Stanford is a leader on transportation demand management, and the university has a robust “No Net New Commute Trips” goal to back it. That goal seeks to accomplish “no additional automobile trips during the peak commute time in the campus commute direction in the morning and evening.” On top of the goal, Stanford has posted some impressive historical numbers for reducing drive-alone commutes.
Since 2000, the university has reduced the percentage of single occupancy vehicle commuters to and from campus from 72 percent to 50 percent today.
That is made even more jaw dropping by the fact that Silicon Valley has not always been the model of getting people out of their driving habits. A recent study by SPUR found that barely 20 percent of the region’s tech companies lie within a half-mile of public transit. Also, NextCity’s Rachel Dovey notes that “only 1.7 percent of Silicon Valley residents bike to work, which is still more than the national average, but, the report argues, far less than the number could be, given the region’s mild climate and flat topography.” That too may be about to change, she writes, because of a stress-free bike plan being written for the Valley.
Back to Stanford in particular, the drive-alone reduction:
… has been achieved through a robust Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program that offers students, faculty and staff alternatives to personal auto use. Central to the program is the free Marguerite Shuttle that runs throughout campus and connects riders to other public transit services and local destinations. To further support transit use, the Marguerite shuttle is open to the public as well.
As part of our broader strategy to further increase participation in the TDM program, Stanford supports local public transit by purchasing transit passes and providing them at no cost to eligible university employees for use on regional transit systems. These include Caltrain and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) buses and light rail. The Stanford East Bay Express Line U bus is free to those with a Stanford ID and connects the campus to the East Bay. The program also provides Zipcars, free rides home for those who use transit to come to campus and a Commute Club that offers incentives for participating in carpools and free vanpools.