Transportation

Stanford runs one of the most comprehensive programs in the country to reduce university-related traffic impacts—it’s an essential part of our drive for sustainability.

Transportation, including commuters and university fleet vehicles accounts for 11 percent of Stanford’s greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the use of alternative transportation reduces those emissions and makes our community a better place to live and work: fewer cars translates to better air quality, less traffic congestion and noise, reduced pressure on undeveloped land and improved health for commuting students and employees.

Goals & Results

Our goal is to make sure people and goods can travel to, from and within the campus in an environmentally sustainable way. We seek to dramatically reduce transportation-related pollution, effects on local habitats and ecological resources, consumption of fossil fuel and traffic-related environmental effects identified by the local community.

One key measure of our efforts: We’re striving to hold commute trips to the 2001 baseline (3,474 morning trips and 3,591evening trips), even when the campus population grows. That means cutting the number of peak-hour trips and single-occupant vehicles, and boosting alternative transportation use throughout the Stanford community.

Results so far:

  • From 2002 to 2010, the portion of employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 48 percent.
  • Marguerite shuttle bus ridership has climbed steadily. Passenger numbers rose from 1,084,363 to 1,416,508 in 2009—a 31 percent increase. The number of people getting on and off shuttles serving Caltrain commuter rail stations increased 30 percent.
  • In 2010, 52 percent of university employees regularly used alternative transportation as their primary commute mode, compared with an estimated 22 percent within Santa Clara County. Among university employees, 25 percent regularly used public transportation, compared with only 3 percent county-wide.
  • Membership in the Commute Club, for eligible employees and students who commit to not driving alone, has risen 121 percent since 2001–02, and the sales of long-term faculty, staff, and student parking permits have decreased 17 percent since 2004.
  • Nearly one-third of Stanford’s 1,049 fleet vehicles are electric, and the number of hybrid vehicles is increasing each year. The fleet also includes one experimental solar vehicle. Stanford's Marguerite shuttle fleet is comprised of 2 diesel-electric hybrid buses and 39 biodiesel buses.
“If we are to leave our children a better world, we must take steps now to create a sustainable environment. So it is critical that we model sustainable citizenship on our own campus.”
—John Etchemendy
Provost, Stanford University
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993 – and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
About 60 percent of Stanford’s total contiguous land remains undeveloped.
Recycled paper is less expensive than virgin paper under the campus-wide office supply contract.
From 2002 to 2010, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 48 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Effective August 1, 2014:
Irrigation in Faculty & Staff Housing may occur only on Tuesday and Saturday nights for even numbered addresses, and Wednesday and Sunday nights for odd numbered addresses, between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
Stanford invests IN sustainability through a broad range of initiatives in research, education, efficiency improvement, conservation systems, new technology, student-led projects and more.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
From 2002 to 2008, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 51 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008 – more than 14,500 tons.
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993—and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Stanford completed 50 major water efficiency retrofit projects from 2001 through 2008, pushing down average domestic use from 2.7 million of gallons per day (mgd) in 2000–01 to less than 2.3 mgd in 2007–08, despite campus growth.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.

RECOGNITION

Stanford has long been recognized for transportation demand management leadership. Here is a partial list of awards and commendations.

Innovative Transportation Solutions Award, WTS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (2009)

Excellence in Motion Award of Merit, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) (2008)

Bicycle Friendly Community Gold Level, League of American Bicyclists (2008)

Best Workplaces for Commuters, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida (2002–2013)

Green Business Award, to the Stanford Fleet Garage for dedication and commitment to environmentally responsible operations, Santa Clara County (2004–2007)

Leadership Award, nonelected individual or private organization, Association for Commuter Transportation (2006)

Best of Universities and Colleges and Gold Prize for Commuters Race to Excellence, EPA/Department of Transportation Best Workplaces for Commuters, Race to Excellence (2006, 2011)

Business Environmental Award, Commute and Transportation category, Acterra (2004)