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Transportation accounts for almost 8% of campus emissions. Encouraging alternative transportation is par of UMD’s Energy Action Plan. Carpooling, walking, biking and using public transportation are ways anyone can reduce their emissions.
Encouraging Alternative Forms of Transportation
Alternative commuting will play a large role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these methods are economically advantageous to the campus community, especially since parking rates are likely to increase in the future as UMD supports a wider variety of transportation methods.
The average U.S. automobile emits approximately one pound of CO2 for every mile driven. But it’s more than just the CO2, automobiles also release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), CO and other particles. Commuting by biking or walking emits no carbon, reduces congestion on campus, and encourages healthy, active living. Commuting by bus or carpooling reduces carbon versus single-driver vehicles as well. With a commitment from the campus community to reducing emissions, we can all breathe easier.
Ride the bus – FREE!
The U-PASS Program is an innovative partnership between UMD and the Duluth Transit Authority to encourage use of public transportation at UMD. Unlimited, free rides are provided for students anytime, anywhere around the Twin Ports area. A $10 per semester student service fee helps cover the cost of the U-PASS program. Staff and faculty (even part-time!) can purchase a U-PASS for only $50 for the year, via payroll deduction!
The program was designed to reduce on-campus traffic and reduce congestion in campus parking.
What is the impact of the U-Pass program on campus emissions?
Through student, faculty, and staff use of the U-Pass program in 2007, UMD successfully prevented 349 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions. An amount equal to 39,258 gallons of gasoline or the amount of carbon sequestered annually by 79.3 acres of pine or fir forests.
Other equivalencies can be seen using the EPA emissions calculator at the EPA website.
In addition to the ecologically friendly benefits already mentioned, the DTA is also involved in other energy conservation practices, such as hybrid buses and biodiesels. Watch the DTA video for more information on their sustainable initiatives. Find more information here.
Biking at UMD
Don’t want to worry about parking on campus? A simple solution can be biking to class. If you don’t feel like biking home, combe biking and busing to maximize your convenience.
While biking to UMD might get more difficult to do during the winter, it’s not impossible: some students and staff — such as the professors featured in this video from the UMD student-run-publication LakeVoice — bike to UMD year round.
There are a few UMD BIKING Regulations you should know and some handy tips on where to store and secure your bike. You can view the bicycle parking map, which shows the racks that will be available for year-round use. (PRINT both regulations & map)
For cycling enthusiasts, join the UMD Cycling Club!
The newest resource for bikers at UMD is a compressed air pump. The unit is housed under the Dining Center near Kirby Drive and is available to refill bike tires year round. Find more information here.
Going Out of Town
You’re probably not the only one. Students at UMD frequently travel through various parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as many other places. Carpooling is a viable option to reduce costs and emissions for anyone looking to get out of Duluth for a couple of days.
There are always people looking for a ride/riders on the ride board during the school year. The ride board is located in the Kirby Student Center near the Kirby Lounge.
If you’re seeking an approach to finding a ride that uses a bit less paper, there’s always the UMD Ride Share Facebook group.
In addition to student ride resources, Jefferson Lines also runs a daily bus service that leaves from the Kirby Student Center and goes through the Twin Cities and other locations.