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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-18: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Shelley McKeague
Environmental Compliance Specialist
Engineering Services
"---" 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?:
Yes

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

There are many bike storage facilities on the Penn State Campus. Additionally, many buildings are equipped with showers and lockers for those who commute on bicycle. The University collaborated with the Borough of State College to develop a Bicycle Master Plan that will promote bicycle commuting and expand on-campus mobility for students and staff. The University also has 6 bicycle repair stations through campus to help cyclists make basic repairs and to encourage cycling to and from campus.


Does the institution provide short-term bicycle parking for all occupied buildings and makes long-term bicycle storage available for students who live on-site (if applicable)?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

There are over 600 bike racks on campus. Every occupied building on core campus has a bike rack. There is also covered bike parking throughout campus in convenient locations.


Does the institution have a bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy (or adhere to a local community plan/policy) that sets standards and practices for campus streets to enable safe access for all users?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy:

There is a continuous network of shared roadway, shared pathway and dedicated bicycle paths on Campus. There are pedestrian sidewalks connecting all major buildings. Penn State bicycle paths connect to community bicycle paths. Transportation Services provides maps of Penn State and local bike paths on its website. Penn State has developed a Bicycle Master Plan as part of campus master planning. Penn State partners with the Centre Region Bicycle Coalition. CATA buses accommodate bicycles for students, faculty or staff who commute by public transportation but desire to get around campus and the local area via bike. http://opp.psu.edu/bicycle-master-plan
To help keep bikers — along with drivers and pedestrians — safe on campus, Transportation Services is working with University Police to develop a Bicycle Enforcement and Education Program or BEEP, slated for launch in 2017.


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

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

Penn State's bike sharing program began as a student-run pilot project. Next, Penn State Transportation Services created a committee to focus on fostering alternative transportation modes, especially bicycling. With support from Student Sustainability Advisory Committee, they created car share and bike share programs. Penn State recently signed a 3-year contract with Zagster in support development of a bike-sharing program on campus. The target date for launch is mid-August 2017.


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

A brief description of the mass transit programs:

Penn State offers reduced price transit passes with the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA). CATA provides 23 routes on The Centre Line to those in the community or living off campus. Additionally, CATA provides 4 fare-free buses around campus (Blue Loop, White Loop, Red Link, Green Link) and many Centre Line routes have no fare if ridden within campus. All lines run weekdays through the academic year. Most routes run on weekends and during the summer.

Penn State also offers a free campus shuttle for faculty/staff, students, and visitors. The s.com/shuttle runs weekdays and provides service every 15 minutes from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM.

http://www.transportation.psu.edu/transportation/campus-transit/index.cfm
http://www.transportation.psu.edu/transportation/parking/faculty-staff/ride-for-five.cfm
http://www.transportation.psu.edu/shuttle/
http://www.catabus.com


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

A brief description of the guaranteed return trip program:

Participants in the Carpool and Vanpool program through CATA are offered the Ride Home Program. It is set up for carpool and vanpool participants who face unexpected emergencies such as illness, injury, disasters, company shutdowns or mandatory overtime.
The program covers the first 50 miles, one-way via a taxi service. The $15 annual fee is paid for by Penn State for employees that participate in a CATA registered vanpool or carpool.


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

A brief description of the carpool/vanpool program:

Penn State partners with the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) to provide transportation options to campus and the surrounding area through CATACOMMUTE. Rideshare is a free ride-matching program that helps commuters find easy and economical ways to get to and from work. When one registers with RideShare, they get a list of convenient transportation options available and a RideMatch list with the names and telephone numbers of other members who live in or commute through their area.
The Vanpool program assists groups of 7-12 riders share their commute in a 12-passenger van that is provided by CATA.
Park & Ride provides inexpensive commuter lot parking for those working Downtown State College. Eligible employees who work downtown can park in the commuter lot on campus and take the fare-free bus to their destination.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the car sharing program:

Enterprise CarShare has partnered with Penn State’s Transportation Services to offer students an alternative to driving. They can find other students traveling to and from Penn State to give rides to or get rides from on weekends and/or holidays.
http://transportation.psu.edu/enterprise-carshare

ZipCar operates a location in State College Boro.
http://www.zipcar.com/statecollege


Does the institution have one or more Level 2 or Level 3 electric vehicle recharging stations that are accessible to student and employee commuters?:
No

A brief description of the electric vehicle recharging stations:

Currently, there are 4 EV charging stations on the UP campus, but these are for use by University-owned vehicles. Installation of a limited number of additional stations for commuters is planned, but not yet complete.


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

A brief description of the telecommuting program:

Telecommuting is administered on a case-by-case basis by the unit with coordination through Human Resources.

See Policy: http://guru.psu.edu/policies/OHR/hrg02.html

The University’s establishment of a telecommuting program assists in meeting the needs of a workforce that has diverse work and personal demands. Telecommuting can provide flexible work schedules to accommodate temporary situations such as a leave due to a contagious illness or a temporary disability (such as a cold or a broken leg), an unexpected school closing, etc. In addition, telecommuting can provide flexibility on a long-term basis.

A telecommuting program also allows the University to address emerging environmental compliance issues, such as the Clean Air Act and to comply with legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition, telecommuting provides alternate methods of addressing budget issues. Finally, a telecommuting program can strengthen management and employee relations.

Penn State has a Telecommuting Consulting Team (Office of Human Resources, Academic Services and Emerging Technologies, Telecommunications and Networking Services, and Environmental Health and Safety) for questions in developing telecommuting opportunities.


Does the institution offer a condensed work week option that reduces employee commuting (as a matter of policy or standard practice)?:
Yes

A brief description of the condensed work week option:

Penn State allows its employees to practice "flexible scheduling". The term "flexible scheduling" encompasses many variations from the standard work schedule. The more complicated the arrangements, the more record keeping and supervision of the program is required. In its simplest form, a flexible schedule involves allowing an employee to vary the span of the workday.

Flexible scheduling can be as simple as changing the work hours from an 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. workday to a 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. workday, changing the lunch break from one hour to one-half hour, or working an extra hour on Monday in order to leave an hour earlier on Tuesday. Flexible scheduling can be more complicated, allowing an employee to establish her/his own start/end times and/or lunch break, within predetermined guidelines.

Even if a supervisor has not instituted a formal flexible scheduling program, employee requests for temporary changes in the workday such as to take a class, or to go to a doctor's appointment without charging sick leave, may be granted by the supervisor, provided such requests are in accordance with the provisions of this guideline.

Although it is permissible, with the supervisor's approval, for a nonexempt staff employee to alter when the 40 hours are worked during the workweek, such employee cannot "bank" overtime hours worked in one workweek for use as time off in a future workweek. Further, the employee must understand that altered schedules cannot cause overtime to occur. While it is possible for an employee to agree to waive University overtime policies on work schedules to accommodate personal schedule preferences, Federal and State Wage and Hour laws cannot be waived.


Does the institution have incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus?:
No

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

N/A


Does the institution employ other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting (e.g. preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, cash-out of parking programs)?:
No

A brief description of other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting:

In September 2015, Penn State hired its first Alternative Transportation Program Coordinator. This has allowed the university to expand its focus on alternative transportation education and engagement programs in addition to continued infrastructure expansions.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.