The University of Kansas is dependent upon transportation to carry out its mission. Transportation provides access to campus facilities and services. However, KU’s geographic size, the steep and narrow east-west ridge dividing the main campus, and limited public transportation infrastructure in the community present daily challenges for sustainable transportation. Developing innovative strategies to transport students, faculty, staff, and materials is vital to creating a sustainable transportation system while retaining the accessibility and mobility of the campus. Multi-modal and efficient transportation options will also help KU achieve its mission of providing unique learning and research experiences through field trips, study abroad, research, and conferences to a diverse campus community.
The University of Kansas and its affiliates are committed to providing safe, equitable, healthy, and environmentally responsible multi-modal transportation options to the KU Community. We strive to minimize the impacts of transportation practices and services while enhancing educational and research programs that foster a community dedicated to equitable and economical movement of people and goods.
Key achievements in working toward this vision, and the corresponding strategy (in parentheses), include:
- Parking & Transit has retired 17 older buses, increasing the fuel efficiency of the fleet and lowering maintenance costs. (T 1.1.1)
- The University and City of Lawrence cooperated on completion of a lighted, ADA compliant pathway from campus to downtown in 2012. Pedestrian and bike routes, including a segment of the cross-campus “Jayhawk Trail,” are being incorporated into the Central District Development. (T 2.1.2)
- Recreation Services has established a bicycle rental program with daily, weekend, and weekly rentals. In summer 2016, the University participated in a bike share feasibility study being coordinated by the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization. (T 2.1.4)
- The KU Bicycle Advisory Committee was established in 2012 to promote biking, educate the campus community and advise on bicycle related infrastructure. The committee has developed resources for bikers at bike.ku.edu, developed finalized bike parking guidelines, and hosts encouragement and safety events for students. Recently the KUBAC worked with graduate and undergraduate classes to develop a campus bike plan, concepts for covered parking, and surveys to assess bike use and safety perceptions. (T 2.1.6)
- KU and Lawrence buses are tracked by GPS, and riders can access information about when buses will arrive at each bus stop by using a mobile app or text. (T 2.2.2)
- New parking permits developed for implementation in 2016-17 will provide more flexibility for bike commuters who occasionally need to drive to campus. This includes daily rates with discounts for a 15- or 30-pack, and winter permits for November 1 through Spring Break. (T 2.3.1)
- Starting in Fall 2016, permits for students living on campus will be limited by lottery, and freshman living off campus will be limited to Park & Ride permits. (T 2.3.2)
- Carpool permits were approved for implementation in 2016-17. (T 2.3.3)
- Parking & Transit established a car share program, now operated by Enterprise Carsharing. Due to success of the program, a third vehicle was added in August 2016. (T 2.3.4)
- An electric vehicle charging station has been installed at the Hill Engineering Research & Design Center and a low emission vehicle parking spot was added to lot 204 as part of the Forum addition at Marvin Hall. A new parking garage being constructed in the Central District will include infrastructure to support the future addition of charging stations. (T 2.3.5)
- Parking & Transit is working on developing an accessibility map to show specific locations of all accessible parking stalls. (T 2.4.1)
- As of 2015, the KU Lawrence Campus is complaint with the 2012 ADA Accessibility Guidelines regarding the number of ADA spaces on campus. (T 2.4.2)
- The Center for Online and Distance Learning was established in 2011 to support hybrid, online and distance teaching and learning. Online and hybrid course sections have increased from 99 in Fall 2012 to 301 in Spring 2016, with 21,112 student credit hours completed that semester.
- Student Housing’s printed materials promote the benefits of on-campus living, including cost and time effectiveness, and have included information on sustainability. (T 3.2.1)
- Student Housing plans renovations to provide environments that meet student needs and foster community engagement and student success. Most recently, GSP was renovated in 2012 and Oswald, Self, and McCarthy Halls were opened in 2015. (T 3.2.2)
- Through Changing for Excellence, Facilities Services adopted a zone model of maintenance and service that decentralized the shops and places employees closer to the buildings they serve, reducing trips to and from the West District Shops Building. (T 4.1.2)