportation. This offers great cost saving to the traveler and also reduces emissions. Ask if it is available at your workplace or if there are enough people interested to join another group. Penn offers students a ten percent discount on Transit Passes and also offers them on a semester calendar making them more convenient for students. Temple also has similar student benefits available because of close relationships with SEPTA. It may be possible if enough people in your workplace use public transportation to find discounts for buying through your employer. Very popular among college students and many young adults is the use of bikes to commute around the city. Bike racks were once seen as a childhood thing kept near the playground. But, as use increases amongst young adults’ bike racks perceptions are changing. Temple has a system in place for evaluating bike rack use and adding more spaces for students and employees to securely lock their bikes. Public Transit is not possible for some people living beyond the reach of SEPTA. This leaves the option of carpooling to work or even to a regional rail or public station. Penn has a number of online partner programs that it uses to match carpool members up. Investigating one of these programs can save you and others money and also help save us all gasoline. Temple University has a program in place investigating how to reduce the environmental impact commute of its employees and students through new means of public transportation and the revaluation of measures already in place. This project has the potential to reveal some valuable results.

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