Monday, November 8, 2010

Bus, bike, or permit

From the local newspaper (the Courier Journal): University of Louisville seeking 'greener' profile

  • "A new survey shows that only 6 percent of students, faculty and staff actually use TARC for commuting."
  • The university wants to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020 and 40% by 2030
  • U of L study found that commuting accounted for 9% of the university's greenhouse gas emissions
  • University looking at "low-hanging fruit:" "That includes reducing the number of small refrigerators and space heaters on campus and improving bicycle and pedestrian flow." [No comment on use of space heaters, la la la]
  • Financial incentives to get people to walk or bike: free bike if you don't get a parking permit?
  • Students say TARC is impractical - long wait times for transfers, safety concerns at stops at night

I do not have a parking pass and have not had one the entire time I've worked here. Sometimes, but very rarely, I park in the museum garage and pay $6 for the day. I agree that TARC riding can be impractical and difficult. If I have a doctor's appointment, I try to schedule it for first thing in the morning or last thing in the day. Otherwise, I lose too much time getting from work to the appointment and back again. Once, when I took two buses on my commute, my transfer was an hour late (or it never showed and I just got the one that came an hour later). I could have walked home, but it was pouring, pouring rain, so I huddled under a bank's overhang.

Have I mentioned my love for ZipCars (or other car-sharing programs) yet? I have not used the service before but really want to. Except it doesn't exist here, although it is on a number of other university campuses. A friend of mine who recently moved to the DC-area gave up his car and takes the bus or Metro to work and uses Zipcar (located on campus) for other errands and appointments. No car payment, no fuel costs, no parking permit for home or work.

I'm interested to see what the university comes up with in terms of incentives. Carrot or stick? More buy-in to help TARC meet the needs of the community? As for the possibility of a free bike, I'm not sure I would use one to ride to work unless there were much better bike lanes, but I certainly would not turn down a free bike.

See Jonathan Richman's "You're Crazy for Taking the Bus." [He's singing about the Greyhound type, but still]

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