Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.76
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pittsburgh
OP-16: Student Commute Modal Split

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.78 / 2.00 Gina Gowins
Alternative Transportation Coordinator
Parking, Transportation & Services
"---" 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:

The percentage estimates provided above are based on three sources: our permit records, student housing availability on and near campus, and the Make My Trip Count (MMTC) regional transportation survey results for the University of Pittsburgh main campus in Oakland. The MMTC results indicate the primary mode of travel to and from campus, and do not include multi-modal trips or people who use different modes throughout the week (such as someone who usually drives, but takes the bus sometimes).

At the time of the MMTC survey being administered, the total population of employees and students at the main campus was 40,894. 2,679 people* (7%) responded to the MMTC survey. This sample size provides us a 95% confidence level** and a 2% margin of error***. The confidence level and margin of error were calculated using SurveyMonkey's Sample Size Calculator: https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/sample-size-calculator/

The University receives total transit trip data from Port Authority of Allegheny County, but at this time cannot distinguish between student and employee travel. We hope that future technology advancements will allow us to distinguish between employee and student ridership counts.

According to MMTC, the mode split for the University of Pittsburgh main campus (for employees and students combined) is as follows:
Drive Alone: 38.6%
Carpool: 4.8%
Vanpool: 0.9%
Dropped off: 2.6%
Bus: 34.3%
Light Rail: 2.3%
Park and Ride: 3.0%
University Shuttle: 0.7%
Bike: 5.1%
Walk: 7.2%
Telecommute: 0.2%
Other: 0.3%

For the purposes of this reporting, the following adjustments were made to the MMTC category results:
- It is assumed that all students residing in campus housing on or near campus either walk or bicycle as their primary means of transportation.
- Resident students with a parking permit are not included in the "commute with only the driver in the vehicle" category estimates. This is because resident students are already on campus and would not need to use their vehicle to commute to campus.
- Due to changing class schedules, it is assumed that students typically do not carpool or vanpool for their commute to campus. However, it is reasonable to assume that some students may be dropped off or picked up from campus by family or friends that live or work near the Oakland area. About 3% of the people from Pitt that responded to the MMTC survey did indicate that they are dropped off. Thus, we assumed that 3% of students commuting to campus are dropped off by someone else. We included that 3% estimate in the "vanpool or carpool" category.
- The MMTC results indicate that about 41% of the total Pitt population (students and employees) take the bus, light rail, university shuttle, or use park and rides. It was assumed that at least this percentage of students use some type of transit service as their primary mode of transportation to and from campus.
- 16% of the student population could not be accounted for using the above methods. This remaining percentage was applied equally to the "commute with only the driver in the vehicle" and "take a campus shuttle or public transportation" categories (8% each). This is assumed to account for students who drive alone but don't have permits and pay per day or at meters. It also assumes a higher percentage of students using public transit and campus shuttles than faculty or staff members.

The regional MMTC survey results can be found at: http://www.makemytripcount.org/
Main campus population numbers are reported as recorded in the University's 2016 Fact Book: http://www.ir.pitt.edu/factbook/documents/FactBook2016.pdf

* MMTC results can not distinguish between student and employee responses.
** Confidence Level: The probability that our survey sample accurately reflects the behaviors of the entire population.
*** Margin of Error: The range, measured as a percentage, that the total population's behaviors might deviate from our sample responses.

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) 11
Walk, bicycle, or use other non-motorized means 36
Vanpool or carpool 3
Take a campus shuttle or public transportation 49
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:

Students may also access information about the University's bicycling programs at this location: http://www.pts.pitt.edu/Commuting/bicycling/

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.