The Environmental Protection Agency will present an award to the University of Colorados Environmental Center next week for its bus-pass program, which gives CUs 25,000 students free access to local RTD and Hop and Skip routes to encourage them to use alternative transportation.
Way to Go! awards are given to innovative transportation programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. CU is the only university to receive the award this year. Student program administrator Adam Krom will accept the award on Oct. 29 in Saint Louis.
CUs program was initiated by students in partnership with local government and has been managed by the student government for the last six years.
A $19.42 per semester student fee funds the program. It will generate more than $1 million for alternative transportation in the 1997-98 school year. The fee was $10 per semester 6 years ago.
In addition to providing transit services, the program has a comprehensive marketing strategy designed to inform students about their transportation alternatives, and to let them know the impacts of their choices. Campus displays provide bus maps and schedules as well as bicycle routes. Environmental impact statements show how alternative transportation reduces air pollution.
Will Toor, director of the Environmental Center, says the success of the program has been remarkable. The numbers are incredible. When this program began, there were 300,000 student transit trips per year. That grew to 1.5 million trips last year, and we are projecting up to 2 million trips for this year, he said.
The Environmental Center is a division of the student government and is responsible for administering the program. The program strives to:
Reduce greenhouse gasses;
Provide quality transportation options;
Enhance the quality of the community;
Be economically efficient.