Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.87
Liaison Elias Platte-Bermeo
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
OP-16: Commute Modal Split

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 5.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total full-time equivalent student enrollment:
43,674

Full-time equivalent of employees:
14,912

Has the institution gathered data about student commuting behavior?:
Yes

Total percentage of students that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary mode of transportation:
82.86

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

For this credit:
- “Non-commuters” are defined as students presumably walking, taking non-motorized transportation modes, or not commuting to USC at all
- “Commuters” are defined as students taking motorized transportation/public transit to USC

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The number of non-commuters was estimated by adding the following groups:
- Students living in USC Housing (presumably walk/bike/use non-motorized transit to get to classes)
- Students living in Greek Life housing adjacent to campus (presumably walk/bike/use non-motorized transit to get to classes)
- Students living in private apartments directly adjacent to campus (presumably walk/bike/use non-motorized transit to get to classes)
- Students enrolled exclusively in distance learning (do not commute to campus)

The number of commuters was found by subtracting the number of non-commuters from the total number of USC students.

The number of on-campus student parking permits purchased in FY19 was obtained from the USC Transportation office. USC Transportation estimates that 10% of commuters commute via single-occupancy vehicles but park off-campus and therefore do not purchase USC parking passes. The total number of students commuting to USC via SOV was found by adding the total number of purchased student parking passes to 10% of the total number of commuters.

From this data, the percentage of students commuting to USC via SOV was found by taking the number of SOV commuters divided by the total number of students. This allowed USC to calculate the percentage of all other non-SOV commuters (i.e., students that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary mode of transportation), which is 82.86%.

See additional documentation for more information.


Has the institution gathered data about employee commuting behavior?:
Yes

Total percentage of employees that use more sustainable commuting options as their primary mode of transportation:
52.30

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

USC Transportation surveys all USC employee commuters annually to track how they travel to and from campus and reports the results to the South Coast California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), as required by law. The survey is voluntary, but each survey achieves a final response rate of at least 90% of employees. The survey asks respondents to describe how they got to work each day of a specific week. In 2019, the survey was conducted between March 18 and March 22.

For this credit, respondents to the 2019 SCAQMD survey are representing the total number of USC employees. The data in the "Optional Fields" below represents the breakdown of employee commuters per commute mode as a percentage of total respondents to the 2019 survey. This breakdown was used to calculate that 52.3% of employees use more sustainable commuting options as their primary mode of transportation.

The data from these annual surveys reveals an 18 percent drop in employee single-occupancy vehicle use between 2014-2019. USC’s required target Average Vehicle Ridership (AVR) – or the weighted average number of occupants in each vehicle that drives to campus – is 1.50. The university has outperformed this target every year for over a decade. USC's 2019 AVR was 2.00, meaning that, on average, vehicles coming to campus in 2019 had an average of 2 occupants.


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 --- 47.71
Zero-emissions vehicle --- 1.25
Walk, cycle, or other non-motorized mode --- 20.81
Vanpool or carpool --- 10
Public transport or campus shuttle --- 16.50
Motorcycle, motorized scooter/bike, or moped --- 1.25
Distance education / telecommute --- 2.49

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

USC Transportation launched a Commuter Cost Calculator to enable employees to calculate the cost savings and emissions reductions of enrolling in USC's Transit Subsidy Program.
Website link: https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/commuter-cost-calculator/

Additional information on commute options at USC:
- Traveler program: https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/traveler/
- Faculty & staff transit subsidy: https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/faculty-staff-subsidy/
- Carpooling: https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/carpool/
- Public transportation: https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/public-transportation/
- Disabled Access To Road Transportation (DART): https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/disabled-access-to-road-transportation-dart/
- Graduate Student U-Pass: https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/student-u-pass/
- Zipcar: https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/zipcar/

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.