California Colleges want students to bike to school
Universities in Southern California want their students to bike, carpool, and take more public transit to school, so they are implementing programs to encourage this. With fantastic weather almost the whole year, it is the perfect place to encourage more behaviour like this.
Mesa College is designating 33 prime parking spaces to hybrids and other high-fuel efficiency autos. San Diego State University also allocated 52 spots for car-pools in the faculty parking lot and subsidizes bus and trolley passes for faculty and students. With the new trolley line now running out to SDSU, students can get to other neighborhoods and even downtown with no traffic. Cal State San Marcos designated 80 spots for car pools, and permits have sold out in recent semesters. This year these passes sold out before the semester started.
UC San Diego
UC San Diego now uses a biodiesel bus and even improved its current bus service to transport 1,000 more students with 10 fewer buses. They also give 10 free days of parking to students that agree to bike the majority of their trips to campus. The programs appear to be working, at least at UCSD, as officials have noticed a drop in single-person car trips from 66% in 2001 to 49% in 2008. To further promote car-sharing, the university also now has 2 Zipcars on campus to give students the option of a car just for the longer trips, say to Target to get hair dye and decorations for their dorm room.
Other College Commuter Incentive Programs
Other campuses, as reported by the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), are offering financial give-aways to keep cars off of the road. Stanford University, for example, will pay up to $282 a year to students that dont drive at all to campus. Ripon College in Wisconsin gives non-driving students a Trek mountain bike, helmet and lock.
As gas prices go up, universities are also looking at reducing the number of cars on the road and also how often students have to travel to campus.