Commute Modal Split (3.0)

Credit Language

OP 14: Commute Modal Split – version 3.0


  • 14.1. Percentage of students and employees using more sustainable commuting options

Questions & Answers

How has this credit changed between STARS Version 2 and Version 3?

This credit is now scored proportionally based on how many students and employees there are. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

What timeframe should be used for this credit?

Report the most recent annual (fiscal or calendar year) data available from within the previous three years. Use the most recent single year for which data is available or an average from throughout the period. 

What constitutes a representative sample?

A representative sample is a subset of a statistical population that accurately reflects the members of the entire population. A representative sample should be an unbiased indication of what the entire population is like. For example, in a student population of 1000 students in which 25 percent of the students are enrolled in a business school, 50 percent are enrolled in humanities programs, and 25 percent are enrolled in science programs, a representative sample might include 200 students: 50 business students, 100 humanities students, and 50 science students. Likewise, a representative sample of purchases should accurately reflect the institution’s total purchases, accounting for seasonal and other variations in product availability and purchasing.

Are there other credits that ask for the same information?

Full-time equivalent student enrollment and Full-time equivalent of employees are reported under the following credits: 

  • PRE 3: Institutional Characteristics
  • OP 3: Water Use
  • OP 5: Energy Use 
  • OP 6: Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • OP 12: Waste Generation & Recovery
  • OP 14: Commute Modal Split

Generally speaking, these figures should be consistent across credits if the same performance year is being used. To simplify reporting, the Reporting Tool will allow you to copy the figures reported under the Institutional Characteristics into other credits. If it is necessary to deviate from one or more PRE figures when completing a credit, the rationale for doing so should be recorded in the Notes field for the affected credits (e.g., difference in reporting timeframe).  

See related article on Can information be shared between credits?.

Resources, Templates & Tools

Suggestions for Institutions

  • Work with your institution’s transportation department or similar to quantify and report on student and employee modal split.
  • Consider incorporating transportation modal split questions into existing sustainability related surveys (e.g., a combined literacy, culture, and transportation survey.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • Score outlier: Earning full points or close to it is unlikely. Exemplary performance should be clarified in descriptive field(s). 
  • Timeframe: There should be some indication that the modal split assessment was completed within the last three years.
  • Commute modal split assessment must reach a representative sample (e.g., assessing students in a single class or employees in a single office/department isn’t sufficient)
  • Data consistency: Figures for Total full-time equivalent student enrollment and  Full-time equivalent of employees should be consistent across PRE 3 and this credit if the same Performance Year is used. Valid discrepancies should be clarified in the Notes field.

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