Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.31
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
OP-16: Commute Modal Split

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.86 / 5.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total full-time equivalent student enrollment:

Full-time equivalent of employees:

Has the institution gathered data about student commuting behavior?:

Total percentage of students that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary mode of transportation:

A brief description of the method(s) used to gather data about student commuting:

The total percentage of students using sustainable transportation is determined by the number of students purchasing parking passes through the university. Because legal daily street parking in the Penn environs is very limited, the assumption is that students who are not buying parking passes are either walking, biking, or taking public transit to campus. Penn is a dense urban campus with a lot of available nearby rental apartments. Most students do not bring cars to campus.

Penn emphasizes to students that they do not need a personal vehicle at Penn in an effort to encourage walking, biking, and mass transit use. In response, we have fewer than 300 undergraduates with assigned parking.

Has the institution gathered data about employee commuting behavior?:

Total percentage of employees that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary mode of transportation:

A brief description of the method(s) used to gather data about employee commuting:

Information is based on the staff and faculty enrolled in Penn's Commuter Tax Benefit programs. The commuting practices of Penn's full employee population is unknown and numbers are based on information available to the University based on participation in commuter benefit programs. Percentages are based on FY20 data. COVID-19 significantly impacted commuting practices as many employees worked from home. It is expected that the percentage of employees that walk is significantly higher than indicated below as that population is not tracked.

Percentage of students and employees that use the following as their primary mode of transportation:
Percentage of students (0-100) Percentage of employees (0-100)
Single-occupancy vehicle 1 51
Zero-emissions vehicle --- ---
Walk, cycle, or other non-motorized mode --- 3
Vanpool or carpool --- 2
Public transport or campus shuttle --- 43
Motorcycle, motorized scooter/bike, or moped --- ---
Distance education / telecommute 1.59 ---

Website URL where information about student or employee commuting is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2019 "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0". This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY20 year and compares them to the FY09 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0". The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

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.