May: Travel + Transportation

Since 2007, Yale’s drive-alone commuter rate decreased from 44% to 37%. This means that 63% of Yale’s commuters are commuting sustainably, i.e., by carpool, bus, train, bike, walk, or telework.

As part of the Sustainability Strategic Plan 2013-2016, Yale set a goal to reduce single-occupancy vehicle use by faculty and staff to campus 2% below 2013 levels by June 2016. Please help us reach our goal!

Sustainable Choices you can make…

Do a Trial Run You won’t risk losing your parking space when you try something other than driving alone. If you decide to suspend your parking permit to use transit or try carpooling, you’ll have six months to reclaim your current parking space if you don’t wish to continue with your transit or carpool arrangement.
Yale and New Haven provide numerous resources and infrastructure to support cyclists. For example, all CT Transit buses and Yale shuttles come equipped with bike racks so you can bike to transit. Through Yale’s partnership with Zagster, there are 50 shared-use bicycles around campus. Take the Bicycle Safety Training Class. Taking the class also provides you with a free helmet!

Cut your parking costs in half or even more by joining a carpool. The university has partnered with NuRide to help Yale community members find each other. Log your trips, and earn rewards to local and online retailers. And don’t worry— each carpool receives 6 free parking stays per month and a Guaranteed Ride Home is always available in case of emergencies.

Public Transit
If you commute to work by bus or train, you can save on the cost of your monthly transit pass through pre-taxed payroll deduction—and have the pass mailed directly to your home. You will also receive three daily parking permits per month, and can take advantage of the Guaranteed Ride Home Program.

Yale Shuttle and Zipcar
As always, you can count on the free Yale Shuttle to get around during the day. Through Yale’s partnership with Zipcar, students and employees can benefit from discounted membership rates. Access to over 30 Zipcars on campus, and the free Yale Shuttle provide you all the transportation you need to do errands or get around campus without needing your own car.

Stop Idling! One of the easiest and most effective sustainable changes you can make is turning off your car instead of idling. Two minutes spent idling emits as many harmful gases as one mile of driving, but idling doesn’t get you anywhere. Because of all the time we unnecessarily leave our car running, 3.8 million gallons of fuel are wasted each day in the United States.
New Haven has some of the worst air quality in the nation, and vehicle emissions are the highest contributor to our state’s air pollution problem. There’s no reason to leave your car running. Ten seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting, and even in cold weather, engines only need thirty seconds or less to warm up.
By reducing daily idling times in half, passenger vehicle drivers can expect to save several hundred dollars per year and heavy duty vehicle drives can expect to save thousands of dollars each year. This month, commit to turn off your vehicle if you’ll be idling for more than ten seconds. Learn more about Sustainable America’s anti-idling campaign.

Cut Your Costs An analysis by AAA found if you drive 10,000 miles a year, you’re paying around $6,000 just to own your car, plus more than $7,000 to drive it. Gas, maintenance, insurance, and all those other ownership costs add up. Use the APTA Transit Savings calculator to see how much driving is costing you.

Still, over 7,000 people drive to Yale’s campus daily, polluting the air and congesting local streets. Not only does vehicle exhaust emit greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, but it also pollutes the air with ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter, which lead to asthma, nose, eye, and throat irritation, and reduced resistance to illnesses.

Driving to work also drains people both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that people with long commutes worry more and make fewer social connections. Long car commutes are also correlated with obesity, neck and back pain, higher cholesterol levels, and lost sleep.

A Yale study found that individuals that engage in active transportation (like riding to work by bike) had smaller waistlines and were less likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes. Commuting by bike incorporates exercise into your daily routine, leaving you healthier, reducing your stress, and getting you to work feeling refreshed and alert. You also get to park your bike for free!

Additional Resources

Are you new to biking in New Haven? Check out the New Haven bike route map. You can also take a Bicycle Safety Training Class offered by Yale Environmental Health & Safety. It covers state and local laws pertaining to bicyclists, accident avoidance, bicycling tips, and bicycle maintenance info. Get $20 off your Zagster Bikeshare membership by taking the class, AND GET A FREE HELMET!

Not sure the best route to take to work? Fill out the Commuter Counseling form to be contacted about your best options.

May is bike month! Connect with other bicyclists in New Haven at several events this month, including:

For additional resources visit the Transportation Posters + Factsheets page on our website.