Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Smith College
OP-18: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Emma Kerr
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Campus 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?:

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

Smith College supports the use of bicycles by students, faculty and staff for traveling to and around the college campus. In order to ensure a safe and productive bicycle environment, a Bicycle Policy has been established for our community. There are bike racks outside nearly every building on campus.

The gym offers shower facilities, lockers, and outdoor bike racks, and is available to students, faculty, and staff. Ford Hall also has outdoor bike racks, lockers, and shower facilities. Lockers for commuters are also available in the Campus Center.

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:

Nearly every building on campus has a bike rack outside of it, which ensures that there are bike racks within 50 feet of all occupied, non-residential buildings. All residence halls have indoor long term bike storage available on lower levels.

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:

The Smith College Bicycle Policy includes information about proper bike registration with Campus Police, proper bike storage, and asks that all student and employee bicyclists obey relevant Massachusetts bicycle laws. Among other things, these laws require that:

- Any bicycle operating one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise must display a front light that is visible for not less than 500 feet and a red reflector on the rear fender visible for not less than 300 feet.
- A bell or horn capable of giving a signal audible for at least 100 feet is required, and
- Each bicycle must be equipped with a brake that will enable the operator to stop the bicycle quickly and evenly.

The policy also links to the full Massachusetts Bicycle Laws.

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

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

Smith College's bicycle-sharing program comes in the form of the student organization- The Bike Kitchen. Their most direct mission is to provide the college with bicycle rentals and bike maintenance education. They not only provide bikes to members of the community but also help people learn how to fix their own bikes so that students do not have to rely on bike maintenance services elsewhere.

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:

Smith (in cooperation with Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst) subsidizes the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, which provides transit service among the Five College”campuses and bordering communities. Smith students, faculty and staff may ride PVTA buses that connect the five campuses free of charge during the academic year.

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:

Carpoolers, parking opt-out sticker holders, bicyclists and PVTA riders can participate in the MassRIDES Emergency Ride Home Program. Situations that are considered "emergencies" by the ERH program include:
-unexpected personal illness / emergency
-unexpected family illness / emergency
-carpool/vanpool driver has emergency

Participants in need of an emergency ride home arrange for a ride (taxi, rental car, etc.), submit their receipt, and are reimbursed.

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:

The UMass Rideshare Program, which Smith participates in, offers a carpool assistance program that lists the names of carpoolers who have similar schedules and routes. The ride-matching form allows you to create an account and submit your information and find commuters in your neighborhood interested in carpooling. This service is open to any Five College employee or off-campus student and is free of charge.

Carpool groups can also participate in Smith's parking opt-out program. For example, if three people choose to ride together in one individual's car, that individual would purchase a parking decal from Smith College. The other two individuals would receive a parking opt-out decal for their cars, as well as a financial incentive ($400 or $150 dollars depending on how far they live from campus), which they would then share with their carpool driver. The two individuals with opt-out decals would also receive a small number of one-day parking passes for the year through which they could park their car on campus if they could not participate in the carpool that day. This allows for flexibility within the carpool for emergencies and provides additional financial incentive.

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:

Smith has partnered with Zipcar to offer the campus community an alternative to car ownership since August 2006. This program gives students another reason to avoid bringing a car to campus. Additionally, first year students are not allowed to have cars on campus, so this helps support the ZipCar 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:

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:

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:

The college offers a second mortgage loan to eligible newly hired employees who are relocating to the Northampton area. The Plan is designed to enhance the college's compensation package and to encourage the purchase of homes in the local area.

Additionally the college owns a limited number of private dwellings and apartments which are rented on a space-available basis and are within walking distance from campus. The members of the Smith College community who are eligible for rental housing are full-time faculty, full-time administrators, Area Coordinators (residence required), Ada Comstock Scholars, graduate students, and teaching assistants.

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:

Smith's parking opt-out program pays eligible employees to travel to and from work without driving a single-occupant (SOV) vehicle. The opt-out program is a voluntary program to encourage faculty and staff to find alternate ways to commute, such as carpooling, ridesharing, bicycling, walking and public transit. The college offers a two-tiered payment system. Under the terms of the program, employees receive an opt-out payment of $150 per year for choosing to leave their car at home and live within a one mile radius from the center of campus. For those living outside of the one-mile radius, a payment of $400 will be given. Participants will also be provided with free passes that will allow 18 days of campus parking each year for those days when a car is needed.

First-year students are prohibited from bringing their vehicles to campus. Any first-year student found in violation of this policy will be referred to the Smith College Judicial Board. A very limited number of permits are available for non-first-year undergraduates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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:

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