Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.33
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 1, 2024

STARS v2.2

Cornell University
OP-16: Commute Modal Split

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.84 / 5.00 Leslie Schill
University Planner
Capital Projects and Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total full-time equivalent student enrollment:
25,376

Full-time equivalent of employees:
11,246.50

Has the institution gathered data about student commuting behavior?:
Yes

Total percentage of students that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary mode of transportation:
85

A brief description of the method(s) used to gather data about student commuting:
Cornell Transportation collects student and employee commuting data in a variety of ways, including campus-wide parking studies, employee surveys via HR, and actual numbers pulled (e.g. parking permit purchases, TCAT bus ride data, Park mobile data, and more). Most students walk (or cycle) to and from campus as their primary mode of transportation (>55%). Public transportation (TCAT bus system) is the second most common primary mode of transportation (>30%). During Fall 2022, 1,586 Cornell students (~6%) had parking permits for campus lots. Interestingly, this reflects a decrease of 12.6% from pre-pandemic numbers. These permits are primarily used as residential parking, and do not necessarily indicate that permit holders commute primarily in single-occupancy or carpool vehicles. Previous parking studies found that most permit holders still primarily walked or biked around campus (48%) or used TCAT buses (32%), whereas only 17% of students with permits primarily drove single-occupancy vehicles onto campus and 2% of students primarily carpooled. Beginning in Fall 2022, all Ithaca campus first- and second-year full-time students are required to live on campus through the spring semester of their second academic year of enrollment. Cornell is a highly residential campus, with 55% of students living in on-campus housing, and the vast majority of the student population living within 2 miles of campus. In 2022, TCAT recorded 1,222,474 student bus rides, which includes traveling around campus. This averages out to 52 rides per student. We are working to get more nuanced data to determine rides per unique user, since we know a portion of students do not use the bus system, which skews the data. Note: - Transportation at Cornell, especially public transit, has been fluctuating over the past 3 years with disruption from COVID and changing behavior patterns. We are continuing to gather more data to better understand these trends. - Data collected from parking studies is expected to be skewed more towards drivers (since non-drivers may have viewed the survey as not applicable).

Has the institution gathered data about employee commuting behavior?:
Yes

Total percentage of employees that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary mode of transportation:
58

A brief description of the method(s) used to gather data about employee commuting:
Cornell Transportation collects student and employee commuting data in a variety of ways, including campus-wide parking studies, employee surveys via HR, and actual numbers pulled (e.g. parking permit purchases, TCAT bus ride data, Park mobile data, and more). According to a 2022 employee survey conducted by Cornell HR, 58% of employees are currently working hybrid or fully remote. As part of a new HR process, employees are adding these remote/hybrid work arrangements into Workday. So far 35% of staff (~3,100) have officially recorded these arrangements in Workday, and many more are still in progress - the final numbers should be close to the self-reported 58%. Interestingly, many Cornell departments now have 90%+ of their employees with a hybrid/remote arrangement in Workday, including AAD, DFA, eCornell, and the Counsel, Risk, Investment, and Treasurer's Offices. All Cornell employees (including temporary employees and affiliates) and retirees have free access to Tompkins County TCAT buses, so they can commute to & from Cornell and travel across campus between meetings & classes. Employees can use their CU photo ID card when boarding TCAT buses to ride anywhere TCAT goes, any time TCAT runs. Cornell pays the fare (normally $1.50). This unlimited ride privilege in a benefit for Cornell employees. It allows employees more flexibility in planning their commute and helps reduce the number of vehicles on campus. In 2022, TCAT recorded 349,261 employee bus rides, which includes traveling around campus. This averages out to 32 rides per employee. We are working to get more nuanced data to determine rides per unique user, since we know a portion of employees do not use the bus system, which skews the data. Based on previous data, we know that about 16% of Cornell employees traveling to campus primarily use the TCAT to commute to work, 8% carpool, and 8% of employees primarily walk or cycle to/from campus. In order to accommodate the “new normal” of flex- and remote-work and class schedules, Cornell University has implemented the Daily Decision parking option. Anyone needing only occasional access to campus can opt to use ParkMobile to purchase a low-cost, virtual parking permit for as little as $1 a day ($.65 plus the ParkMobile fee of $.35) in select zones. Note: - Transportation at Cornell, especially public transit, has been fluctuating over the past 3 years with disruption from COVID and changing behavior patterns. We are continuing to gather more data to better understand these trends. - Data collected from parking studies is expected to be skewed more towards drivers (since non-drivers may have viewed the survey as not applicable).

Percentage of students and employees that use the following as their primary mode of transportation:
Percentage of students (0-100) Percentage of employees (0-100)
Single-occupancy vehicle --- ---
Zero-emissions vehicle --- ---
Walk, cycle, or other non-motorized mode --- ---
Vanpool or carpool --- ---
Public transport or campus shuttle --- ---
Motorcycle, motorized scooter/bike, or moped --- ---
Distance education / telecommute --- 58

Website URL where information about student or employee commuting 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.