The University of South Florida Tampa Campus has sponsored, and been an active member of the New North Transportation Alliance since it began in 1994. The Tampa Campus is a destination for 33,000+ student commuters and almost 10,000 faculty and staff commuters. In April 2008, President Judy Genshaft signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment of the American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education. The Commitment requires USF to develop and implement a Climate Action Plan that will reduce the campus carbon footprint to zero as soon as possible.
Since the President signed the Commitment, the USF Office of Sustainability was established, which, among many things, supports the activities of the Sustainable Initiatives Steering Committee and the subcommittees that conducted a campus baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventory in 2009 and are now developing the Climate Action Plan. The Sustainable Transportation Subcommittee is developing that portion of the Plan, to address converting campus vehicles to alternative fuels, and helping faculty, students and staff to leave their cars at home and use alternative transportation. This includes providing supportive policies and programs, services, and facilities to enable campus commuters to ride HART public transit, ride the USF Bull Runner Shuttle, carpool and vanpool, walk and ride bicycles instead of driving alone.
The Co-Directors of NNTA are providing support to this effort by serving on the Sustainable Transportation Subcommittee along with several other faculty, staff and student campus representatives and campus administrators. The Co-Chair of the Sustainable Transportation Subcommittee, Manuel Lopez, is Director of USF Parking and Transportation Services. Barbara Donerly, Assistant Director of USF Facilities Planning and Construction, also serves on the Sustainable Transportation Subcommittee and serves as a Board member of NNTA. Facilities Planning and Construction is the office that creates and updates the Campus Master Plan. The Sustainable Transportation Subcommittee is coordinating closely with activities undertaken in the next Campus Master Plan update, in support of physical facilities that enable safe walking, bicycling and use of public transit.
Other NNTA efforts that relate to the USF Climate Action Plan include:
- Promoting the free Emergency Ride Home to USF students, staff and faculty who use alternative transportation at least twice a week
- Developing a proposed carpool preferential parking program that is scheduled to begin in the Fall 2010
- Providing more bike racks on campus to encourage more bicycle commuting
- Launching the WeCar carsharing program, an hourly car rental service available to students, staff and faculty
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