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  • AASHE-STARS

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 67.88
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
OP-16: Student Commute Modal Split

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.78 / 2.00 Shelley McKeague
Environmental Compliance Specialist
Engineering Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total percentage of students (graduate and undergraduate) that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary means of transportation (0-100):
89

A brief description of the method(s) used to gather data about student commuting, including the timeframe for when the analysis was conducted and how a representative sample was reached, if applicable:

Student data is from Fall 2015 student headcounts and on-campus resident data (also reported in IC-3 Academics and Demographics). Parking Permit and CATA RidePass data is from 15/16 data provided by Transportation Services.

The methodology for calculating the percentages reported is as follows:

46195 students
5,130 students with parking permits for commuting (11%). 14,211 live on campus and walking/biking is the most convenient mode of transportation (31%). The remaining off-campus students that do not have permits and therefor cannot park on campus, must either walk/bike from housing close to campus or utilize CATA Bus\Shuttle Services to get to and around campus.(58%) CATA has contracts with 21 apartment complexes for route specific passes for rental incentives to service faculty, student, staff and other community members who live at these locations.

We do not have carpool/vanpool data for students so the assumption was made that each parking permit was for only one student and no carpool/vanpool data is reported.


The percentage of students that use each of the following modes as their primary means of transportation to get to and from campus::
Percentage (0-100)
Commute with only the driver in the vehicle (excluding motorcycles and scooters) 11
Walk, bicycle, or use other non-motorized means 31
Vanpool or carpool 0
Take a campus shuttle or public transportation 58
Use a motorcycle, scooter or moped 0

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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There is limited parking available in the core campus area. The majority of the commuter parking is located on the periphery, encouraging less vehicle movement, fewer pedestrian/vehicular conflicts, and a more walkable environment. Penn State operates a Campus Shuttle that loops through campus. In partnership with CATA (Centre Area Transportation Authority) there is a Campus Service. CATA also offers a Community Service with 23 routes serving students/staff who live in neighboring communities. In a partnership with Penn State, CATA also offers four campus routes.

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.