Campus Transport Management

Trip Reduction Programs on College, University and Research Campuses


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 29 September 2015

This chapter describes how to manage transportation on college, university and research campuses to increase system efficiency and reduce problems such as traffic congestion, parking facility costs, user costs and environmental impacts.




Campus Transport Management programs are coordinated efforts to improve transportation options and reduce trips at colleges, universities and other campus facilities. TDM tends to be particularly effective and appropriate in such settings. It is often more cost effective than other solutions to local traffic and parking problems, and students and employees often value having improved transportation choices.


Campus TDM programs can include:


·         Transit Improvements and Fare Discounts.


·         Ridesharing


·         Shuttle Services.


·         Parking Pricing and Parking Management.


·         Commute Trip Reduction programs that include Alternative Work Schedules, Telework and Guaranteed Rides Home.


·         Traffic Calming and Car Free Planning.


·         Marketing and Promotional Campaigns.


·         Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements.


·         Bicycle Parking.


·         Universal Design (transportation systems that accommodate people with disabilities and other special needs).


·         Programs to Address Security Concerns of pedestrians and cyclists.


·         Recreation activity and Special Event transport management.


·         A Transportation Access Guide that concisely describes how to reach the campus by walking, cycling and transit.


·         Applying Smart Growth and New Urbanist principles to on-campus development that reduces the need for travel.



An increasing number of colleges and universities offer free or significantly discounted transit passes to students and sometimes staff (called a “UPASS”). The table below summarizes the costs and impacts of several UPASS programs. Students voted overwhelmingly (most referenda received 75% or more approval) to support many of these programs, even though it increases their fees.


 Table 1         UPASS Program Summary (Brown, Hess and Shoup, 1998)





Year Began


Who May      Ride Free


Eligible Riders

Annual Program



Annual Rides

Cost Per Eligible Person

Rides Per Eligible Person

Average Cost per Ride


Ridership Increase











University of California, San Diego


Students, faculty, staff, emeritus








University of Georgia at Athens










Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo


Students, faculty, staff, emeritus








Appalachian State University, NC


Students, faculty, staff








University of Pittsburgh, PA


Students, faculty, staff








University of California, Santa Barbara










Santa Barbara City College, CA










University of Massachusetts at Amherst


Students, faculty, staff








Ohio State University










University of Wisconsin at Madison










Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Students, faculty, staff








Auraria Higher Education Center (UC Denver)










University of California, Davis










San Jose State University, CA










University of Colorado at Boulder


Students, faculty, staff








Marquette University, WI










University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign










University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee










University of California, Santa Cruz


Students, faculty, staff


















This table summarizes various campus UPass programs in North America.



Some campuses use Vehicle Restrictions and regulations to limit automobile use. For example, some colleges do not provide parking permits to freshmen who live on campus. This encourages students to become more involved in campus activities, and discourages them from taking jobs to finance a car.



How It Is Implemented

Campus TDM programs are often implemented by facility managers and administrators to address a particular problem, such as a parking shortage or traffic congestion on nearby streets. Some are initiated by student groups to improve their travel options and achieve environmental or community goals. UPASS programs often require students to approve a special levy to fund universal transit passes. Student and employee organizations are often involved in program planning and management.



Travel Impacts

Campus TDM programs often reduce automobile trips by 10-30% (Brown, Hess and Shoup 1998; Van Heeke, Sullivan and Baxandall 2014). A program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee reduced student driving by 26% (Meyer and Beimborn 1996). A University of Washington program reduced total vehicle trips to campus by 16% during its first year of operation (Williams and Petrait 1993). By 1998 morning vehicle trips to the UW campus decreased 19% over 1990 levels, despite growth in the campus population. Ubillos and Sainz (2004) developed a model of the price, time and service frequency elasticities of university student transit travel in Bilboa, Portugal. They found that students are relatively sensitive to bus price, rail frequency and overall transit service quality, so a combination of increased rail service frequency and reduced bus fares would increase ridership and help reduce local traffic congestion and pollution emissions. Shannon, et al (2006) estimate that 20-30% of students and staff who drive could be convinced to change their travel behavior in the short-term, using transit incentives, improved transit service, and improved walking and cycling facilities; and more over the long-term by improving housing options near campus.


Table 2          Travel Impact Summary




Reduces total traffic.


Reduces automobile commutes.

Reduces peak period traffic.


Reduces automobile commutes.

Shifts peak to off-peak periods.


May include some peak shifting measures.

Shifts automobile travel to alternative modes.


Encourages use of alternative modes.

Improves access, reduces the need for travel.


May include measures to improve housing and services on campus.

Increased ridesharing.


Encourages use of alternative modes.

Increased public transit.


Encourages use of alternative modes.

Increased cycling.


Encourages use of alternative modes.

Increased walking.


Encourages use of alternative modes.

Increased Telework.


May include telework promotion.

Reduced freight traffic.


May include freight trip management.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Benefits And Costs

Campus Trip Management programs can provide many benefits:

·         Reduced parking and congestion problems around campuses, and avoided costs for additional road and parking capacity.

·         Safer and calmer campus and nearby streets, and fewer conflicts with nearby residents.

·         Increased Transportation Options and financial savings to students and staff.

·         Increased personal security on campuses.

·         Improved public Health through increased exercise.


Costs include administrative expenses, transit subsidies, and any inconvenience to motorists. Program costs for UPASS programs surveyed by Brown, Hess and Shoup (1998) averaged $32 per student or about 60¢ per transit trip.


Table 3          Benefit Summary




Congestion Reduction


Reduces peak-period trips.

Road & Parking Savings


Reduces automobile trips.

Consumer Savings


Reduces travel expenses.

Transport Choice


Increases travel choice.

Road Safety


Reduces automobile travel.

Environmental Protection


Reduces automobile travel.

Efficient Land Use


Reduces automobile travel.

Community Livability


Reduces automobile traffic.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Equity Impacts

Most campus transport management services are available to all students, and sometimes employees. Not all students use all transportation services, and some may consider it unfair that they must pay for services they don’t use (although this is also true of other campus services such as recreation, medical clinics and counseling). Some campus transportation management programs are funded through increased parking fees, which can be considered unfair, although historically campus parking fees were set below the cost of providing parking facilities (particularly when the value of land used for parking is considered), and motorists benefit from reduced traffic and parking congestion. Regulations and restrictions (such as prohibitions on freshmen parking) may be considered unfair to some students.


Campus TDM tends to increase Transportation Options, service quality and opportunities to save money, which tends to be most beneficial to disadvantaged populations, many of whom already use alternative modes. It tends to help achieve Basic Access. Some lower-income and disabled students who depend on driving may find higher student or parking fees used to fund alternative transportation services to be a financial burden.


Table 4          Equity Summary




Treats everybody equally.


Some groups may benefit more than others.

Individuals bear the costs they impose.


Often requires subsidies, but these tend to be comparable to subsidies for driving.

Progressive with respect to income.


Benefits non-drivers, who tend to be lower-income.

Benefits transportation disadvantaged.


Benefits non-drivers.

Improves basic mobility.


Improves access to education and employment

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.




Campus transportation management can be implemented in most geographic conditions, although it tends to be most appropriate for campuses with significant traffic or parking problems, and large numbers of lower-income students and staff. It is usually implemented by campus administrators, often in cooperation with local and regional agencies.


Table 5          Application Summary





Large urban region.


Federal government.


High-density, urban.


State/provincial government.


Medium-density, urban/suburban.


Regional government.




Municipal/local government.


Low-density, rural.


Business Associations/TMA.


Commercial center.


Individual business.


Residential neighborhood.




Resort/recreation area.


Neighborhood association.


College/university community




Ratings range from 0 (not appropriate) to 3 (very appropriate).




TDM Program



Relationships With Other TDM Strategies

Campus trip management programs are similar to School Trip Management and Commute Trip Reduction programs. They may include the following TDM strategies:

·         Parking Pricing

·         Parking Management

·         Marketing and Promotion

·         Employee Financial Incentives

·         Transit Service Improvements

·         Ridesharing Programs

·         Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements

·         Telework

·         Flextime

·         Vehicle Use Restriction

·         Shuttle Services

·         Address Security Concerns

·         Guaranteed Ride Home




Campus trip management programs are usually implemented by campus authorities, often with the encouragement and support of local government transportation agencies. Transit agencies often provide discounted fares and improved services. Student, employee and neighborhood organizations are often involved in program planning.



Barriers To Implementation

Such programs often require coordinating efforts of various organizations, including campus planners and administrators, local government and transit agencies, user groups and neighborhood associations. Some campus planners may see little reason to implement TDM programs unless they perceive an immediate parking or traffic congestion problem. Programs that include parking price increases often face resistance from some students and employees. Funding is often a limiting factor.



Best Practices

Best practices for Campus TDM programs include (Moreland, et al. 2011):


·         Provide a variety of improvements and services, including specialty services such as transport for recreational trips and special events.


·         Involve administrators, managers, students and staff in planning and implementing the program.


·         Emphasize benefits to students and staff from improved transportation services, including financial savings, improved choice, improved exercise (for cycling and walking) and environmental benefits.


·         Improve pedestrian and bicycle conditions on campus and in surrounding areas.



Wit and Humor

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces his altitude and spots somebody on the ground below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?”

The person below says: “Yes, you’re in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field.”

“You must be an engineer,” says the balloonist.

“I am” replies the person on the ground. “How did you know?”

“Well” says the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct, but it’s no use to anyone.”

The person below says, “you must be in management.”

“I am” replies the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well, you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault.”




Case Studies and Examples

Poinsatte and Toor (1999) and Toor and Havlick (2004) describe several successful Campus Trip Management programs:

·         Transit pass discounts at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Washington in Seattle.

·         Bicycle improvements at the University of California at Davis and University of Oregon at Eugene.

·         Pedestrian improvements at the University of Iowa and the University of California at Berkeley.

·         Carpooling and campus shuttle systems at the University of Utah, a commuter campus with 25,000 students and 9,000 faculty and staff.

·         Faculty trip management at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.



Campus Transport Management Programs (Van Heeke, Sullivan and Baxandall 2014)

Universities and colleges across the country are taking steps to encourage their communities, students, faculty and staff to decrease their reliance on personal vehicles. These efforts are working well – saving money for universities, improving the quality of life in college towns, and giving today’s students experience in living life without depending on a personal car. These programs demonstrate that efforts aimed at reducing driving deliver powerful benefits for students, staff and surrounding communities. Policymakers at all levels of government should be looking to the innovative examples of these campuses. Universities and college towns also provide useful models for expanding the range of transportation options available to Americans while addressing the transportation challenges facing our communities. These include:

·         Free or discounted access to transit services. Universities often provide students unlimited access to local transit services with a Universal Transit Pass (“U-Pass”), offer their own free shuttle services, or even support the local transit agency in providing fare-free service.

·         For example, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the university provides financial support to enable fare-free transit service throughout the community. Between 1997 and 2011, the proportion of students using transit to commute to campus more than doubled, from 21 to 53 percent.

·         Programs to promote bicycle use. Many colleges subsidize membership in existing bicycle sharing schemes in the community and some create their own sharing programs on campus. Many also provide on-campus resources like free or at-cost bike repairs and ample bike racks. For example, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, 22 percent of students currently bike to campus in good weather, up eight percentage points since 2006, partly as a result of investments in on-campus bike repair services, subsidized membership in the city’s bike share program, and a plentiful and increasing supply of bike racks.

·         Building new biking and walking paths. Universities invest in infrastructure like bike lanes and pedestrian underpasses under traffic-heavy streets, making it safer and more convenient to leave the car at home. For example, the University of Colorado Boulder has supported the build-out of bicycle and pedestrian paths in Boulder, including the city’s 58 miles of paved pathways and 78 underpasses. By 2012, roughly 60 percent of all trips made by students at CU-Boulder were by bike or foot, nearly nine percentage points more than in 1990.

·         Ridesharing initiatives. Colleges encourage carpooling with incentive programs and through partnerships with online ridesharing services that connect drivers with others who would like a ride in their car. Some provide a guaranteed ride home, whereby universities pick up the tab for a taxi should an emergency require the student or employee to leave campus suddenly, making carpooling and other forms of ridesharing more attractive. For example, the University of California, Davis, encourages students and staff to share rides, resulting in an increase in carpooling. Among graduate students (more likely than undergraduates to live at a driving distance from school), carpooling to campus rose from 3.4 percent in the 2007-2008 academic year to 6.9 percent in 2011-2012.

·         Carsharing programs. Carsharing allows users to access cars located in their vicinity without having to bear the burden of owning one. Universities offer discounted memberships in carsharing programs, allowing students to make the most of transportation alternatives while maintaining access to a car when necessary.

·         Distance learning and online resources. Some colleges are beginning to conceive of distance learning – taking classes with at least some online component that limits the need for students to physically travel to campus – as part of their parking and transportation strategy.

·         The policies adopted by colleges and universities to reduce driving have impacts that can be felt far beyond campus.

·         College transportation investments can expand transportation options for the entire community. When schools invest in U-Pass programs they supply a steady source of revenue to the local transit agency, supporting better service for everyone.

·         University transportation plans provide a powerful example that can be followed by other institutions or cities or regions facing similar transportation challenges.


College students develop transportation habits that persist after graduation. According to a May 2013 survey conducted by Zipcar, approximately half (49 percent) of the class of 2013 did not plan to bring a car with them to their next endeavor after graduation.



University of Colorado Ski Bus (Poinsatte and Toor, 1999)

The University of Colorado ski bus program provides students and staff with access to downhill ski areas, including Copper Mountain, Winter Park and Vail resorts. It was established in 1996 and is jointly funded by the ski resorts, ticket sales and student bus pass fees. Students pay $5 and faculty-staff $10 for a round-trip ticket. The program has proven quite popular: during its first two years all buses were sold out. Some students report that it allows them to live on campus without a car.



Sustainable Campus Planning (M'Gonigle and Starke 2006)

This book by researchers at the University of Victoria describes various ways that campuses can be managed to achieve sustainability objectives, including increased energy efficiency, reduced vehicle travel, and improving planning practices. The authors provide guidelines and recommendations for more sustainable campus development, and numerous examples and case studies of successful campus resource management programs.



Stanford University (  

Stanford University in Palo Alto, California plans to expand campus capacity by 25%, adding more than 2.3 million square feet of research and teaching buildings, public facilities and housing without increasing peak period vehicle traffic. By 2000, 1.7 million square feet of new buildings had been developed while automobile commute trips were reduced by 500 per day. To accomplish this the campus transportation management plan includes:

·         A 1.5 mile transit mall.

·         Free transit system with timed transfers to regional rail.

·         Bicycle network.

·         Staff parking “cash-out”.

·         Ridesharing program.

·         Other transportation demand management elements.



By using this approach the campus was able to add $500 million in new projects with minimal planning or environmental review required for individual projects. The campus also avoided significant parking and roadway costs. Planners calculate that the University saves nearly $2,000 annually for every commuter shifted out of a car and into another mode. This also reduced regional agency traffic planning costs.


Public benefits included decreased congestion and improved safety on surrounding roadways and the regional traffic system, reduced air, noise and water pollution, and improved local transit options. All of Stanford’s transportation services are available to students, employees and the general public.


Stanford Workers Lured to Transit by Free Passes

“Calm Commuters Take Advantage Of Free Rides and New Shuttle Service”

Barbara Palmer, Stanford Report, Wednesday, April 16, 2003


Agnes Kehoe, a part-time administrator in the Geophysics Department, has a long list of reasons why she commutes by transit three days a week from her home in Sunnyvale: She saves money on gas and wear and tear on her car – about $60 a month, not counting the $40 per quarter she receives by claiming a “Clean Air Cash” credit. It takes her a few minutes longer but Kehoe uses the time she once spent on driving to read. And by taking transit she avoids the stressed-out and rude drivers she once encountered along Highway 101, she said. “It’s not all about saving money. I think it is keeping me younger.”


Kehoe, who has worked at Stanford since 1984, once rode the train only in spring and summer. But since last fall, when the university began to provide passes good for free travel on public transportation, Kehoe started commuting by train year round. She can’t even remember exactly the last time she drove herself to work, she said. “I think it was last year.” Kehoe’s experience was exactly the kind of result Parking and Transportation Services (P&TS) staff were hoping for when they began offering employees free transit said Robin Rolls, transportation demand manager for P&TS. More than 2,600 employees have received a “University Pass,” good for free travel on buses and light rail trains.


The university has a powerful incentive to encourage people not to drive alone in a car: The General Use Permit limits the number of cars that can travel onto campus during peak commute hours. If the number of cars on campus from 8 to 9 a.m. and from 5 to 6 p.m. grows more than 1% for two years in a row, the university will have to pay for costly intersection improvements.


Charles Carter, a planner and architect in the University Architect’s office, is a recent convert to alternative transportation. “For 12 years, I’ve bought a parking sticker. But the [pass] drew me in,” he said. Carter, who lives in South Palo Alto, has been commuting by train or bicycle since the free transit pass became available. The train and shuttle commute takes him about 45 minutes, but “I like the walk to and from the train station and I like not having to buy a parking sticker,” he said. Carter said that he discovered during the few times he’s driven to work recently that he has lost his tolerance for rush hour traffic: “I’m just not used to it. When I get in my car, I’m instantly annoyed.”


P&TS officials are optimistic that the newly inaugurated “Palm Drive Express” shuttle that travels directly between the Oval and the Palo Alto train station during peak commuter hours will make train and bus travel even more attractive, said Hamilton. The new express shuttle offers an alternative to the Marguerite shuttle buses that travel in a wide circle around campus and make many stops. “Nothing we’ve done has gotten such a positive response,” he said.


Rolls has fielded more than 150 e-mail messages in the last month from commuters extolling the new shuttle service. “People tell me that the shuttle has shaved 15 minutes off their commute each way,” she said. The express – which ferried more than 275 passengers one day last week – operates from 6:45 to 9:15 a.m. and from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Karen Rondestvedt, curator of the Slavic and East European collections at Stanford University Libraries, rides the train but rarely takes the shuttle. The exercise she gets on daily walks to and from her home and the train station, and to and from the train station to work are fringe benefits she’s come to depend on. “I really climb the walls if I don’t have that walk,” she said. Rondestvedt is such a dedicated train commuter she deliberately chose a house in Redwood City within walking distance of two train stations. Her commute is faster by car, “but this is much better,” she said. She works on the train, reads or listens to NPR. If she drove, “I would feel like I were wasting time.”



University of Washington (

The University of Washington in Seattle has an extensive campus transportation management program that includes discounted transit fares ($31 a quarter for students and $42 per quarter for faculty and staff), rideshare matching, vanpools, a Night Ride shuttle, bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements, increased parking fees, and promotional efforts that include merchant discounts.



Unlimited Access Programs (

Unlimited Access (also called UPass) programs mean that colleges and university purchase unlimited use of local transit services for students and sometimes staff, at a significant discount compared with regular fares. A valid campus identification card becomes a transit pass. More than fifty colleges and universities throughout North America currently have such a program, providing fare-free transit service to more than 825,000 students and staff.


·         University officials reported that Unlimited Access reduces parking demand, increases students’ access to the campus, helps to recruit and retain students, and reduces the cost of attending college.


·         Transit agencies reported that Unlimited Access increases ridership, fills empty seats, improves transit service, and reduces the operating cost per rider.


·         The universities’ average cost for Unlimited Access was $30 per student per year.


·         Student transit ridership increased between 71% and 200% during the first year of Unlimited Access, and continued to increase 2-10% annually in subsequent years.


Below is a list of participating campuses:


Appalachian State University

Santa Barbara City College

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Auraria Higher Education Center

Texas Tech

University of New Hampshire-Durham

Boise State University

University of California, Berkeley

University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

University of California, Davis

University of Pittsburgh

Cal State Sacramento

University of California, Irvine

University of South Florida

Chicago Transit Authority Programs

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Clemson University

University of California, San Diego

University of Texas at Austin

Colorado State University

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Utah

Edmonds Community College

University of California, Santa Cruz

University of Washington

George Mason University

University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire

Marquette University

University of Florida

University of Wisconsin at Madison

Mary Washington College

University of Georgia at Athens

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

Ohio State University

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Virginia Polytechnic

University Rensselaer Polytechnic University

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Western Michigan University

San Jose State University

University of Montana

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Clemson University

University of California, San Diego

University of Texas at Austin

Colorado State University

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Utah

Edmonds Community College

University of California, Santa Cruz

University of Washington

George Mason University

University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire

Marquette University

University of Florida

University of Wisconsin at Madison

Mary Washington College

University of Georgia at Athens

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

Ohio State University

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Virginia Polytechnic

University Rensselaer Polytechnic University

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Western Michigan University

San Jose State University

University of Montana



Parking Management (Isler, Hoel and Fontaine 2005)

A survey of university campuses indicate that many are converting parking lots to buildings, fewer are adding parking capacity, and many are implementing various parking and transportation management strategies in order to devote more campus land to academic facilities rather than parking lots. Typical parking management strategies include permits, meters, cash-out program, prohibitive policy for freshmen, and eligibility based on residential location.


Table 6            Responses to Increased Parking Demand





Build more surface lots in campus interior




Build more parking structures in campus interior




Build more surface lots on campus periphery




Build more parking structures on campus periphery






Annual permit fees varied by location of campus and location of a parking space within the campus, as summarized in the table below. Various strategies are used to deal with spillover parking problems.


Table 7            Average Annual Parking Permit Fees



(most convenient)


(less convenient)









Campus Transport Management In South Africa (Duff-Riddell, Robertson and DeWet, 2006)

For more than 30 years the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa has provided transportation services for its students and staff. Previously, the system was managed by private operators and riders were required to pay for each trip. A review of the University development strategy raised concerns about campus transportation problems, resulting in transport service innovations intended to reduce car trips to campus and improve mobility options for disadvantaged students (those who do not own a car). Starting in January 2005 the University introduced new, UCT managed, scheduled bus service with improved, larger vehicles. A new transport levy on all studies which totaled less than half the previous users cash fares, encouraged more students and staff to use public transport and benefits poor students by reducing their transportation costs. The number of buses operating was reduced by half, costs were reduced by 20% and ridership more than doubled to 25,000 average boardings per day.



University of Houston Embarks on Ambitious Makeover: Plan to Create Sense of Belonging Includes Housing, Shops, Restaurants

Matthew Tresaugue, Houston Chronicle, December 2006


Dec. 17--The first thing you notice is the sea of striped asphalt. Parking lots -- 62 in all -- ring the University of Houston, reinforcing its reputation as a commuter school, a place that empties at day's end. That could begin to change next year, when the aspiring research institution embarks on an ambitious makeover. UH leaders intend to transform the campus with more housing, more restaurants, more shops and other places to be outside the classroom. The goal, campus leaders said, is to create an environment that attracts the best scholars and encourages them to stick around.


"The University of Houston has been missing that sense of belonging," said Leroy Hermes, a Houston architect who graduated from the university in 1966 and now chairs its governing board.


The plan also calls for doubling the usable square footage of classroom and office space, replacing parking lots with garages and closing part of Cullen to create a tree-lined pedestrian walkway by 2020. What's more, the campus would meld with the surrounding Third Ward while reducing blight and encouraging more retailers to move in. University officials already are talking with private developers about a "town center" with shops and restaurants on both sides of Scott between Holman and Alabama. Campus leaders do not know how much everything would cost but estimate the first five-year phase at $300 million, and largely at the university's expense. The redevelopment plan will be a key piece of an upcoming fundraising campaign, officials said.


National trend

The effort comes as other urban schools, including Columbia University in New York City, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, are working aggressively to improve and redefine their gritty surroundings, as well as their campuses. For years, UH has looked inward, with the parking lots serving to further cleave the neighborhood. Near campus, Scott is largely a landscape of carry-out joints, aging apartments and vacant lots, not the vibrant strip of cafes, bookstores and theaters sprouting around universities across the country.


"We haven't done a good job of working with the neighborhood in terms of developing the Third Ward to both of our benefits," said David Irvin, associate vice president of facilities and plant operations at the university. "Our lack of attention has caused the area to not be as dynamic as it could be."


Replacing lots with garages

The early builders envisioned UH as a place for the children of the city's blue-collar workers to get an education. The central purpose remains the same decades later, with many students commuting from their parents' home to save a few dollars. To accommodate them, the university added more and more parking lots. So when an urban planner from the New York design firm Cooper, Robertson & Partners visited the campus last year, he made this initial observation: UH could add several needed buildings without expanding its 550-acre footprint by replacing the lots with garages.


The idea hooked university leaders.

With 35,000 students, UH is now short about 630,000 square feet of classroom, office and research space, which is the largest deficit of any public university in the state, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Enrollment is expected to grow to 45,000 students over the next decade.


"The space deficit holds back the university," Hermes said.


'Smart growth'

The new plan would establish five themed precincts on campus, reflecting the "smart growth" trend elsewhere, with dense housing, retail and office space in village configurations. The interior of the campus would be almost untouched.


To the north, campus leaders envision an arts village with a sculpture garden, outdoor amphitheater, cafes, galleries and housing, including loft apartments, on what are now parking lots. About 1.6 million square feet of academic buildings and housing for graduate students would be added to the so-called professional precinct, to the east of the campus core. Another area, the Wheeler precinct, would be devoted to undergraduates, with plans calling for low-rise residence halls to blend with the nearby University Oaks neighborhood. To the west would be a Robertson Stadium precinct with 1.9 million square feet in new academic buildings, housing and retail near two proposed Metro light rail lines. Though previous grand plans have gathered dust, campus leaders said they think this one will gain traction.


"What I think is different with this particular plan is we're already implementing parts of it before the ink is dry," Irvin said. "In some ways, the works on the ground are ahead of the plan. The document crystallizes it."


The first major project will be a $100 million residence hall for graduate and professional school students. The building -- to be built on a parking lot beside the C.T. Bauer College of Business -- will feature more than 700 loft apartments, ground-level retail space and a large lecture hall. Construction is scheduled to begin in August. Should the entire plan be realized, one of every four students will live on campus. UH now provides beds for one of every eight.


"We're not suggesting that this will become a traditional campus where students live for four years," Irvin said. "What this plan does is provide those destination places, even for our students who commute, to meet their colleagues. "If we provide more in a well-rounded smorgasbord, then we'll attract more students, and they will have more success."


Neighbors' concerns

The neighbors also see potential benefits. These days, Doug Erwing, a fourth-generation resident of the University Oaks subdivision south of campus, drives seven miles to the Borders on Kirby to buy books. "Right now there is no place to get coffee or a beer," Erwing said. "I think there will be more life, and I think that bodes well for our neighborhood."


Still, Erwing and his neighbors have some concerns. The university's plan is not specific, leaving open the possibility of unfavorable projects like a high-rise dormitory on the edge of an area where many faculty members live in single-family homes. UH leaders describe the plan as a guide, providing flexibility if conditions, such as enrollment, change years from now.


"What will it be?" said Erwing, an attorney who is president of the University Oaks Civic Club. "Will we have one-story quads for graduate students next to our homes? Or will there be four-story dorms with undergrads throwing their beer bottles into our yards?"


Lawmaker's support

One of Erwing's neighbors, state Rep. Garnet Coleman, also backs the UH plan. The Democrat has raised concerns about the effects of Midtown gentrification -- such as pushing affordable housing toward the suburbs -- in the past. Coleman said he will closely watch the university's development but does not foresee any problems. One reason: UH does not intend to expand beyond its current acreage.


"This could be a catalyst," Coleman said. "All these years, no one crosses Scott Street to patronize businesses. There shouldn't be a disconnect between the university and the neighborhood. That isn't good for anybody."



College Sustainability Report Card (

The College Sustainability Report Card provides in-depth sustainability profiles for hundreds of colleges in the U.S. States and Canada. It considers policies and practices in nine main categories:



Sustainable Campus In Florida

The University of Florida established a long-term, sustainable partnership with the local transit system in Gainesville, Florida. This partnership provides over $5.2 million of annual funding to enhance transit services used by students at the university. Ridership on the system grew 284% between 1995 and 2003. These ridership gains were made possible through a comprehensive campus transportation demand management (TDM) system which includes policies such as parking restriction, parking pricing, transit service enhancements, and unlimited-access transit service (all students pay for a transit pass as part of their tuition fees). 


This experience demonstrates several principles to equitably balance the transportation system. The provision of unlimited-access transit paid for by student fees is the hallmark of the program. However, an unlimited-access transit component is but one feature of an effective TDM program. Stimulation of a modal shift toward public transit requires other measures demonstrated at the university, including parking restriction, parking pricing, and transit service improvements. These ancillary TDM policies would be necessary for other communities to adopt if similar results are to be expected.



Urbanizing Campuses (

Urban Land Magazine, December 2001

Corporate campuses of the 21st century, once traditionally suburban settings, are being transformed. Across America, corporate campuses are gaining favor again as companies seek to reduce expenses by downsizing their big-city offices in favor of less-expensive real estate in the suburbs. “As strange as it may sound, the urbanization of suburban projects has begun,” says Jim Allen, senior vice president in the Chicago office of architecture firm RTKL. “Companies are starting to realize that totally unconnected, isolated office boxes sitting in cornfields are outdated and not very gratifying places to be. So developers are bringing in some urban lifestyle components.” In short, businesses today are seeking the best of both worlds—a mix of urban and suburban development amenities.



Université Laval TDM Survey (CDAT 2012)

A stated preference survey calculated the effects of changes in travel price (parking and transit fares) and time on commutes at the University of Laval, Quebec. It found that:

Combining these strategies increased the effects. For example, if public transit becomes free and the parking cost is increased 60%, automobile trips would decline 42%, which is more than the sum of the effects of each measure taken separately).



BruinGO (

The Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines offers a transit-pass program called BruinGO that allows 68,000 UCLA students, staff, and faculty to ride the bus without paying a fare. UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies examined how BruinGO affected transit ridership to campus and parking demand on campus during its first year (2000-2001), and found that:

·         Faculty/staff made 73% more bus trips per day and 6% fewer vehicle trips per day to campus after BruinGO began.

·         Students made 51% more bus trips per day and 11% fewer vehicle trips per day to campus after BruinGO began.

·         BruinGO reduced parking demand on campus by 1,380 spaces.

·         Use of UCLA’s ID card as a transit pass reduced the average bus boarding time by 26%

·         The program’s benefit-cost ratio is 5.4 to 1.



Uni-Link (

Uni-Link is a transport service developed by the University of Southampton in partnership with First Bus Southampton to link the various University sites, the University and the city centre, major transport hubs (rail, coach, and air) and recreational and entertainment venues frequented by students and staff. Buses run at regular intervals from early in the morning well into the evening, making it easy for students and staff to travel between the University campuses in Southampton throughout the day. A special late night bus service (The Club Zone) operates between the University and the major entertainment and recreational venues in Southampton on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is a registered public services available for general use. A discounted Uni-Link pass is available only to staff and students and their immediate family. Others are welcome to travel on pay-as-you-go basis or with bus passes. There are a variety of passes available to suit different needs.



References And Resources For More Information


Philippe Barla, Nathanaël Lapierre, Ricardo Alvarez Daziano and Markus Herrmann (2012), Reducing Automobile Dependency on Campus : Evaluating the Impact of TDM Using Stated Preferences, Working paper 2012-3, CREATE, University of Laval (; at


Alex Bond and Ruth L. Steiner (2006), “Sustainable Campus Transportation through Transit Partnership and Transportation Demand Management: A Case Study from the University of Florida,” Berkeley Planning Journal, Volume 19 (, pp. 125-142.


Jeffrey Brown, Daniel Hess and Donald Shoup (2001), Unlimited Access, Institute of Transportation Studies, UCLA (; summarized in Transportation (, Volume 28, Number 3, pp. 233-267.


Jeffrey Brown, Daniel Baldwin Hess and Donald Shoup (2003), “Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities: An Evaluation,” Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 23 (, pp. 69-82.


Dennis Burns and Todd Litman (2007), “Integrated University Access Management Programs,” The Parking Professional (, January 2007, pp. 16-23; also in Parking Management – Planning, Design and Operations (Volume 3 in the Parking 101 Series), International Parking Institute (


Sally Cairns, et al (2004), Smarter Choices - Changing the Way We Travel, UK Department for Transport ( This comprehensive study provides detailed evaluation of the potential travel impacts and costs of various mobility management strategies. Includes numerous case studies.


Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association ( provides information sharing opportunities, continuing education, and professional fellowship to people with environmental health and safety responsibilities in the education and research communities.


Campus Safety Journal ( provides information on campus safety issues.


CDAT (2012), “Reducing Automobile Dependency at Université Laval,” EnerInfo, Vol. 17, No. 1, Winter, pp. 1-2; at


College Sustainability Report Card ( provides in-depth sustainability profiles for hundreds of colleges in the U.S. States and Canada.


Shannon Craig (2009), A Survey Of Transportation Demand Management At Colleges And Universities In British Columbia, Camosun College (; at


CUTA (2004), U-Pass Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Universal Transit Pass Programs at Canadian Colleges and Universities, Canadian Urban Transit Association (


W.R. Duff-Riddell, E.J. Robertson and G. DeWet (2006), The ACT Student and Staff Transport System: A Case Study, Southern Africa Transportation Conference (


Elizabeth E. Isler, Lester A. Hoel, Michael D. Fontaine (2005), Innovative Parking Management Strategies For Universities: Accommodating Multiple Objectives In A Constrained Environment, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (


Andrew E. Jackson (2012), “A Virtuous Circle: How Transportation Demand Management Transformed UBC, Vancouver,” Plan Canada, Canadian Institute of Planners (, Vol. 51, No. 1, Spring, pp. 13-20.


Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management Best Practices, Planners Press (


Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management: Strategies, Evaluation and Planning, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2007), Pavement Busters Guide, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2009), Camosun College Transportation and Parking Management Plan, Camosun College (; at


Todd Litman and Gordon Lovegrove (1999), UBC TREK Program Evaluation; Costs, Benefits and Equity Impacts of a University TDM Program, University of British Columbia; at


James Meyer and Edward Beimborn (1996), Evaluation of an Innovative Transit Pass Program: the UPASS, Wisconsin Department of Transportation (


Michael M'Gonigle and Justine Starke (2006), Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing The University, New Society Publishing (


JH Miller (2001), Transportation On College And University Campuses, TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice 39, TRB (; at


Adam Millard-Ball, Patrick Siegman, and Jeffrey Tumlin (2004), “Solving Campus Parking Shortages: New Solutions for an Old Problem,” Planning for Higher Education, Society of College and University Planning (, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 30-43.


Katerina Moreland, et al. (2011), “Transit System Evaluation Process: From Planning To Realization,” ITE Journal (, Vol. 81, No. 10, pp. 33-39; at


NCEF, National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (, provides information on the development of safe and healthy schools, including resources on transportation and parking management strategies.


Noxon Associates (2011), Transportation Demand Management for Canadian Communities: A Guide to Understanding, Planning and Delivering TDM Programs, Transport Canada (; at


Francoise Poinsatte and Will Toor (1999), Finding A New Way: Campus Transportation for the Twenty-First Century, University of Colorado Environmental Center and Colorado Office of Energy Conservation (; at


Tya Shannon, et al (2006), “Active Commuting in a University Setting: Assessing Commuting Habits and Potential for Modal Change,” Transport Policy, Vol. 13, No. 3 (, May 2006, pp. 240-253.


Donald Shoup (2005) “Smart Parking On Campus,” in California Policy Options 2005, UCLA School of Public Affairs (


Donald Shoup (2008), The Politics and Economics of Parking On Campus, University of California Los Angeles (


Sustainable Urban Transportation Project Student’s Corner ( contains a variety of information resources on sustainable transportation issues. Note, registration is required, but is free.


TC (2010), Universal Transit Passes in Canada, Transport Canada (; at


Will Toor and Spenser Havlick (2004), Transportation and Sustainable Campus Communities, Island Press (


UBC (2006), Inspirations & Aspirations: The Sustainability Strategy, Sustainability Office, University of British Columbia (


J. Bilbao Ubillos and A. Fernandez Sainz (2004), “The Influence Of Quality and Price On The Demand For Urban Transport: The Case Of University Students,” Transportation Research A, Vol. 38, No. 8 (, October 2004, pp. 607-614.


Tom Van Heeke, Elise Sullivan and Phineas Baxandall (2014), A New Course: How Innovative University Programs Are Reducing Driving On Campus  And Creating New Models For Transportation, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (; at


Michael E. Williams and Kathleen L. Petrait (1993), “U-PASS: A Model Transportation Management Program that Works,” Transportation Research Record 1404, pp. 73-81; website:


Wim Wiewel and Gerrit-Jan Knaap (2005), Partnerships for Smart Growth: University-Community Collaboration for Better Public Spaces, Smart Growth, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.




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