Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.78
Liaison Greg Farley
Submission Date Sept. 9, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Mason University
OP-21: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tyler Orton
Projects Innovation Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:
Yes

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

In addition to having bike storage, shower facilities, and lockers for bicyclists at numerous buildings on campus, George Mason University has a Bicycle Commuter Benefit Program for its faculty and staff. A bicycle commuter receives a $20 voucher each month good at area bike shops; two complimentary daily parking passes per month; and use of shower facility at the Recreation and Athletic Center and/or Aquatic Center without becoming a member.


Does the institution provide short-term bicycle parking (e.g. racks) within 50 ft (15 m) of all occupied, non-residential buildings and make long-term bicycle storage available within 330 ft (100 m) of all residence halls (if applicable)?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

Mason provides bike racks at every building on campus. Bike rack assessments are done yearly, and the amount of bicycle parking has been growing at a rate of 10% or more per year. As part of any new building project bicycle racks are included in the design and any housing buildings have covered parking as part of the project. Currently, Mason has long term bicycle storage near all housing areas and bike shelters at the majority of on campus housing.


Does the institution have a “complete streets” or bicycle accommodation policy (or adhere to a local community policy) and/or have a continuous network of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian paths and lanes?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle/pedestrian policy and/or network:

As part of the 2011 Transportation Master Plan, Mason committed to having facilities for all modes of transportation as part of any new road construction or major road improvements. Mason currently has bicycle facilities on the majority of the existing roads. For more information see the transportation master plan (http://transportation.gmu.edu/pdfs/GMU_FairfaxCampus_TransMgmtPlan_Final.pdf) or our bike and alternative transportation map (http://goo.gl/maps/uQ9Co).


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

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

On Mason's Arlington campus, 10 capitol bikeshare bikes are installed in front of Founders Hall. Capital Bikeshare has over 2,500+ bicycles in their network at over 300+ stations across Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA. The bikes can be return it to any station near the rider's destination.
http://www.capitalbikeshare.com


Is the institution certified as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists (U.S.) or under a similar third party certification covering non-motorized transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the certification, including date certified and level:

George Mason University received a bronze level Bike Friendly University certification in the fall of 2011. Some highlights include Mason's on campus covered bike parking, a $20 stipend for bicycle commuters, and work with the local community on improving bicycling conditions.


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

A brief description of the mass transit program(s), including availability, participation levels, and specifics about discounts or subsidies offered (including pre-tax options):

George Mason University (Mason) has a robust commuting program where:
--Mason Shuttles operates several different shuttles providing free service to Mason students and employees.
--Students, faculty, and staff ride free on Fairfax City buses with a valid ID.
--Full time employees commuting to work on public transportation can request up to $125 per month from the State of Virginia to cover commuting costs.


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

A brief description of the GRT program:

The Guaranteed Ride Home program is designed for employees who rideshare (carpool/vanpool), use mass transit (bus, train), bicycle, or walk to work at least two times a week. It is absolutely free to sign-up for and free to use. Once you register you can use the GRH service up to four times a year. Your year will begin once you register for the program. If a qualifying emergency arises (such as sudden illness of a family member, school closing, etc.)


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

A brief description of the carpool/vanpool program:

Mason Zimride is a fun and easy way to share the seats in a car or catch a ride. With Zimride, participants can find friends, classmates, and coworkers going the same way. Mason Zimride helps participants offer or request rides for commutes, road trips, and popular events. If participants have a car, split costs by offering rides. If participants don’t have a car, they can find rides where they need to go. Mason Zimride requires an @gmu.edu email address. Participants can also sign-in using a Facebook account if they are part of the George Mason University network.

Mason also has a vanpool program that offers a stipend for commuters to travel via van to campus from areas such as Fredericksburg Virginia.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the car sharing program:

George Mason University (Mason) has 3 Zipcars available at Mason Pond, the Rappahannock Parking Deck on main campus, and others available at nearby mass transit stops. Mason students, faculty, and staff can join Zipcar for only $35/year.


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

A brief description of the electric vehicle recharging stations:

Mason has 8 electric vehicle charging stations. There are 2 locations per parking garage, located in visitor parking.


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

A brief description of the telecommuting program:

George Mason University (Mason) strongly supports flexible work schedules for its employees. It has numerous flexible work options including a compressed work schedule, flextime, job sharing, remote work, and telework.
Mason has found that flexible work options can be a great strategic tool for supervisors for faculty/staff retention; continuity of operations; productivity enhancement; and extended office coverage (compressed schedules). For faculty and staff, the benefits are putting commuting time to a different purpose, reducing commuting costs, potential productivity enhancement,and better work/life fit.
The university is very oriented to flexible work arrangements and has had a Telework/Flextime policy in place since 2002. The policy was implemented in response to comments received during our triennial Quality of Worklife Survey. Our ITU department offers support for teleworking through virtual private networking (VPN), voice over IP, and unified communications (e.g. voice mail to email).

In addition to telework which is, by far, the most utilized option, remote workers at Mason have positions that would normally be based on campus. But to keep a valuable employee, Mason has created a category of flexible work called Remote Work. Currently, Mason has employees who work out of state in New York, Florida, California and a several other states. Although it is possible to be hired as a remote worker, in most cases, the employee worked on campus and had a life changing event. For example, a spouse or partner's career took them to another state. Rather than lose them, their supervisors felt that their positions could be done effectively in a remote capacity. This option is open for faculty, classified staff and even wage employees. The remote community is a small but very engaged group.

This is not a case of employees being out of sight; out of mind. Flexible work is part of the culture of Mason and employees who telework or remote work are valuable and important contributors.

This year the Information Technology Unit and HR & Payroll launched a joint flexible work website. Called http://flex.gmu.edu, the site coordinates information on flexible work options and acts as a single point of contact on the subject. A Flexible Work Team has been meeting with multiple departments within the university, sharing the site and obtaining valuable feedback on the topic.


Does the institution offer a condensed work week option for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:
Yes

A brief description of the condensed work week program:

George Mason University (Mason) strongly supports flexible work schedules for its employees. It has numerous flexible work options including a compressed work schedule, flextime, job sharing, remote work, and telework.
Faculty or staff, with the approval of their supervisor and department head can design a compressed schedule that works for them. While many people compress to have a non-work day every week or every other week, there are no parameters on how flex time or compressed schedules must be used. Additionally, employees can combine flexible work options – telework and compressed schedule for example.
In addition to formal flexible work policies which require signed agreements, Mason fosters a culture of flexibility. Employees, with their supervisor's permission, may flex their hours to accommodate a personal situation. If an employee's desired flex start time is within one hour plus or minus from their normal start time, no written agreement is required.
Mason has found that flexible work options can be a great strategic tool for supervisors for faculty/staff retention; continuity of operations; productivity enhancement; and extended office coverage (compressed schedules). For faculty and staff, the benefits are putting commuting time to a different purpose, reducing commuting costs, productivity enhancement, and work/life balance. Mason offers training to staff and supervisors on how to set up and work with the many flex work options.


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

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

George Mason University (Mason) has luxury apartments on campus for any Mason employee, graduate, or professional student to rent. Rental rates for this housing are priced slightly below market rates for comparable units. There is an established selection procedure which will prioritize applicants by categories with preference given to new faculty and staff.


Does the institution have other incentives or programs to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation and reduce the impact of student and employee commuting?:
No

A brief description of other sustainable transportation initiatives and programs:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable transportation program(s) is available:

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