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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 Silver
Overall Score 57.39
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Nov. 12, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Tufts University
OP-19: Student Commute Modal Split

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.63 / 2.00 Tina Woolston
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total percentage of students that use more sustainable commuting options:

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) 18.50
Walk, bicycle, or use other non-motorized means 41.20
Vanpool or carpool 2.20
Take a campus shuttle or public transportation 25.60
Use a motorcycle, scooter or moped 0.15

A brief description of the method(s) used to gather data about student commuting:

The Tufts Operations Division and Office of Sustainability administered an online commuting survey to all employees and students on the university’s three campuses between April 22 and May 23, 2014. The “simple random sample survey method” was used to obtain a representative cross-section of the non-residential student population on each campus. A 'census survey method' was used for the residential students where they all received the survey. A total of 2,883 students completed the survey, representing 24% of the student body, of which 1,686 completed the question related to commute method for the week of Apr 7-11, 2014. 44% of the respondents live on campus.

The website URL where information about sustainable transportation for students is available:

In the survey, students were asked how they commuted from home to Tufts during a typical 5-day week (Monday - Friday) from April 7 - April 11, 2014. Students who traveled by multiple modes of transportation (e.g., walk to the subway station) were asked to choose the mode with the most miles traveled.

To obtain the numbers above, the totals for all 5 days of the week for each mode of transportation were averaged (e.g., 108 students biked to campus on Monday, 102 on Tuesday, 108 on Wednesday, 106 on Thursday, and 94 on Friday - these numbers were averaged to give a total of 103.6 students commuting by bike). The total number of respondents to the question (1,686) was used as the denominator. This includes an average of 205 people who indicated that they were not at Tufts or responded "other."

Students completing the survey could select one of the following commuting modes: Drive Alone, Carpool, Vanpool, Motorcycle/Scooter/Moped, MBTA Bus, Tufts Davis Square Shuttle, Subway (the T), Commuter Rail/Regional Train, Bicycle, Walk, Telecommute, Flextime/Day off, Other, and Not at Tufts. For purposes of this questionnaire, Telecommute was included as an "other non-motorized means" with Walk and Bicycle. Flextime, Other, and Not at Tufts constituted 12.5% of respondents.

The weather during the week was as follows (from wunderground.com):
Monday: mean temp 49 degrees F, precipitation 0.04"
Tuesday: mean temp 54 degrees F, precipitation 0.67"
Wednesday: mean temp 50 degrees F, precipitation 0.00"
Thursday: mean temp 47 degrees F, precipitation 0.00"
Friday: mean temp 59 degrees F, trace of precipitation

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.