Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.05
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 5, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Cornell University
OP-18: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Leslie Schill
University Planner
Capital Projects and Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution provide secure bicycle storage (not including office space), shower facilities, and lockers for bicycle commuters?:

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

Many of the student residence halls include indoor and secure bike storage for building residents only.

Students and employees have free access to showers and/or locker rooms at campus athletic and fitness facilities and some other university buildings. These facilities are not provided specifically for bike commuters, but are available to, and do benefit, bike commuters.

Cornell Green Building Guidelines include Site Strategy SS-4.2: Encourage Bicycle Use, with Baseline Performance Goals that require site and building access by bicycle, bike accommodations in new access roads, connecting to existing bike lanes and paths, and university standard bike racks within specified distance from entrances. High Performance Goals include covered bike parking and interior shower facilities for bike commuters.

Installation of bicycle racks is now standard practice with new construction and with major rehabilitation projects.

Does the institution provide short-term bicycle parking for all occupied buildings and makes long-term bicycle storage available for students who live on-site (if applicable)?:

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

Registered bicycles can be parked at bike racks or in bike storage areas.

Does the institution have a bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy (or adhere to a local community plan/policy) that sets standards and practices for campus streets to enable safe access for all users?:

A brief description of the bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy:

Does the institution have a bicycle-sharing program or participate in a local bicycle-sharing program?:

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

Big Red Bikes is a student-run, non-profit organization providing bike share service to the Cornell community. Students working in Big Red Bikes have the unique chance to impact Cornell's campus as part of an innovative business practicing social entrepreneurship. Our staff is made up of students studying Urban Planning, Business, Engineering, and much more.

This interdisciplinary team works with the campus administration and student groups to serve the Cornell Community while constantly expanding and improving our services. We are excited to relaunch the campus bikeshare program with five new stations in April 2017!

Does the institution offer free or reduced price transit passes and/or operate a free campus shuttle for commuters?:

A brief description of the mass transit programs:

The Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) regional transit system (http://www.tcatbus.com/) includes routes that circulate through campus with the frequency of a shuttle, as well as connecting the campus to nearby retail, commercial and residential areas.

All university employees can use their Cornell ID to ride buses free, Monday through Friday, within a zone that encompasses the campus, the City of Ithaca and nearby retail areas. TCAT also runs commuter routes through surrounding neighborhoods and communities in Tompkins County and other adjacent counties. Employees who choose to forego a campus parking permit are eligible for the OmniRide program, which allows unlimited travel on any TCAT transit bus within Tompkins County, seven days a week. Employees who live outside the county can also join OmniRide and receive a discounted pass for use on their county’s transit system.

Students are provided unlimited no fee access to the entire regional transit system during their first year of matriculation. After the first year, all students retain no fee access to transit at night and on weekends, and they are encouraged to purchase university subsidized Student OmniRide passes that provide unlimited access to all TCAT routes.

The City of Ithaca, Tompkins County and Cornell University are equal partners in TCAT. In addition, Cornell University is the single largest fare paying customer of TCAT. Total annual university contributions to TCAT exceed $3.4 million annually.

Does the institution offer a guaranteed return trip program to regular users of alternative modes of transportation?:

A brief description of the guaranteed return trip program:

If a personal emergency arises during the workday and an employee need to get to his/her car, home, or to a sick child, the GRT program will get the employee where he/she needs to go from 7:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Monday–Friday. This service is available only when the university is open and operating normally and is not for weather-related closings or emergencies, unscheduled overtime, or appointments.

Does the institution participate in a car/vanpool or ride sharing program and/or offer reduced parking fees or preferential parking for car/vanpoolers?:

A brief description of the carpool/vanpool program:

Among other support services for commuting alternatives, Cornell contracts with Zimride, Inc. to provide carpool matching for the university community.

This service is also extended to the entire Tompkins County community, as well as employees and students of Ithaca College and Tompkins County Community College.

As of November 2013, Cornell has over 10,500 users registered with Zimride and over 550 rideposts active in the system.

Does the institution participate in a car sharing program, such as a commercial car-sharing program, one administered by the institution, or one administered by a regional organization?:

A brief description of the car sharing program:

Cornell University is purchasing full or partially subsidized memberships for eligible employees and students with Ithaca Carshare.

All Cornell employees enrolled in the Omniride program are provided free "Just In Case" memberships. Non-Omniride employees get a discounted rate for Ithaca Carshare membership. All Cornell students are eligible for free or discounted membership as well.

Ithaca Carshare is a membership service offering 24/7 self-serve access to fuel efficient cars, minivans, and trucks located in Ithaca, NY. Ithaca Carshare also currently has roaming agreements with thirteen other carshares. Costs vary, but Ithaca Carshare members can drive in many of these cities by paying nothing more than usage fees. Four of the 23 Ithaca Carshare vehicle are located on the Cornell campus.

Does the institution have one or more Level 2 or Level 3 electric vehicle recharging stations that are accessible to student and employee commuters?:

A brief description of the electric vehicle recharging stations:

Three (3) Level Two dual-port ChargePoint EV charging stations and one (1) Level Two dual-port ChargePoint EV are available at both of Cornell's parking garages. Spaces are first-come, first-served, and time- and permit-restricted.

Does the institution offer a telecommuting program for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:

A brief description of the telecommuting program:

Cornell offers a range of flexible work arrangements
(http://www.hr.cornell.edu/life/support/flexible_arrangements.html) including telecommuting, individually negotiated and at the discretion of the supervisor.

Cornell also has computing guidelines for telecommuters who need to access Cornell's network and computing resources remotely.

According to survey results, 35% of employees reported telecommuting. Specifically, 16% of full-time, non-exempt employees and 40% of full-time, exempt employees. Survey data compiled from the 2012 Sloan Foundation Cornell Employee Survey, and HR Leads.

Does the institution offer a condensed work week option that reduces employee commuting (as a matter of policy or standard practice)?:

A brief description of the condensed work week option:

Cornell offers a range of flexible work arrangements:

including condensed work week:

In 2011 a survey of employees included flex work questions. Of 593 respondents, 40.6% indicated they have benefited from arrangements for consistently flexible work hours, and 3.2% indicated they have used the condensed work week option.

Does the institution have incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus?:

A brief description of the incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus:

Cornell University, the largest employer in Tompkins County, contributes $200,000 per year to the Tompkins County Affordable Housing Fund to assist people employed in Tompkins County in purchasing proximal housing, that might otherwise be out of reach.

Does the institution employ other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting (e.g. preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, cash-out of parking programs)?:

A brief description of other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting:

OmniRide Program-- OmniRiders get the benefit of free, unlimited travel on any TCAT transit bus within Tompkins County, seven days a week. OmniRide privileges are accessed with a CU photo ID card at the fare box on TCAT buses. Transit riders who live outside the county can also join OmniRide. They’ll receive a discounted pass for use on their county’s transit system. (The out-of-county transit fee is payroll deducted on a pre-tax basis).

Flexible parking options for days the bus won’t work for you include occasional-use parking permits (currently ten permits every four months; limit of 30 permits annually), metered parking, and Parkmobile pay-by-cell parking.

Eligible groups can request books of ten one-day parking permits valid in all Perimeter and Outer Tier Parking areas. Groups receive one less book than there are number of members with registered vehicles (a two-person RideShare can request one book of permits every six months).

The RideShare parking permit may be used in any group member's car, as long as it is registered with the university.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.