Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Jacob Glickel
Submission Date May 28, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Northeastern University
OP-18: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Casey Shetterly
Special Projects - Sustainability
Facilities
"---" 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:

The University provides a new interactive bicycle infrastructure map that shows all repair stations, secure bike lock areas, and bike lock facilities: https://campusplanning.northeastern.edu/interactive-campus-map/
Over 1,336 bicycles can be securely locked campus-wide. Other bicycle infrastructure includes: four secure bike lock locations including one gated location with card‐swipe access only; two locations that are secured and card‐swipe access only; and one location secured and open to the public. There are four bicycle repair stations in different areas of campus (one secure, locked bike storage room; a secure storage area in a covered garage; an outdoor, self-service station on West Campus; and an East Campus location in a residential hall's locked bicycle storage room); five showers in the Integrated Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) building that supplement two available in different on-campus athletic centers, where lockers are also provided. The following bicycle infrastructure is provided in the ISEC building itself: 92 covered bicycle locking stations in a secured, card swipe access-only, indoor bike lock room; five showers; and 20 outdoor bike lock stations. There are 40 additional bike lock stations inside Columbus Garage, adjacent to ISEC. In the East Village residential facility, several thousand card swipes are used annually to access its secure bike storage room and repair station.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

Bicycle parking is approached from a campus-wide perspective. It is spread out across the campus strategically rather than assigning racks to particular buildings. The University has a mix of open air bike racks, covered bike racks,
and secure storage. There are four secure bike lock locations including one gated location with card‐swipe access only; two locations that are secured and card‐swipe access only; and one location secured and open to the public. There are four bicycle repair stations in different areas of campus (one secure, locked bike storage room; a secure storage area in a covered garage; an outdoor, self-service station on West Campus; and an East Campus location in a residential hall's locked bicycle storage room); five showers in the Integrated Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) building that supplement two available in different on-campus athletic centers, where lockers are also provided. The following bicycle infrastructure is provided in the ISEC building itself: 92 covered bicycle locking stations in a secured, card swipe access-only, indoor bike lock room; five showers; and 20 outdoor bike lock stations. There are 40 additional bike lock stations inside Columbus Garage, adjacent to ISEC. Information is available on these websites:
https://Facilities.Northeastern.edu/alternative-transportation/
https://NUPD.Northeastern.edu/our-services/property-registration/


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?:
Yes

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

In 2012 the University implemented a pedestrian friendly campus plan that eliminated vehicles from the campus core and instituted a safer walking campus. Since that time, the vehicular access has been further curtailed and much of the main campus is serviced by electrical utility vehicles but is otherwise for walking and biking only. The University's Institutional Master Plan outlines numerous transportation goals including reduction of single occupancy vehicle commutes to/from campus. Vehicular restrictions have been implemented on the main campus to reduce vehicle traffic and strengthen the University's commitment to a safer, more pedestrian-oriented, walkable, bike-friendly campus.

Much of the new and recent campus construction resulted in a dramatically improved campus landscape and pedestrian/bicycle connections. Northeastern is partially funding the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Ruggles Platform Extension Project, and has ensured the project complements the construction of Northeastern’s state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) located adjacent to Ruggles Station. ISEC features a new pedestrian/bike-friendly bridge over the MBTA Orange Line, commuter rail, and Amtrak tracks to facilitate increased pedestrian/bicycle traffic from north to south across campus. The Bridge is being awarded with the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Bronze-level Envision certification. The Envision verification is a designation that confirms a given infrastructure project’s environmental, social and economic benefits that far exceed conventional practice. Criteria include using energy efficient lighting, minimizing light pollution; maximizing the use of durable materials with recycled content.

The Campus Planning and Real Estate website now provides a new interactive bicycle infrastructure map and updated information on the City’s Blue Bikes Bikeshare Program: https://campusplanning.northeastern.edu/interactive-campus-map/

Alternative commuting questions are included in the University's Green Office Certification survey, and the Program integrates bicycling into its quarterly newsletter and its EcoAmbassadors meetings. The ISEC bicycle infrastructure also demonstrates how the University's Planning and Development standards facilitate implementation of bicycle and pedestrian-oriented planning/development; part of the ISEC plan included construction of the new bridge that facilitates better campus circulation, including for bicycles.


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:

Northeastern partners with the City of Boston’s Blue Bikes bicycle share system to provide discounted annual memberships to all Northeastern students, faculty, and staff. There are two Blue Bikes bikeshare stations on - and adjacent - to campus, each providing 30 bicycles for shared use. The University sponsors a Blue Bikes bikeshare station and subsidizes the membership by 30 % for anyone in the NU community who has a "@northeastern.edu" email address."


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 programs:

Much of the new and recent campus construction replaces surface parking, vacant parcels, and common space which dramatically improves the campus landscape and its pedestrian connections. For example, Northeastern will contribute funding to the MBTA Ruggles Platform Extension Project and has ensured the project complements the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) located adjacent to Ruggles Station. The ISEC features a pedestrian bridge over the MBTA Orange Line, commuter rail, and Amtrak tracks and facilitates increased pedestrian foot traffic from north to south across campus. Other ISEC transportation‐related attributes include: coordinating with the MBTA to aid and assist with project egress components; eliminating 460 parking spots to aid and assist the use of public transportation; 95 indoor bicycle locking stations in a new secured bicycle storage room; 20 outdoor bicycle lock stations; 5 indoor showers; and 20 bicycle lock stations. There are 12 electric vehicle charging stations that are operational inside Gainsborough Garage, and Columbus Garage which is adjacent to ISEC; in 2021, additional EV stations are being reviewed for installation. These ISEC transportation elements support the building’s LEED Gold certification; and a Transportation Demand Management Assessment was completed to assess the University’s transportation systems. Approximately 29 NUPD staff bicycle patrol are certified on approximately 25 bicycles. The Commuting Services website continues expanding and providing more streamlined transportation information; and alternative commuting questions are included in the University’s Green Office Certification Program. Additional resources are now available on the new Facilities Management/Campus Planning and Real Estate’s website.
During a typical week of an academic term that was randomly sampled, 77% of total trips were conducted using sustainable commuting options (walking, biking, shuttles, skateboarding, or public transportation) as their primary method of transportation. Human Resources Management initiatives include: continued procedural changes to facilitate easier access to pre-tax commuter services; expansion of the “Healthy You Virgin Pulse” incentive-based walking program; flexible work schedules based on departmental and individual needs, including flexible summer schedule allowing eligible staff to work up to four compressed work weeks that reduces the number of staff commuting days.
At Northeastern, 27% of the University’s vehicle fleet is electrically powered and used by employees on campus in lieu of fossil fuel powered vehicles. In an average year without COVID-19 disruptions, approximately 40 regular shuttles daily reduce vehicular traffic, including: six roundtrip/day between Boston and Burlington campuses; one round trip/day between Nahant and the Wonderland Blue Line Station; two roundtrips daily between Boston and Dedham campuses (field hockey); four trips daily between Boston campus and the Cambridge boathouse (men and women’s crew); two roundtrips daily between Boston and the Brookline soccer field (men’s and women’s soccer); as well as more than 22 trips using the RedEye service (a free shuttle service provided to passengers traveling after dark within two miles from the Boston campus to their off-campus residences). Other shuttles during a normal year would also include multiple athletics and academic shuttles on a regular and as-needed basis.
RedEye data for January to December 2020 included: 57,090 total requests; 33,619 total completed requests; 291.3 average nightly requests; and 171.5 average nightly completed rides.


Does the institution offer a guaranteed return trip program to regular users of alternative modes of transportation?:
No

A brief description of the guaranteed return trip program:

The State program through MassRides ended more than two years ago.


Does the institution participate in a car/vanpool or ride sharing program and/or offer reduced parking fees or preferential parking for car/vanpoolers?:
No

A brief description of the carpool/vanpool program:

Recent State sponsored programs were discontinued and the University has yet to determine a replacement. Car/van pool parking spaces are established for vehicles traveling with at least two occupants. Four spaces are available at Gainsborough Garage and two are at Columbus Garage. Information is available on the MasParc website.
https://www.Masparc.com/gainsborough-garage/
https://www.Northeastern.edu/commutingservices
https://Facilities.Northeastern.edu/Sustainability/


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:

A brief description of the program
The University offers carsharing programs for over 13 years. It maintains numerous Zipcar accounts and facilitates access to multiple Zipcar spots at three strategic campus locations: Matthews Arena, Ryder Lot, and Columbus Garage, and it gives members access to vehicles 24/7 which can be reserved by the hour or by the day. A map of the locations is available on the Commuting Services website. Additionally, there are numerous Zipcars located adjacent to campus that are available for rental. The accounts are for departmental use by NU employees, which gives business users a discounted Zipcar rate to be paid for by the University (usually through a University-issued purchase card); in addition, affiliate accounts are open to students age 21 and over, faculty, and staff. Northeastern members who join under the Affiliate Program set up their own personal account and pay for their own driving at regular rates.
https://www.northeastern.edu/commutingservices/car-share/zip-car/


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:

There are 12 electric vehicle charging stations that are operational inside Gainsborough Garage, and Columbus Garage which is adjacent to ISEC; in 2021, additional EV stations are being reviewed for installation.


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:

Prior to the pandemic of 2020 telecommuting was permitted on a department and case by case basis between supervisor and employee. More formal programs and policies are expected to be announced in 2021.


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

A brief description of the condensed work week option:

Prior to the pandemic of 2020 condensed work week options were permitted on a department and case by case basis between supervisor and employee. More formal programsand policies are expected to be announced in 2021


Does the institution have incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus?:
No

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

As an institution in a major metropolitan city with outstanding transportation options, this has not been necessary


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)?:
Yes

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

Much of the new and recent campus construction replaces surface parking, vacant parcels, and common space which dramatically improves the campus landscape and its pedestrian connections. For example, Northeastern will contribute funding to the MBTA Ruggles Platform Extension Project and has ensured the project complements the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) located adjacent to Ruggles Station. The ISEC features a pedestrian bridge over the MBTA Orange Line, commuter rail, and Amtrak tracks and facilitates increased pedestrian foot traffic from north to south across campus. Other ISEC transportation‐related attributes include: coordinating with the MBTA to aid and assist with project egress components; eliminating 460 parking spots to aid and assist the use of public transportation; 95 indoor bicycle locking stations in a new secured bicycle storage room; 20 outdoor bicycle lock stations; 5 indoor showers; and 20 bicycle lock stations. There are 12 electric vehicle charging stations that are operational inside Gainsborough Garage, and Columbus Garage which is adjacent to ISEC; in 2021, additional EV stations are being reviewed for installation. These ISEC transportation elements support the building’s LEED Gold certification; and a Transportation Demand Management Assessment was completed to assess the University’s transportation systems. Approximately 29 NUPD staff bicycle patrol are certified on approximately 25 bicycles. The Commuting Services website continues expanding and providing more streamlined transportation information; and alternative commuting questions are included in the University’s Green Office Certification Program. Additional resources are now available on the new Facilities Management/Campus Planning and Real Estate’s website.
During a typical week of an academic term that was randomly sampled, 77% of total trips were conducted using sustainable commuting options (walking, biking, shuttles, skateboarding, or public transportation) as their primary method of transportation. Human Resources Management initiatives include: continued procedural changes to facilitate easier access to pre-tax commuter services; expansion of the “Healthy You Virgin Pulse” incentive-based walking program; flexible work schedules based on departmental and individual needs, including flexible summer schedule allowing eligible staff to work up to four compressed work weeks that reduces the number of staff commuting days.
At Northeastern, 27% of the University’s vehicle fleet is electrically powered and used by employees on campus in lieu of fossil fuel powered vehicles. In an average year without COVID-19 disruptions, approximately 40 regular shuttles daily reduce vehicular traffic, including: six roundtrip/day between Boston and Burlington campuses; one round trip/day between Nahant and the Wonderland Blue Line Station; two roundtrips daily between Boston and Dedham campuses (field hockey); four trips daily between Boston campus and the Cambridge boathouse (men and women’s crew); two roundtrips daily between Boston and the Brookline soccer field (men’s and women’s soccer); as well as more than 22 trips using the RedEye service (a free shuttle service provided to passengers traveling after dark within two miles from the Boston campus to their off-campus residences). Other shuttles during a normal year would also include multiple athletics and academic shuttles on a regular and as-needed basis.
RedEye data for January to December 2020 included: 57,090 total requests; 33,619 total completed requests; 291.3 average nightly requests; and 171.5 average nightly completed rides.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.