3 Campuses make greener transportation a priority – Appalachian State, U of Chicago, and U Mass Amherst

National Wildlife Federation’s 2011 campus sustainability case studies are online now at www.nwf.org/campuscasestudies. The following is the second in a series of blog posts to highlight some of the notable projects and trends represented in our database.

Colleges and universities across the country struggle with issues related to campus transportation, from bus fleets to

Appalachian State University

parking spaces. Now campuses are stepping up their efforts to tackle some of these challenges in a sustainable way.

Appalachian State University (NC) is implementing an alternative transportation system, with a goal of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. The new system has successfully reduced the number of vehicles on campus by offering various modes of alternative transportation such as car-sharing, ride-sharing, increased bicycle accessibility and an improved public bus system. Learn more about this project.

University of Chicago, credit Tom McGrath

Launched in Fall 2009, the University of Chicago’s bike share program, “recycles,” provides bikes for students, faculty and staff to borrow for a day free of charge. Recycles has multiple benefits including decreasing waste and pollution, improving the landscape, encouraging healthy living and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the use of single-occupancy vehicles. Managed by UC’s Office of Sustainability, recycles partners with a local nonprofit, Blackstone Bicycle Works, which provides refurbished bikes for their low-tech program. Within the first year, recycles had nearly 1,000 registered users and currently boasts an average of over 100 bike rentals each week. Learn more about this project.

University of Mass Amherst, credit Sarah Zuraw

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is studying the feasibility of converting the buses of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus system, the main public transportation system in the area surrounding the University, to biodiesel. The study will help determine the availability of biodiesel fuel in the Pioneer Valley, as well as the costs that would be involved in converting the buses. Learn more about this project.