CSU Monterey Bay’s alternative transportation program has earned another recognition: a Best Practices Award from the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference.
The program was honored in the category of Sustainability Innovations.
Transportation on campus has become more environmentally friendly since Megan Tolbert was hired in 2010 as the university’s first transportation planner.
Along with students, staff and faculty members, she worked to create TRIPwise – transportation resource information portal – a recognizable identity for programs, infrastructure and events that support alternative transportation.
The goal is to make it easier for people to get around in ways other than driving alone in a car. Among TRIPwise resources are a website, information center located in Mountain Hall, bike map and rideshare board.
Under the TRIPwise brand, a number of initiatives have been launched to help the university reduce its carbon footprint.
• The Bike Bunker, a commuter bike parking facility, was a TRIPwise project. Funded by grants, it opened in the spring of 2013, and provides secure, convenient, indoor bicycle parking. Grant money was also used to increase bicycle parking by about 30 percent with the purchase of new bike racks.
• Enhanced public transit services are one of the biggest aspects of TRIPwise. The number and frequency of bus lines serving campus has increased; everyone with an Otter ID card has free, unlimited access to Monterey Salinas Transit, the local bus system. As a result, transit ridership is at an all-time high.
For a cost of about $50 per year per student, CSUMB students get unlimited rides on MST, the campus shuttle, and all transit services on campus. Before TRIPwise, the same amount of money paid for a campus shuttle only. This pricing structure is unprecedented in North America.
A smart phone app for bus and shuttle riders is available for download.
• The university had the highest rate of participation among organizations in the regional Rideshare Month competition.
• Nearly four miles of bike boulevards have been designated on campus.
• A pair of electric vehicle charging stations have been installed on campus, funded largely by a grant from the Monterey Bay Regional Electric Vehicle Association.
Winners in all 11 categories – typically one California State University and one UC campus in each – will pick up the awards at the conference June 23-27 at UC Santa Barbara.
The annual conference started in 2002, when 100 guests were invited to UC Santa Barbara to talk about best practices. Eleven years later, the conference draws about 1,000 attendees, with representatives from college and university campuses throughout the state coming together to share ideas.
In 2011, CSUMB learned two awards at the conference, for an energy retrofit of the library that resulted in an energy savings of approximately 20 percent, and for it work on the Chinatown Renewal Project in Salinas.
More about sustainability at CSUMB:
• Learn about CSUMB’s innovative energy management plan, including the use of solar power
• Water conservation efforts on campus
• CSUMB maintains a robust recycling program
• CSUMB named ‘green’ school by Princeton Review