Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
OP-21: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Shelley McKeague
Environmental Compliance Specialist
Engineering Services
"---" 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:

There are many bike storage facilities on the Penn State Campus. Additionally, many buildings are equipped with showers and lockers for those who commute on bicycle. The University collaborated with the Borough of State College to develop a Bicycle Master Plan that will promote bicycle commuting and expand on-campus mobility for students and staff.

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)?:

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

There are over 600 bike racks on campus. Every occupied building on core campus has a bike rack. There is also covered bike parking throughout campus in convenient locations.

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?:

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

There is a continuous network of shared roadway, shared pathway and dedicated bicycle paths on Campus. There are pedestrian sidewalks connecting all major buildings. Penn State bicycle paths connect to community bicycle paths. Transportation Services provides maps of Penn State and local bike paths on its website. Penn State has developed a Bicycle Master Plan as part of campus master planning. Penn State partners with the Centre Region Bicycle Coalition. CATA buses accommodate bicycles for students, faculty or staff who commute by public transportation but desire to get around campus and the local area via bike.

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

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

PSU Bike Share is a student-run, not-for-profit campus organization. Its goal is to bring a public bike sharing program to Penn State University Park that will offer an efficient, environmentally-friendly, and health-promoting form of transportation to the students, faculty, and staff.

Currently, the program is in a pilot phase, and operates out of Simmons Hall. Students who have registered are able to check-out bikes at the commons desk with their student ID.

The group maintains a website that offers information on the organization, as well as a registration form.

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?:

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

The League of American Bicyclists recognized Penn State University Park as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly University in 2012. The bronze level is valid for four years.The Bicycle Friendly University status is a result of Penn State’s Bicycle Master Plan, which includes widening streets, expanding bike access on campus and offering bicycle registration online. Adding climbing lanes and building covered bike parking are also a part of the plan.

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 program(s), including availability, participation levels, and specifics about discounts or subsidies offered (including pre-tax options):

Penn State offers reduced price transit passes through it's Ride for Five program with the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA). CATA provides 23 routes on The Centre Line to those in the community or living off campus. Additionally, CATA provides 4 fare-free buses around campus (Blue Loop, White Loop, Red Link, Green Link) and many Centre Line routes have no fare if ridden within campus. All lines run weekdays through the academic year. Most routes run on weekends and during the summer.

Penn State also offers a free campus shuttle for faculty/staff, students, and visitors. The shuttle runs weekdays and provides service every 15 minutes from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM. http://www.transportation.psu.edu/shuttle/

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

A brief description of the GRT program:

Participants in the Carpool and Vanpool program through CATA are offered the Ride Home Program. It is set up for carpool and vanpool participants who face unexpected emergencies such as illness, injury, disasters, company shutdowns or mandatory overtime.
The program covers the first 50 miles, one-way via a taxi service. The $15 annual fee is paid for by Penn State for employees that participate in a CATA registered vanpool or carpool.

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:

Penn State and Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) offer a RideShare program. This is a free ride-matching program that helps commuters find easy and economical ways to get to and from work. When one registers with RideShare, they get a list of convenient transportation options available and a RideMatch list with the names and telephone numbers of other members who live in or commute through their area.

Students can also participate in the ride share. AlterNetRides.com has partnered with Penn State’s Transportation Services to offer students an alternative to driving. They can find other students traveling to and from Penn State to give rides to or get rides from on weekends and/or holidays.

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:
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:

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:

The University’s establishment of a telecommuting program assists in meeting the needs of a workforce that has diverse work and personal demands. Telecommuting can provide flexible work schedules to accommodate temporary situations such as a leave due to a contagious illness or a temporary disability (such as a cold or a broken leg), an unexpected school closing, etc. In addition, telecommuting can provide flexibility on a long-term basis.

A telecommuting program also allows the University to address emerging environmental compliance issues, such as the Clean Air Act and to comply with legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition, telecommuting provides alternate methods of addressing budget issues. Finally, a telecommuting program can strengthen management and employee relations.

Penn State has a Telecommuting Consulting Team (Office of Human Resources, Academic Services and Emerging Technologies, Telecommunications and Networking Services, and Environmental Health and Safety) for questions in developing telecommuting opportunities. Telecommuting is administered on a case-by-case basis by the unit with coordination through Human Resources. See Policy: http://guru.psu.edu/policies/OHR/hrg02.html

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

A brief description of the condensed work week program:

Penn State allows its employees to practice "flexible scheduling". The term "flexible scheduling" encompasses many variations from the standard work schedule. The more complicated the arrangements, the more record keeping and supervision of the program is required. In its simplest form, a flexible schedule involves allowing an employee to vary the span of the workday.

Flexible scheduling can be as simple as changing the work hours from an 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. workday to a 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. workday, changing the lunch break from one hour to one-half hour, or working an extra hour on Monday in order to leave an hour earlier on Tuesday.
Flexible scheduling can be more complicated, allowing an employee to establish her/his own start/end times and/or lunch break, within predetermined guidelines.
Even if a supervisor has not instituted a formal flexible scheduling program, employee requests for temporary changes in the workday such as to take a class, or to go to a doctor's appointment without charging sick leave, may be granted by the supervisor, provided such requests are in accordance with the provisions of this guideline.

Although it is permissible, with the supervisor's approval, for a nonexempt staff employee to alter when the 40 hours are worked during the workweek, such employee cannot "bank" overtime hours worked in one workweek for use as time off in a future workweek. Further, the employee must understand that altered schedules cannot cause overtime to occur. While it is possible for an employee to agree to waive University overtime policies on work schedules to accommodate personal schedule preferences, Federal and State Wage and Hour laws cannot be waived.

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:


Does the institution have other incentives or programs to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation and reduce the impact of student and employee commuting?:

A brief description of other sustainable transportation initiatives and programs:

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable transportation program(s) is available:

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.