student at the Halsted Street entrance to UIC-Halsted Blue Line CTA stop, under the signs that reads,

Reducing commuting-related travel and converting to a more efficient fuel will help UIC achieve its commitment to be a Carbon Neutral Campus and could reduce UIC's GHG emissions by 10,000 MTCO2e annually.

Goals of Strategy 3.0

  • Transit Incentives for Faculty and Staff

    Pilot TDM programs to test most effective methods.

    Manage parking demand with TDM strategies and pricing mechanisms

  • Bicycle Program

    Develop in institutionalize coordinated process for bicycle parking planning and management

  • 3.2.1 Fleet Efficiency (Fuel Switch)

    Increase the number of hybrid, electric, and CNG vehicles by 5% by 2023, 15% by 2028, and 20% by 2033.

  • 3.2.2 Air Travel Carbon Offset Program

    Develop an administrative mechanism that would allow units to “buy into” periodic campus-wide purchases of verified offsets.

  • 3.2.3 Inter-Campus Travel

    Reduce traveling to intercampus meetings by automobiles with trains and teleconferencing.

In the 2018 Commuter Survey done by UIC, the findings were that students prefer to take the CTA rail (62%) while faculty and staff prefer to drive alone (62%). Faculty, staff, and students commuting by private vehicles constitutes the largest share of UIC’s transportation-related emissions (Figure 11) and on average one way they are travelling 15.9 miles based on the 2018 Commuter Survey. Those who commute from south of Chicago have a higher tendency to drive whereas those north and northwest of Chicago tend to take CTA and Rail. From 2017 to 2018 the CTA rail stations by UIC saw a 1.1% increase in ridership.  Campus parking permits have slowly trended upward year over year for the past several years.

“First/last mile” transportation innovations are shifting mobility patterns.  Public transportation, carpooling, transportation network companies (TNC’s), living streets, and bicycle/scooter sharing programs have increased options for urban residents including Chicago.  Like the City of Chicago, a significant majority of UIC’s campus is easily accessible by public transportation. Transportation diversity reduces resident dependence on personal automotive travel, alleviating congestion and associated pollutants.  Transit diversity also provides resilience in the event of extreme events impacting the environment or economy.   UIC faculty/staff/students have access to several bus stops, bicycle share docks, CTA train stops, as well as Union and Ogilvie transportation centers.  This diversity of safe, reliable transportation options offers substitutes should one or more modes be compromised.

UIC can increase safety for all road and sidewalks users by prioritizing pedestrians, supporting a connected network of safe and efficient bicycle-friendly routes, constructing secure facilities to encourage bicycle commuting, and increasing transit ridership by promoting transportation demand management strategies.

  • Further educate the campus community about transportation options available to them.
  • Provide easily accessible material highlighting transportation routes and available commuting stations.

Transportation Services and Grounds (Facilities Management) is responsible for campus fleet, which consists of approximately 250 vehicles including cars, buses, and trucks. GHG emissions in this category are associated with traveling from one part of campus to another in a university vehicle like the campus shuttle, departmental, trades, and grounds vehicles. This category also includes travel from one University to another, such as trips from Chicago to Urbana-Champaign or Springfield, as well as faculty and staff air travel.

Expanding use of the campus shuttle to travel between East and West side for business would reduce emissions from departmental vehicles. Fundamental barriers to campus shuttle use includes lack of knowledge of the resources available, unreliability compared to other modes of transportation, and the need to improve the information technology associated with this service. Key action items include purchasing alternative fuel vehicles (Solution 3.2.1), increasing use of telecommunications/video conferencing (Solution 3.2.3), and the development of an opt-in carbon offset purchase program, which works in conjunction with existing travel reimbursement mechanisms (Solution 3.2.2).