Log In

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.76
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
OP-21: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Mark Ellis
Sustainability Project Facilitator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution provide secure bicycle storage (not including office space), shower facilities, and lockers for bicycle commuters?:

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

Yes. The university maintains several facilities for bikers on campus. The university has 131 racks, 603 spaces. As new buildings come online, the university is integrating more secured bike storage and additional racks. Future storage facilities will include a bike repair station as well. In fall 2011, the Office of Sustainability partnered with the GW Health and Wellness Center to offer a shower-pass program to the university's gym. This program provides discounted semester-long gym membership to the gym to cyclists and pedestrian commuters to use the shower and locker facilities.

Does the institution provide short-term bicycle parking (e.g. racks) within 50 ft (15 m) of all occupied, non-residential buildings and make long-term bicycle storage available within 330 ft (100 m) of all residence halls (if applicable)?:

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

GW offers exterior bicycle parking locations within 50 feet of most (not all) occupied, non-residential buildings. The university provides long-term bicycle storage inside or within 330 feet of many (not all) of the residence halls.

Does the institution have a “complete streets” or bicycle accommodation policy (or adhere to a local community policy) and/or have a continuous network of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian paths and lanes?:

A brief description of the bicycle/pedestrian policy and/or network:

GW adheres to the bicycle/pedestrian accommodation policy of the District Department of Transportation. The rules require permittees blocking a sidewalk, bike lane or other public bicycle path to provide a safe and convenient route for pedestrians and bicyclists
through or around a work zone that is equal to the accommodation that was provided to
pedestrians and bicyclists before the blockage of the sidewalk, bicycle lane, or other public bicycle path. Select language includes:

- A public right-of-way occupancy permit that authorizes blockage of a sidewalk,
bicycle lane, or other public bicycle path shall require the permittee to provide a
safe accommodation for pedestrians and bicyclists.

- The blockage of a sidewalk, bicycle lane, or other public bicycle path shall be
treated in the same manner as the closure of a lane of motor vehicle traffic by
applying similar temporary traffic control practices as would be applied to the
closure of a lane of motor vehicle traffic for each permit issued. The design and
placement of the temporary traffic control signs, devices and roadway markings
shall be in compliance with the most recent edition of the Manual on Uniform
Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

- The term “safe accommodation” means a safe and convenient route for
pedestrians and bicyclists that ensures an accommodation through or around a
work zone that is equal to the accommodation that was provided to pedestrians
and bicyclists before the blockage of the sidewalk, bicycle lane, or other public
bicycle path.

Does the institution have a bicycle-sharing program or participate in a local bicycle-sharing program?:

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

In partnership with Capital Bikeshare, a program run through the city of Washington DC, GW currently offers 121 bicycles to staff and students in multiple locations on campus. There are an additional 135 bicycles also through this program available within a short walk from campus. The stations near GW are some of the busiest in the bikeshare network. Since 2014, GW is subsidizing Capital Bikeshare memberships for GW staff and faculty to encourage more sustainable commuting.

Is the institution certified as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists (U.S.) or under a similar third party certification covering non-motorized transportation?:

A brief description of the certification, including date certified and level:

Does the institution offer free or reduced price transit passes and/or operate a free campus shuttle for commuters?:

A brief description of the mass transit program(s), including availability, participation levels, and specifics about discounts or subsidies offered (including pre-tax options):

GW offers pre-tax SmartBenefits to all employees for use on DC metro area bus and rail public transportation services. SmartBenefits is a convenient program that lets employers assign the dollar value of employees' monthly commuting benefits directly to the employees' SmarTrip cards. 1,283 of GW's 5,663 full- and part-time employees (approximately 23%) participate in the SmartBenefits program.

With a their SmarTrip cards, enrolled GW employees can use their SmartBenefits on Metrorail, Metrobus, DC Circulator, ART (Arlington Transit), CUE (Fairfax City), Fairfax Connector, Loudoun County Commuter Bus Service, PRTC (Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission) OmniRide, Ride On (Montgomery County), DASH (Alexandria) and TheBus (Prince George’s County).

To facilitate transportation between GW's three campuses (Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon, and Virginia), GW operates the Vern Express which runs between the Mount Vernon Campus and the Foggy Bottom Campus, the Virginia Shuttle which transports people between the Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) to the Foggy Bottom Campus, and offers a free shuttle (the Wiehle Express) to and from the Wiehle Metro station to GW's VSTC.

These shuttle and bus services for students, faculty, and staff help reduce vehicle miles traveled per capita by reducing reliance on via single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) as a primary mode of transit. Portions of this service are open to members of GW's community neighbors as well.

In addition, GW's University Police Department operates a shuttle that runs from dusk until dawn to help members of the GW community move safely throughout the Foggy Bottom Campus, as well as the surrounding areas.

Does the institution offer a guaranteed return trip (GRT) program to regular users of alternative modes of transportation?:

A brief description of the GRT program:

GW promotes the Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) program, sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' Commuter Connections Program. This program provides up to four free taxi rides home per year for personal emergencies and unscheduled overtime for registered commuters who take public transportation, carpool, walk, and bike to work.

Does the institution participate in a car/vanpool or ride sharing program and/or offer reduced parking fees or preferential parking for car/vanpoolers?:

A brief description of the carpool/vanpool program:

To promote carpooling, the GW NuRide program connects GW commuters from around the DC area. The GW community also has access to both the Commuter Connection and Guaranteed Ride Home programs. Details on each are outlined below.

GW has partnered with NuRide, a flexible ridesharing program that encourages and rewards carpooling. The free program serves GW employees at the Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon and Virginia Campuses. Users can sign up for one ride or for recurring rides, commuting, errands or other travel needs. Registered “riders” earn reward points for each carpool ride found on the NuRide site. Reward points can be redeemed online for retail gift cards, discounts, and event tickets.

GW residents can also join the Commuter Connections ridematching program, which allows individuals to find others who live and work nearby, have similar work schedules, and are interested in carpooling and/or vanpooling to and from work. Commuter Connection’s ridesharing technology allows users to view an interactive and comprehensive list of all potential ridesharing partners in their area.

GW's enrollment in NuRide and Commuter Connections are part of a collective ongoing to promote more sustainable transportation options to and from campus.

Does the institution participate in a car sharing program, such as a commercial car-sharing program, one administered by the institution, or one administered by a regional organization?:

A brief description of the car sharing program:

GW has partnered with ZipCar to provide car sharing services for its faculty, staff, and students for rental vehicles on an hourly basis. Currently spaces for 9 ZipCars are located throughout GW's Foggy Bottom Campus. A variety of vehicle options are available, and gas and insurance are included in rental fees. On campus one car is available to rent for anyone 18 and over on 23rd and Virginia Ave., while the remainder cars are available for anyone 21 and over. GW students, staff, and faculty can join at a reduced annual rate of $25 with no application fee.

In addition, GW students, staff, and faculty can join car2go at no cost plus receive 30 minutes of free driving upon registration. Registration provides vehicle-sharing access to 300 car2go smart cars deployed within Washington, DC.

Does the institution have one or more Level 2 or Level 3 electric vehicle recharging stations that are accessible to student and employee commuters?:

A brief description of the electric vehicle recharging stations:

In spring 2012, GW installed an electric vehicle charging station in its Academic Center Parking Garage. The university received the station, which is also registered through the ChargePoint Network, free of charge through a Department of Energy grant. GW's electric vehicle charging station network expanded in January 2015 with the addition of seven new EV charging stations to underground parking facilities located at the institution's recently opened Science & Engineering Hall.

Does the institution offer a telecommuting program for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:

A brief description of the telecommuting program:

Yes. GW's Climate Action Plan laid out a commitment to expand and explore telecommuting options on campus. There are several telecommuting pilots running on campus as well as a cohort of consistent telecommuters.

As part of GW's Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy, GW is working to reduce the university's total carbon footprint. One tactic for doing so is to promote video/teleconferencing options wherever available for regularly scheduled staff meetings.

Does the institution offer a condensed work week option for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:

A brief description of the condensed work week program:

GW offers compressed worked schedules, arrangements that allow a full-time staff member to work 40 hours in less than 5 working days (exempt and non-exempt) or work an 80 hour two week work period during 9 days and have the tenth day off (exempt only).

Does the institution have incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus?:

A brief description of the incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus:

Does the institution have other incentives or programs to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation and reduce the impact of student and employee commuting?:

A brief description of other sustainable transportation initiatives and programs:

In all large new construction on campus GW is offering transportation kiosks to promote the diverse transportation options available to the GW community. In the Science and Engineering Hall a kiosk now offers real-time transportation data, allowing the users to identify the most efficient method of transportation.

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable transportation program(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.