City College is exploring ways to reduce single-occupancy vehicles and promote alternative transportation for campus commuters.
A pilot program offering financial incentives for commuting was launched Jan 12, 2015 to gain feedback and to prepare it to be introduced to more students and faculty.
“Currently we have 101 active participants of student and staff that either commute to campus by bus, bike, carpool, vanpool, a few train, walking, or motorcycles and scooters,” said Perrin Pellegrin, a managing partner at Innovative Workshop Consulting.
Monetary incentives as well as other rewards are planned on being available for students by next fall in an effort to reduce parking congestion on campus, as well as traffic in the surrounding streets and to promote sustainable transportation habits.
City College introduced the Alternative Transportation Plan in January to further implement the goals outlined on the district-wide sustainability plan, written by Pellegrin.
“We incentivize them by every trip they commute round-trip they get $2 a day for a maximum of $25 a month,” said Pellegrin. “Or they can take the shuttle from either the Garden and Cabrillo parking lot, or the Wake Campus as another mode of transportation. Come fall semester, we are going to open it up to the students so that they can take the shuttle.”
Additionally, City College will be continuing to promote an emergency ride-home program to students and staff members. According to the incentive plan, the program can provide vouchers for taxis, connect the student or faculty with someone to carpool with, or, if available, reserve a car from the Car Share program.
“If you were riding a bike and you got a flat and you called the college and explained, we would figure out a way to get you to the college,” said Joseph Sullivan, vice president of business services. “This is alternative transportation… so if you have a flat or something happens, you can call us.”
City College has taken many steps this school year to promote alternative transportation to school including opening the Bici Centro, a bike shop that assists students with bike repairs.
The joint project between the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition and City College is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and is located on East Campus by the bridge linking the campuses.
On Wednesday, May 6, City College will be holding an event called CycleMAYnia at the campus bike shop that will offer a free breakfast and entertainment to those who bike to school in an effort to promote more biking and alternate transportation to school.
“If you are a student and you can’t bike, if you sign up for a carpool app on Smart Ride and you show it to us on your phone, you can also attend the pancake breakfast,” said Pellegrin. “It’s from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m., and we will have smoothies, pancakes, and coffee and we are really hoping for a decent turnout. It should be a pretty fun event if you’re willing to get up early.”
A survey will be sent out today to City College students in order to gather feedback about how current programs are working and to implement more sustainable transportation options on campus.
“Students are already doing a good job at commuting to campus sustainably, but we also want to acknowledge that and have them benefit from it as well,” said Pellegrin.