Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.45
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Louisville
OP-17: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.60 / 1.00 Justin Mog
Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives
Office of the Provost
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

Anyone with a UofL ID can check out a bike and lock for free each day on a first-come, first-served basis from the equipment desk at the Student Rec Center. We also offer free semester-long check-out of a bicycle and lock through an online request form. Users simply sign a waiver form and return the bike before the end of the day (or semester). Those who check out bikes are liable for any theft/loss/damage, but are issued a u-lock to securely lock the bike.

We launched this program in August 2012 with a relatively small fleet of five bikes, and continue to expand it by restoring impounded and unclaimed bikes.

UofL has also worked closely with Metro Louisville in the effort to launch a city-wide, pay-per-use bikeshare system with stations on Belknap campus as well as our Health Sciences Center downtown. The UofL Sustainability Council provided the city with start-up funds and close coordination on campus station locations. The LouVelo bikeshare system finally launched May 2017, with over 300 bikes at 27 stations in our urban core. In March 2019, four stations were installed across UofL's Belknap campus with an additional station at The Bellamy affiliated student housing. UofL students and employees can register with their @louisville.edu email address for 50%-off monthly memberships.

Does the institution participate in a car sharing program?:

A brief description of the car sharing program:

Sadly, in June 2019, due to under-utilization, Enterprise cancelled the UofL Carshare program and pulled the vehicles from campus after seven years of operations. Enterprise told us that they could only keep the program on campus if UofL was willing to subsidize them with a $1200/month/car revenue guarantee (as other schools provide). Given that the two remaining cars in the program were only used about 10% of the time, that meant UofL would have to pay Enterprise about $2000/month to keep the two cars on campus. Given how little they were getting used and the budget cuts the university has faced, the administration decided not to offer such a subsidy. The UofL Sustainability Council reached out to other companies that offer carshare, but none were willing to provide vehicles without a revenue guarantee. We suspect that the increasing popularity of ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft has contributed greatly to the decline of carshare usage. Unfortunately, these apps do not serve all the needs that carshare did.

In January 2022, UofL began conversation with Innova EV which is interested in launching a new, carbon-neutral and nonviolent carsharing program using small electric vehicles charged with solar power and prevented from exceeding 30 mph. The EVs would be parked at designated solar charging stations on campus and would be available for rental on an hourly basis for in-town use at safe, non-deadly speeds. The system would be launched and operated at no cost the university. We are currently in negotiations with Innova and hope to launch the system (ideally with other city-wide partners) in 2022.

Does the institution offer preferential parking or other incentives for fuel efficient vehicles?:

A brief description of the incentives for fuel efficient vehicles:

Some preferred parking spots for fuel efficient vehicles used to be signed at a few location at UofL, but Parking Enforcement realized they did not have the staffing necessary to enforce these rules and the signs were removed.

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:

While the University of Louisville recognizes the minor improvements in efficiency and pollution abatement associated with EVs vs conventional vehicles, we do NOT believe EVs are a genuinely sustainable solution for our transportation challenges and have prioritized our support for sustainable transportation elsewhere. our focus is on sustainable solutions that will achieve multiple goals:
• reduce the number of vehicles we have to accommodate on campus (at great expense to the university)
• reduce traffic congestion & traffic accidents
• improve health & fitness
• build community
• reduce costs of commuting
• reduce the amount of impermeable surface we must maintain on campus, and
• decrease pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, electric vehicles powered by our fossil-fueled grid do not help us achieve any of these goals (except, in some instances perhaps a slight contribution to the last one) and any benefits they do provide come at considerable financial cost to the university and to the driver.

EV charging stations subsidize and encourage driving by giving commuters a free “fill-up.” Even if we were to install a station that charged the user for the kWh consumed, there are still significant installation and maintenance costs that fall on the university. Meanwhile, in a community where the electric grid is 96% fossil-fueled, EVs are basically switching from a gas-powered car to a coal/natural gas powered car, and doing so at considerable expense to the university and the driver. There is also a social justice issue here, too, because EVs are costly and poorer students/employees will not be able to afford them. Beyond that, car commuting causes a myriad of unsustainable problems that have nothing to do with how you power the vehicle - from impervious, hot parking lots to sedentary diseases to disinvestment in alternatives to financial burdens on the car-owner to deaths and injuries of people and wildlife on our roadways to the huge environmental impact of car manufacture/sales/advertising (about half the energy consumed over a vehicle’s lifetime happens before it is ever leaves the sales lot!) to significant particulate pollution from tire wear.

However, to attempt to appease the demand of some EV drivers, and to serve some of the EVs in our campus fleet, UofL has a total of eight EV recharging stations. In addition to two EV recharging stations for Physical Plant vehicles at the Service Complex, UofL offers six free EV recharging stations for commuters on the 1st floor of the Floyd Street Garage. Charging Station Types:
4- GE EVWRN3 LEVEL 2 EV Charging Station
Access to charging stations is limited to University permit holders between 7:30am-4:00pm (Monday-Friday). Stations are open to the public (hourly parking rates apply) between 4:00pm-7:30am (Monday-Friday) and on weekends.

Regulations and Policies:
- Parking at a recharging station is limited to four hours. This time limit assists in creating turnover for the spaces in order to maximize their availability and use by EV owners. A Warning citation will be issued to users that violate the policy.
- Parking for vehicles that cannot be properly coupled to the EV charger plug and charged is strictly prohibited (e.g., gas powered vehicles, standard hybrid vehicles such as the Prius, electric GEM vehicles, etc.).
- Users of EV chargers shall follow all instructions to ensure the safe and proper use of chargers, including proper storage of the charging cord and plug after use.

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 programs or initiatives to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation and/or reduce the impact of student and employee commuting?:

A brief description of other programs or initiatives to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation and/or reduce the impact of student and employee commuting:

In Summer 2016, the UofL Sustainability Council launched a free online platform for trip-planning and carpool-matching to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation for the entire local community (it is open to the general public as well as university affiliates). Cardinal Directions (http://directions.louisville.edu/) displays ALL of your transportation options in one map-based platform and allows users to easily compare not only routes, mileage, and time, but the costs, carbon emissions, and calories burned by each mode (walking, biking, transit, driving, carpooling). Whether you want to carpool for your daily commute, a few times a week, or just for a one-time trip, Cardinal Directions is UofL's free trip-planning and carpool-matching service! Cardinal Directions is the easiest way to connect. You can also use Cardinal Directions to coordinate carpools to events such as conferences, concerts, parties, sporting events, etc. Quickly set-up a profile for free by registering on the site. Then you can post your ride offers or needs and Cardinal Directions will help connect you. Log Your Trips on the Cardinal Directions Dashboard to be eligible for incentive programs throughout the year and to keep track of your miles, money saved, calories burned, and carbon dioxide emissions avoided!

The Cardinal Directions platform is also used for our annual Cards Commuter Challenge during five weeks at the start of the fall semester. Throughout the Challenge, we actively encourage students, faculty, and staff to try alternative modes, and log their trips in order to be entered to win one of the weekly prizes or the grand prize drawing. Details about the most recent Challenge are at http://louisville.edu/sustainability/events/cards-commuter-challenge-2021

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainable transportation 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.