Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Vanderbilt University
OP-18: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Chelsea Hamilton
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability and Environmental Management Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution provide secure bicycle storage (not including office space), shower facilities, and lockers for bicycle commuters?:
Yes

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

Racks are located conveniently throughout Vanderbilt’s campus for parking of personal bicycles. SEMO publishes a map (https://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/bicycle-options/) depicting the locations of bike racks, repair stations, and shower facilities throughout the University. Showers are available at various locations across campus. Newly-installed bike repair stations are available across campus as well that are available for the university community.


Does the institution provide short-term bicycle parking for all occupied buildings and makes long-term bicycle storage available for students who live on-site (if applicable)?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

Racks are located conveniently throughout Vanderbilt’s campus for parking of personal bicycles. SEMO publishes a map depicting the locations of bike racks, repair stations, and shower facilities throughout the University.
https://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/bicycle-options/


Does the institution have a bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy (or adhere to a local community plan/policy) that sets standards and practices for campus streets to enable safe access for all users?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy:

Vanderbilt actively supports biking and pedestrian activities on campus in multiple ways. The campus is set up in a way that promotes walking and biking between buildings instead of driving (most of campus is inaccessible to cars) and campus includes many facilities to support our biking and walking community, including shower facilities, bike repair stations, bike racks, and bike rentals. Biking information and support can be found online https://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/bicycle-options/.

Additionally, the FutureVU and MoveVU plans will further Vanderbilt’s alternative transportation programs. Issues of mobility are paramount to FutureVU efforts given efforts to beautify the entire campus, enhance the park-like character people enjoy and better connect areas of campus that feel disconnected. In close alignment with the FutureVU Guiding Principles, the land use plan calls for diversification of transportation options, prioritization of pedestrian and bicycle mobility, and improvement of accessibility. Principles include regular evaluation of how cars and traffic interact with the campus boundaries, and reducing, rather than adding to, the number of roadways. In addition, Vanderbilt aims to enhance connectivity by integrating pedestrian and bicycle circulation, providing wayfinding that integrates with campus landscape and architecture, reducing vehicular through-traffic, relocating existing and locating new parking structures to the perimeter of campus, and promoting safety on campus.

MoveVU, Vanderbilt’s new mobility strategy, has been a unique collaboration with faculty, administrators, staff and students. MoveVU is about creating a plan to better move to and around our campus. MoveVU will consider Vanderbilt’s need to be inclusive and careful in our approach to be better stewards of our environment while meeting the mobility needs of those who live and work at Vanderbilt. MoveVU will lay out plans for future pedestrian and bicycle improvements and policy.

Following the Chancellor's Town Hall on Transportation, held on October 28, 2016, more than 90 individuals signed up to participate in Transportation Working Groups. The groups, facilitated by the Wond’ry, included faculty, staff and students from across the university.  Participants were assigned to working groups and met throughout the spring semester of 2017.
The six working groups were charged specifically with formulating actionable steps the university can take related to:
1. Metropolitan Transit Authority / Regional Transportation Authority (MTA/RTA) bus and train adjustments to better service Vanderbilt;
2. Vanderbilt shuttle opportunities;
3. Expansion of Uber and Lyft opportunities on campus;
4. Expansion of on-campus biking infrastructure and bike programs;
5. Potential alternative work arrangements; and
6. Vanpools, carpools and other partnerships.
Read more about their efforts here. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/futurevu/wondry.php


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

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

VanderBikes is a Vanderbilt student run organization offering bicycle rentals. The program gives the students the ease of bicycle transportation without having to worry about storage and maintenance and encourages students to explore Nashville beyond Vanderbilt’s borders. http://studentorgs.vanderbilt.edu/vanderbikes/

Two bike-sharing programs are available near the Vanderbilt campus: a fee-based, automated kiosk system called Nashville B-Cycle, and Nashville GreenBikes, an easy-to-use bike-share program that gives residents and visitors a healthy, and decidedly different way to experience Nashville.
http://nashville.bcycle.com/
Vanderbilt piloted ofo dockless bike sharing system in March 2018 for the VU community and looks to add additional bike share options in the future.https://www.ofo.com/us/en


Does the institution offer free or reduced price transit passes and/or operate a free campus shuttle for commuters?:
Yes

A brief description of the mass transit programs:

Vanderbilt’s “Ride to Work” program fully subsidizes the cost for all Vanderbilt employees and graduate, professional, and medical students to ride the local mass transit buses to and from work each day. The program was launched in July of 2004, and ridership rates have steadily risen since. To ride for free, eligible individuals simply swipe their VU ID card as they board a Metro Transit Authority (MTA) bus going to and from work, and Vanderbilt will be charged for the ride.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Relax-and-Ride program and Vanderbilt Coach Service provide express bus route transportation between downtown Nashville and surrounding areas. Discount tickets are available for all Vanderbilt employees, medical, graduate, and professional students, and medical center volunteers who would like to take advantage of regional/inter-city bus service.
Vanderbilt University provides up to a 60% discount for employees who wish to ride the commuter train, the Music City Star, which services communities east of downtown Nashville. A free shuttle bus service between the Nashville Riverfront Music City Star Terminal and Vanderbilt’s campus coincides with train arrivals and departures.
Students are discouraged from bringing their vehicles to campus and are encouraged to take advantage of Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) -sponsored shuttles (Airport Express, Commodore Express, Vandy Vans, and Commodore Cabs) and buses to campus and community locations. Undergraduate parking permits are limited and given out only to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/mass-transit/

Additionally, the FutureVU plan will further Vanderbilt’s alternative transportation programs. Issues of mobility are paramount to FutureVU efforts given efforts to beautify the entire campus, enhance the park-like character people enjoy and better connect areas of campus that feel disconnected. In close alignment with the FutureVU Guiding Principles, the land use plan calls for diversification of transportation options, prioritization of pedestrian and bicycle mobility, and improvement of accessibility. Principles include regular evaluation of how cars and traffic interact with the campus boundaries, and reducing, rather than adding to, the number of roadways. In addition, Vanderbilt aims to enhance connectivity by integrating pedestrian and bicycle circulation, providing wayfinding that integrates with campus landscape and architecture, reducing vehicular through-traffic, relocating existing and locating new parking structures to the perimeter of campus, and promoting safety on campus.

MoveVU, Vanderbilt’s new mobility strategy, has been a unique collaboration with faculty, administrators, staff and students. MoveVU is about creating a plan to better move to and around our campus. MoveVU will consider Vanderbilt’s need to be inclusive and careful in our approach to be better stewards of our environment while meeting the mobility needs of those who live and work at Vanderbilt. MoveVU has received a $4.5 million, three-year federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) grant, which the university will match. The $9 million total will fund shuttle operations, shuttle shelters, bike share shelters and other efforts to encourage greater use of sustainable travel options.

The university is at an important inflection point and students, faculty and staff have come together as a community to discuss the future of the campus footprint and engage in dialogue to develop solutions in order to improve sustainability and offer healthier, more flexible ways of traveling. The FutureVU team has been meeting with constituents on campus and across Nashville and studying best practices at other universities and cities, as well as lessons learned abroad, to understand the multi-layered issues that connect back to transportation issues and needs on campus, including the distribution of Vanderbilt’s own workforce in Nashville. Eighty-two of the university’s 330 acres, or roughly 25 percent, are currently dedicated to parking. In addition, data shows that many of Vanderbilt's employees who may benefit most from public transportation live in areas that are not currently well served by it. Considering the highest and best use of a precious resource, Vanderbilt's land, and evaluating solutions that will assist the campus community are paramount to the mobility efforts.


Does the institution offer a guaranteed return trip program to regular users of alternative modes of transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the guaranteed return trip program:

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) subsidizes free emergency taxi fares (up to 8 rides per year per person) for carpool and vanpool members who are pre-registered in the program. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/mass-transit/


Does the institution participate in a car/vanpool or ride sharing program and/or offer reduced parking fees or preferential parking for car/vanpoolers?:
Yes

A brief description of the carpool/vanpool program:

Vanderbilt has invested in its own ride match software system, which facilitates the identification of potential carpool and vanpool partners in the Vanderbilt community (anyone with a Vanderbilt email address). This program matches people from similar general locations who wish to share a ride to Vanderbilt. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/car-sharing-and-carpooling-options/


Does the institution participate in a car sharing program, such as a commercial car-sharing program, one administered by the institution, or one administered by a regional organization?:
Yes

A brief description of the car sharing program:

Vanderbilt offers two membership-based car sharing programs (Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare).
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/car-sharing-and-carpooling-options/


Does the institution have one or more Level 2 or Level 3 electric vehicle recharging stations that are accessible to student and employee commuters?:
Yes

A brief description of the electric vehicle recharging stations:

Vanderbilt University has 17 charging stations on the academic portion of campus. Seven are in garages and 10 are part of a Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal, or SMART station. The SMART station is a joint project of Vanderbilt, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Electric Power Research Institute to collect data on the operation of a charging station as well as the integration of the station into the operation of a “smart” power grid. This data will inform the further development of Tennessee’s electric vehicle infrastructure.
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/electric-vehicle-charging-stations/


Does the institution offer a telecommuting program for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:
Yes

A brief description of the telecommuting program:

Vanderbilt offers telecommuting options. Telecommuting allows a staff member to fulfill their primary job responsibilities at a location other than Vanderbilt. This arrangement must be approved by the administrator for the area and reviewed by the department’s Employee Relations Representative. http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/policies/HR-023.php


Does the institution offer a condensed work week option that reduces employee commuting (as a matter of policy or standard practice)?:
Yes

A brief description of the condensed work week option:

Vanderbilt allows condensed work week options. Flexible work schedules include variable arrivals, four 10-hour shifts, three 12-hour shifts, etc. Work schedules are determined by the business needs of the work group and are managed accordingly. http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/policies/HR-023.php


Does the institution have incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus?:
No

A brief description of the incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus:
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Does the institution employ other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting (e.g. preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, cash-out of parking programs)?:
Yes

A brief description of other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting:

Many parking areas have preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles. Vanderbilt offers a variety of shuttles made available to students to reduce the need for students to bring their vehicles to campus. These shuttles run on routes to the airport and local stores during various times of the year. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/what-we-do/transportation/student-shuttle-and-cab-options/


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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MoveVU, Vanderbilt’s new mobility strategy, has been a unique collaboration with faculty, administrators, staff and students. MoveVU is about creating a plan to better move to and around our campus. MoveVU will consider Vanderbilt’s need to be inclusive and careful in our approach to be better stewards of our environment while meeting the mobility needs of those who live and work at Vanderbilt. MoveVU has received a $4.5 million, three-year federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) grant, which the university will match. The $9 million total will fund shuttle operations, shuttle shelters, bike share shelters and other efforts to encourage greater use of sustainable travel options.
https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2018/11/07/vanderbilt-university-receives-4-5m-grant-will-match-to-help-fund-movevu-mobility-plan/

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