Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.45
Liaison Bambi Ingram
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alabama at Birmingham
OP-16: Student Commute Modal Split

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.35 / 2.00 Scott Jones
Sustainabilty Intern
UAB Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total percentage of students (graduate and undergraduate) that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary means of transportation:

A brief description of the method(s) used to gather data about student commuting, including the timeframe for when the analysis was conducted and how a representative sample was reached, if applicable:
First, approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Use from the University of Alabama at Birmingham was obtained. As part of the effort, two draft survey instruments were developed using the SurveyMonkey online hosting platform (one for employees and one for students). As both populations are to be considered in the study, and both populations are expected to have distinct travel patterns, breaking the survey into separate components was determined to be the best practice. A cover page preceded the survey providing information on the purpose of the survey, participation requirements, and participants’ rights. The UAB Commuter questionnaires were designed based on practices recommended by the Manual of Transportation Studies. Questions were then adapted to better fit the populations of interest and to be more relevant to UAB’s urban campus setting. The questionnaires asked participants both qualitative and quantitative questions focused on a. demographic characteristics (age, gender, employment type, vehicle ownership, income, etc.); b. commuting
characteristics (trip origin, home-to-work distance, commuting travel time, commute time of the day, etc.); and c. commuting mode preferences (drive alone, ride share, bicycle, etc.). Open ended questions were also included in some questions, allowing students and employees to respond freely to certain questions. More specifically, the employee survey consisted of 21 total questions. Singular response multiple-choice questions characterizing the travel patterns of employees, such as income,
employment type, and trip quantity were included. The opportunity to provide multiple
responses to a single question was an option on certain questions that asked the participants questions about their opinions or preferences. Some questions were open-ended, allowing the participant to enter person-specific data, such as his/her nearest intersection and zip code, or to provide the participants with the opportunity to freely insert their opinions on how to improve transportation at UAB.

The student survey was very similar to the employee survey, consisting of 22 total questions. Students were not asked about income, but were asked about year classification and employment status in order to tailor more specifically to the student demographic. Students were also asked questions regarding trip frequency and preferences. The draft surveys were shared with RPCGB and UAB personnel for review and feedback. Pilot testing of the questionnaire surveys was performed and final adjustments to the survey tools took place. The final instruments used for the UAB Commuter survey of students and employees are available in the Appendix. To ensure that the UAB community was informed about the purpose of the survey and
encouraged to participate, the survey was advertised through multiple forms of UAB media.

Announcements were placed on the UAB’s weekly Green Mail newsletter, UAB’s e-Reporter (Nov. 3, 2015 and Nov. 13, 2015), and on the front door of BlazerNET. As an incentive, those who participated were given the option to enter the drawing for one of twenty $50 VISA gift cards. Both the employee and student UAB Commuter Surveys were launched on November 3, 2015 with a mass-email sent to every employee and student in the UAB BlazerNET system database. The bulk of the responses were obtained within the two weeks following the launch. Paper copies were also available for those who did not want or were unable to complete the form online and student volunteers assisted in entering the paper survey responses into to database
in December 2015 and January 2016. Sampling from a large, unbiased pool of participants created a more accurate representation of travel patterns. During the posting time 10,113 total responses were recorded. This shows that approximately
one in every 4 survey recipients responded to the survey. 5955 were employees and 4158 were students.

The percentage of students that use each of the following modes as their primary means of transportation to get to and from campus::
Percentage (0-100)
Commute with only the driver in the vehicle (excluding motorcycles and scooters) 82.50
Walk, bicycle, or use other non-motorized means 17.60
Vanpool or carpool 5
Take a campus shuttle or public transportation 1.30
Use a motorcycle, scooter or moped 1

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:
Modes of commute may overlap (i.e. student walks AND takes campus shuttle) and make total percentage not reflect the sum of commuting options.

Modes of commute may overlap (i.e. student walks AND takes campus shuttle) and make total percentage not reflect the sum of commuting options.

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.