Sustainable transportation on campus is an issue directly addressed by Brown’s Sustainability Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SSPAC) through its transportation subcommittee. Objectives of the SSPAC transportation team include: creating a more economically efficient and equitable transportation portfolio, expanding Providence’s “Complete Streets” program, decreasing the University’s transportation-based carbon footprint. Some of the initiatives undertaken to promote sustainable transportation are:
Public Transportation: Brown University has made great strides toward increasing the availability of public transportation with the Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority (RIPTA) The U-Pass program allows all Brown University ID holders (faculty, staff and students) may ride any RIPTA bus or trolley free of charge anywhere in the state of Rhode Island.
Zipcars: The University partners with Zipcar to offer Brown community members an alternative to driving to campus. Brown University students, faculty and staff pay an annual $15 fee. Hourly rates range from $7.25 to $11.00 depending on the type of vehicle reserved. Nine of the 25 vehicles are hybrids and 2,700 Brown-related members use them to travel 30,000 miles a month. In addition, discounts at Providence retail establishments are available by using the Zipcard.
Electronic Vehicle Charging Stations: Brown University has two plug-in electric vehicle charging stations available for public use. One is located in Lot #44 on Brook Street, behind Minden Hall. The other is in the Richmond Street parking garage, entrance on Eddy Street.
Bicycle Racks: Brown has bicycle racks in convenient places across campus, offers bicycle registration to discourage theft, and is working with various civic groups to help promote cycling in the city. All new construction and major renovations are required to install racks as part of their projects.
Bicycle Sharing: Bikes at Brown, a student initiative, launched a bike-sharing program in March 2009 utilizing University funds to purchase three new Schwinn Cruisers and four Mongoose mountain bikes. They now have a fleet of thirty-two bicycles, which can be signed out for a week at a time at no charge and for no deposit.
Brown is also working to establish a campus-wide bike share program that would allow community members to rent a bike from locations around campus for up to two hours at a time and then return it to any station on campus. Stay tuned for more details.