Eighty-one percent of trips to and from UW’s Seattle campus are transit, biking, walking or rideshare trips, or telecommuting; the other 19% are driving alone. Reducing the campus drive-alone rate reduces emissions and other impacts, but also increases accessibility for those moving around the community.

Led by Transportation Services and in alignment with State of Washington Commuter Trip Reduction law and the Campus Master Plan, UW will continue to reduce drive-alone commutes until they are only 12% of Seattle campus commutes.

Telecommuting

With COVID-19, the University mobilized to teach, work and learn online. UW will evaluate opportunities to identify the cost-benefit to telecommuting and begin capturing best practices for remote work activities for further analysis and benchmarking.

Target actions for 2021

Sustainability plan guiding principles

  •  Ensure students achieve sustainability literacy
  •  Choose our research conscientiously
  •  Keep equity and inclusion at the center
  •  Use resources responsibly
  •  Decarbonize

The University of Washington is committed to managing the environmental impacts of transportation. This commitment has resulted in one of the lowest single occupancy vehicle (drive-alone) rates for universities nation-wide.

In the 1970s, the University implemented programs such as the Health Sciences Express, developed computerized ride-matching software, began subsidizing transit passes, and provided incentives to encourage students to carpool. Since then, UW has incrementally built upon these successes and leads nationally in transportation demand management.

Started in 1983, the University committed to managing its transportation impacts and formalized its Transportation Management Plan intended to expand commuting options for University students, staff, and faculty, and to shift travel habits away from single occupancy vehicles.

Since the 2003 Campus Master Plan, the University has continued its commitment to sustainably address transportation choices, while meeting demands for campus growth and adjusting to changing transportation options serving the campus. With the 2019 Campus Master Plan, the goal is to reduce carbon emissions from single-occupancy vehicles less than 12% by 2028.

Steps we will take in FY 2021

  1. Complete a Transportation Needs Assessment of the campus community to develop specific transportation mode targets and strategies.

  2. ContinuetopromotetheU-PASSprogramtostudents,staffand faculty. Provide a fully-subsidized U-PASS to additional staff.

  3. Construct 2 new bike houses on campus to provide secure bicycle parking.

Responsible party

Transportation Services

Statuses and linkages

The University of Washington provides a comprehensive Commute Options program to help staff, faculty and students choose sustainable transportation modes to commute to campus:

  • Discounted or fully-subsidized U-PASS transit pass program
  • Secure bicycle parking facilities located throughout campus
  • Free helmet program
  • Free parking for vanpools, discounted parking for carpools
  • Partnerships and discounts for bikeshare and carshare

Transportation Services also provides outreach and education to our campus community to provide personalized trip planning sevices:

  • Personalized commute planning
  • New Employee Orientation participation
  • Dawg Daze participation
  • Earth Day Fair participation
  • Bicycle encouragement campaigns twice a year (Ride in the Rain, Bike Everywhere Month)

The University also advocates for and supports increased transit service and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure in the U-District and regionally to support more sustainable transportation options.

Financing

Programs to support reducing SOV programming to support the reduction of single-occupancy vehicle commuting is funded through a combination of parking revenue, student and employee fees, and institutional funding. The FY21 budget for Commute Options programming, including the U-PASS, is $20,590,000.

Metrics

The University conducts an annual transportation survey of staff, faculty and students to learn about their commuting behavior. Based on the 2019 Annual Transportation Survey, the current SOV rate is 18.2%. Progress toward this Action will be tracked through the continued administration of the annual transportation survey.

This action may induce an indirect points gain in STARS credit OP-16 Commute Modal Split where UW shows a point gap of 0.84.


The Transportation Services Shuttles service provides a vital connection for faculty and staff between campus and medical facilities across the city. The U-CAR program provides a critical function to allow campus community access to a vehicle for business-related trips. Both of these services allows staff, faculty and students to use commute options other than driving alone and still be able to complete the work they need to without having to bring their personal vehicle to campus, helping to reduce carbon emissions related to transportation.

Steps we will take in FY 2021

  1. UW Shuttles exploring Shuttle Routes to support Intra-Campus Mobility

  2. Review impacts of COVID-19 on shuttle and U-Car services.

Responsible party

Transportation Services

Statuses and linkages

UW Shuttles carries over 601,400 riders annually. This service transports students, faculty, staff and medical commodities to UW Medical Center Montlake, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine in South Lake Union, UW Medicine on Roosevelt Way and Seattle Children’s Hospital. On top of these medical shuttles, the team operates a nighttime shuttle and an accessibility-assistance shuttle for students, staff, and faculty. These services are provided to the community at no-cost to the rider.

In 2020, there are 110 U-Cars that support business-related carsharing on all UW campuses. There are also 12 Zipcars on the UW Seattle campus to support personal carsharing trips for staff and students.

Financing

UW Shuttles are funded through partnerships with UW Medical Center, Harborview, School of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The program is also funded through parking revenue and institutional funding.

Metrics

  • We track the ridership numbers on all shuttle services (HSE, SCCA, SLU, Dial-A-Ride, and Night ride) on a weekly basis when services are operating. We track the number of unique car share rentals, UCAR mileage, and their utilization on a monthly basis. We do not have the ability to determine if a car share is used to move multiple individuals in a trip.

This action may induce an indirect points gain in STARS credit OP-16 Commute Modal Split where UW shows a point gap of 0.84.