A nice article in the O on the rise of alternative transportation at UP... some nice quotes from some folks we all might be familiar with (who could have also slipped in a PN mention, but oh well...)
North Portland: University of Portland's green transportation programs breaking records
After years of offering faculty and students alternative transportation methods to get to the University of Portland, the school has seen record use of its greener options in 2010.
"Now that those options have been around a few years, I think they really have taken root," said university spokesman Joe Kuffner.
Among the successes:
* Nearly 5,000 passengers set a record when they took trips on a shuttle service in the four-month period ending in November. The shuttle, subsidized by TriMet and the university, carries students, faculty and staff to the nearest MAX line a few miles away and into St. Johns on weekends.
* Seventy TriMet bus passes sold to students and faculty at a 40 percent discount sell out monthly.
* More than 50 faculty and students participate in a carpool program which gives students a free parking pass and employees a $50 kick-back.
* Demand for the university's Zipcars -- available to faculty and staff for university business use and offered to students at a discount -- grew so much that the school increased the number from three to five in September.
* Demand for bicycle parking jumped so much that racks creating 100 new spaces are being installed this winter and spring, bringing the total on campus to 850.
* An employer-assisted home purchase program offers a home grant to employees who purchase homes in North Portland with the expectation that they use alternative transportation commuting to campus. Faculty and staff who purchase a home within approximately one mile of campus are eligible for $15,000; two miles for $12,500 and three miles for $10,000.
The home grant program, started in 1998, has been popular, said Jim Kuffner, Joe Kuffner's father and assistant vice president for community relations and special projects. More than 125 employees have taken advantage of the program.
The university has 3,810 students, 57 percent of whom live on campus.
* Though freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus to encourage alternative transportation, reduce emissions and ease the burden of parking on University Park neighbors, anecdotal evidence indicates upperclassmen are ditching their cars, as well.
The school years ago set up a no-parking zone that circles 12 blocks around the campus. Any student or university employee caught illegally parking there receives a citation. And anytime a university event expects more than 3,000 people attending, a sub-contractor is hired to flag and direct traffic to keep it from clogging the streets near the school.
"Anytime you have a major institution in a residential neighborhood, you're always going to have those kinds of conflicts," the elder Kuffner said. "We have worked diligently with the neighborhood association for over 20 years. We really try to be as good a neighbor as we can be."
-- Larry Bingham
Run 'Em Aground Pilots!
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