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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 68.58
Liaison Mary Ellen Mallia
Submission Date Jan. 15, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University at Albany
OP-21: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Mary Ellen Mallia
Director of Environmental Sustainability
Finance and Business
"---" 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?:
No

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

The University at Albany provides shower facilities with lockers accessible to bicycle commuters in several buildings on campus. All new construction provides shower facilities and lockers in each building. There is a covered area where bikes can be parked at two areas near the academic buildings and at quad locations but no formal bike storage is provided.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

The University at Albany provides secure “hoop” (providing two places of contact on bicycle frame) bicycle rack parking at all new and renovated buildings, and is in the process of replacing all existing racks with “hoop” racks. Bicycle racks are located within 50 ft of the majority of non-residential buildings. Phase 3 of the UAlbany Bicycle Rack Implementation Plan was completed in October 2015. 38 full hoop racks and 4 bicycle fix-it stations were installed to replace outdated models on residential quads across UAlbany Uptown Campus. We currently do not offer long-term bicycle storage.


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?:
Yes

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

The University at Albany has completed over 75% of a multi-use path along the campus perimeter ring road, and plans are in place for completion of the path in the near future. The University at Albany also features a unique academic podium, containing all academic buildings under one continuous colonnade, which is accessible only to bicyclist and pedestrians. Residential locations are connected to the academic podium by sidewalks and multi-use paths.


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:

The University at Albany offers a bike sharing program for on-campus students. The program is offered on three quads and is maintained by the wellness centers. Students can rent bikes for free, and are given helmets and bike locks. There are 25 bikes available in the bike share program. Participation is extremely high, and are currently searching for options to expand the program.


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?:
No

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

UAlbany has received the designation of "honorable mention" in the 2015 League of American Bicyclists Bike Friendly University program


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 program(s), including availability, participation levels, and specifics about discounts or subsidies offered (including pre-tax options):

Yes, the University will provide a 20% discount on parking decals for a low-emitting and/or fuel-efficient vehicle on campus. Vehicles will be considered fuel efficient vehicles that get more than 35 MPG combined city/highway. This discount is available upon request to campus personnel, including students, staff and faculty.

Yes, Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) services are available to University at Albany members at no charge that utilize a valid UAlbany ID card through its Universal Access Program. CDTA partners with many area colleges and universities to provide students with comprehensive transportation services. Each college has its own unique transportation arrangement tailored to their needs by using our regular fixed route, express and commuter routes that offer convenient service to colleges throughout the Capital Region.

Yes, The University at Albany also operates a Mass Transit system that offers bus service on all UAlbany at no charge. All UAlbany buses are equipped with GPS devices in order for passengers to obtain real-time bus information and to add a level of safety and security. The UAlbany bus system covers a wide area including the east campus, downtown & uptown campuses, as well as apartment & shopping shuttles.


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

A brief description of the GRT program:

The Capital District Transportation Committee and iPool2 offers a "Guaranteed Ride Home" service for students, faculty, and staff who regularly ride a bus, carpool, vanpool, bicycle and/or walk to the campus.


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:

Yes, UAlbany has an employer module within IPool2 service provided in conjunction with state and local entities. IPool2 has partnered with New York State's 511NY Rideshare and 511NY network Go to their web site at www.iPool2.org and if you register using your UAlbany email, you will be automatically sent to our site so you may search for rides within our campus community. You also have the option to expand your search to local employers if you want. If you register and use alternate transportation twice a week, you will be eligible for guaranteed ride home through IPool. Should an emergency arise and you don’t have your car available, they will provide a taxi ride.

No, the campus does not participate in a vanpool specifically although one is available in the area. CDTA partners with vRide to operate a number of vans in the Capital Region. Costs are based on monthly travel distance and van type. Currently, a first-come, first-serve grant is available to pay the first $300 of the monthly lease cost for groups in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga or Schenectady Counties.


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:

The University at Albany has partnered with Zipcar to provide a car sharing option. This program os eligible for students, faculty and staff who are 18 years or older and have a valid driver's license. The cars were available at several residential locations.


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

A brief description of the electric vehicle recharging stations:

Yes, the University has two level 2 chargers. These stations are available to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. One of the stations is located at Collins Circle Visitor lot for the uptown campus and one station on the downtown campus at Thurlow Parking lot.


Does the institution offer a telecommuting program for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:
No

A brief description of the telecommuting program:
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Does the institution offer a condensed work week option for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:
No

A brief description of the condensed work week program:
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Does the institution have incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus?:
Yes

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

The University has a program encouraging staff to purchase homes near the University. This involves a low interest loan in exchange for maintaining the home as a primary residence for no less than five years.


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

A brief description of other sustainable transportation initiatives and programs:

The university has a free bike registration program for all campus members


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

Other sustainable transportation initiatives and programs not discussed above include:

The University will be launching a mobile parking application to allow customers to pay for parking via mobile network. This will allow direct parking as opposed to going to a booth, paying, and then driving to location. This will help minimize unnecessary driving and will cut down on our carbon footprint.

The University will be launching a public awareness campaign regarding parking lots. The University has many open parking spaces on State & Dutch Quads. However, vehicles still attempt to park in full parking lots circling until a space is found wasting fuel and adding to the carbon footprint. We will attempt a campaign targeting this group with signage, videos, and PSA’s.

The University hosted a Vehicle Display & Strategy Showcase on Earth Day, 4/22/15. On display will be alternative fuel vehicles & strategies that partake in the Capital District Clean Communities Coalition. Information on the coalition below.

Membership to the Capital District Clean Communities Coalition (CDCC). CDCC is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program which is a network of nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions across the country. CDCC looks to advance the Capital Region’s economic, environmental, and energy security by promoting the use of alternative fuels, advanced vehicle technologies and policies that reduce petroleum consumption in transportation. CDCC members include local governments, agencies, organizations and businesses. Thirteen Capital District Clean Communities coalition members applied for and received funding under the USDOE Clean Cities FY09 Petroleum Reduction Technologies Projects for the Transportation Sector Funding Program. This program was financed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As part of this program the University was able to obtain 5 hybrid electric buses which are still in use.

Membership to the International Parking Institute (IPI). They are the largest and leading association of parking professionals and the parking industry. IPI's purpose is advancing the parking profession through leadership, education, professional development, conferences, connections, data collection, advocacy, & outreach. We also serve on the IPI-ITS task force. The ITS Parking Task Force discusses how ITS and parking can work together to improve a driver's experience and explores many opportunities to collaborate between these two systems. We have been invited to give the IPI-ITS presentation statewide on a couple of occasions.

Membership to the New York State Parking Association. The NYSPA is a statewide organization created to enhance the development of parking professionals within the State of New York to provide a forum in which New York State parking professionals can network, share and disseminate information specific to the parking industry, and to speak with a united voice.

On a long-term scale:

The University will attempt to add sensors in the parking lots and add VMS at critical campus entry points to alert vehicles of available lots (i.e. Lot A is full but Lot B has 200 spaces).This will also cut down above tendency. This will also be tied into a mobile application. Timeframe 3-10 years.

The University is also looking at a permit less system where by your license plate would be your parking credential. The License Plate Recognition (LPR) system will assist with targeted enforcement as opposed to driving in all lots looking for offenders. Additionally, customers will be able to interact and register online or over the phone thus eliminating a need to drive to the parking office. Timeframe 2-3 years.

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.