Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

DU encourages alternative transportation

The University of Denver is doing its part to reduce traffic congestion. Transportation Solutions, a nonprofit transportation management association, partners with DU to offer programs that encourage students, faculty and staff to find alternatives to driving to campus.

DU’s Commute Club, which encourages its members to use alternative transportation at least one workday per week, last year reduced single-occupancy vehicle trips by more than 18,000 — about 356,500 miles. 

In 2006, the 474 members of the Commute Club prevented more than 365,000 pounds of air pollution and saved themselves more than $186,000 in fuel costs.

Monica Strobel, marketing and finance manager at Transportation Solutions, says the organization has had three main objectives in working with the University: to centralize the University’s transportation programs, to improve multi-modal access to the campus and to increase utilization of alternative modes of transportation.

The Transportation Center, which distributes Regional Transportation District (RTD) passes and provides transit, carpool and bicycling information, recently moved from the Driscoll Center to the Evans Parking Garage. All faculty and staff with benefits are eligible for free RTD Eco Passes, but Strobel says not everyone takes advantage of the offer.

Last year, 1,585 Eco Passes were distributed to DU’s employees, and this year more than 1,200 have already been distributed. The pass can be used for light rail, including rail service to the new University of Denver Station that opened in November at the north end of campus on Buchtel Boulevard. Approximately 1,800 people use the station daily.

DU and Transportation Solutions were honored last year with the Outstanding Service Award — Partnership in the Association for Commuter Transportation’s (ACT) 2006 International Awards Competition for their efforts to reduce congestion and improve options for those getting to and from the University without driving alone.

Also in 2006, DU was listed among the Best Workplaces for Commuters  — Colleges and Universities by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Last year there was a 15 percent decrease in the purchase of parking passes among DU employees, another indication that alternative transportation is making headway.

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