Last year, on October 17, 2019, The Office of Sustainability’s Instagram account (@tusustainability) conducted a little research of its own surrounding sustainable transportation for our 2019 Campus Sustainability Week: Act on Climate – The Road to 2050.
The goal of our “social experiment” was to find out how students get around. Considering Temple’s location being in the heart of the city, it’s important to note that students aren’t just coming from their on-campus dorms. According to U.S. News, 80 percent of students do not live on campus.
Temple’s much needed transportation conversation.
City living as a student calls for us to have a conversation about transportation. According to the National Academy of Sciences, 28% of the US’s total energy is used to move people and goods. Cars emit carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, leaving a significant mark on our city’s carbon footprint.
It is important to bring these statistics and conversations to light because of the overwhelming number of students commuting. Not only are students traveling from their homes outside of the city, but they are also traveling in an attempt to take full advantage of job opportunities in the city, after class jobs, and to explore all that Philadelphia has to offer! Walking simply won’t get students everywhere they need to be. We’re here to help all members of the Temple community get around Philly safely and sustainably without a private motor car. This means exploring and enjoying multi-modal transit options and trail networks around our city and region.
Philadelphia offers a number of ways to navigate the city.
Public transit in Philadelphia, whether that be buses, subways, trolleys or regional rail lines, will get you almost anywhere that you need to be in the city. There are also programs like Indego, bike stations located around significant spots, that offer community members a quick and efficient means of sustainable transportation at any given moment! Be sure to check in on your preferred method of public transportation’s COVID-19 procedures before taking advantage of them. This will ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
With the abundance of options when it comes to sustainable city travel, we decided to ask students how they get around via @TUSustainability Instagram story!
Sustainable Transportation: The results are in.
The four major categories that students answered were:
- Walking (most preferred for getting to classes/walking around campus)
- Driving (not the preferred method of transportation for city-living)
- Biking (voters only bike ¼ of their total transportation time)
- SEPTA Subway (preferred method to get into the city from campus)
This transportation takeover on Instagram wasn’t just about the data it provided, but the conversations it started. Usually, students are focused on what they need to do once they step in the classroom but how they get there is just second nature. It’s important to take a step back and recognize the impact our everyday life has on the planet on a much larger scale.
Every three years our partners in Institutional Survey Research prepare a comprehensive Transportation Survey. If you want to dive even deeper into the numbers, you can check out that report in its entirety here.
Temple’s next step… ride, or drive!
Our office is focusing on Temple’s 2019 Climate Action Plan, where a number of the goals in place focus on transportation exclusively.
Climate Action Plan – Transportation Goals:
- Increase # of commuters who use sustainable forms of transportation to 75% by 2025.
- Reduce the # of single occupancy vehicles on campus by 10% by 2025
- Increase % of Temple’s fleet that is alternatively fueled to 50% by 2030
- Reduce fleet-based emissions from 2006 baseline by 20% by 2030
So where do we start?
Temple University provides an abundance of ways to make your movement greener! Check out these amazing sustainable (socially distanced) resources and events right on campus and on Zoom!
Green Transportation 101 – Learn the best ways to navigate Philadelphia without a car! Find out more about public transit, bike travel, and how to get around on foot! When: 9/2 at 4 pm on Zoom. Learn more by signing up for our Owl Connect.
Fix-It Station Pop-Ups – Get free repairs on your bike and learn how to fix it yourself in a socially distanced space! We have a bunch of repair clinics popping up throughout the semester so keep an eye out for new dates. RSVP on our Owl Connect.
SEPTA pass – Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking public transit! The University Pass gives full time Temple students a discounted semester long SEPTA pass that’s good for SEPTA’s regional rail lines or subway system.
Indego on Campus – Don’t have a bike? Find Indego bike stations directly on Temple’s campus for an easy way to get to where you need to go!
Urban Riding Basics – Get an overview of safety tips and law regulations regarding biking on Philly city streets! When: 9/9 at 4 PM. Learn more by signing up for our Owl Connect.
Stories of Sustainability Speaker Series: Clean Air Council – Hear from Will Fraser, Clean Air Council Outreach Coordinator, about the sustainable transportation work of the Council including Cleaner Commute programs, pedestrian advocacy efforts of Feet First Philly, the online mapping tool, GoPhillyGo, and multi-use trail promotion and protection. When: 9/11 at 2 PM. Learn more by signing up for our Owl Connect.
Explore new ways of navigating this exciting city we get to be a part of and don’t hesitate to start a conversation with those around you. Together, we can move Temple in the right direction!