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Sustainability Efforts Reduce Number of Cars on Campus

Bus interior

Climate action In 2002, the college introduced a campus shuttle service to help students get around the area, with the hope that we’d reduce the number of cars on campus, too. Students rode the shuttle 43,000 times in the first year.

By 2015-16, the total number of rides by students was 118,000. Those rides were used to get to the airport, Amtrak station as well as to museums and live theater performances in downtown Rochester, and specialty shops like Asian groceries, as well as Letchworth State Park. It’s convenient, and it has helped sustainability efforts.

Since introduction of the bus service, there has been a dramatic decrease in the percentage of the some 3,000 resident students who brought a car to campus, according to Bob Bonfiglio, vice president for student and campus life, who spearheaded the initiative. Residential students purchasing campus parking permits declined from 75 percent (2,292 permits) in 2002 to 28 percent (893 permits) in 2016.

The trend has reduced the need for construction of more parking spaces, alleviated congestion and helped the college with its vision to be a pedestrian-centered campus. Students pay a small fee in their student fees for the bus, and can ride free. The public can pay $1 per ride.

“The bus service has been a win-win-win,” says Bonfiglio. “Fewer cars on campus and in the village means lower carbon emissions and decreased traffic. Access to local and regional merchants and services has provided an economic boost to the area. And most of all, our students make great use of it, and it expands not only their transportation options but their social options as well.”

Visit the parking and transportation website for more information on area bus services.