Reducing Emissions & Protecting Green Space
Bicycling, walking, and public transit reduce emissions and traffic. They preserve green spaces often displaced by parking and roads.
We can ensure an accessible, healthy, active, and equitable transportation system through planning, infrastructure, programs, policies, and practices.
UMD's Department of Transportation Services offers sustainable transportation options to help you save time, money and the planet!
Smart Commute Trip Planner:
This platform helps you plan a sustainable commute using transit, bike routes, and walking paths. It can even connect you with a carpool buddy from the university.
BikeUMD programs include rentable bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, bike shop, safety resources, managed by DOTS and RecWell. The Bike Commuter Incentive Program provides secure bike parking and shower facilities. New this year is our Bike Concierge Program & the Rainy Day Bike Rewards program to help you start or continue commuting by bike.
Over a dozen electric vehicle charging stations are open to the public in visitor lots. Plug-in vehicles can receive the 20% green vehicle discount on an annual or semester permit.
Shuttle-UM has many fare-free routes that connect the campus and the surrounding communities- providing over three million rides a year with a fleet that includes hybrid and clean diesel bus models.
Carpooling maximizes your commute time and saves you money on gas and vehicle maintenance. Use the Smart Commute digital platform to connect with potential university ridesharing partners on your schedule and route. Registered carpoolers receive a 50% discount on an annual permit.
Paths & Trails to Walk or Bike
There are safe and shady trails and paths winding around the College Park campus, connecting bicyclists and pedestrians to the surrounding region. Whether for recreation or transportation, explore these lovely alternatives to busy roadways.
In Maryland, you’re not legally allowed to idle longer than five minutes, yet engines benefit from being turned off after 10 seconds. Since idling wastes gas and emits pollutants that are harmful to the lungs, the less you idle, the better.
How UMD advances sustainable transportation
UMD is walkable and bike-friendly. The campus is not only close to train and metro stations, but also has an extensive campus shuttle system and public transit options. The Smart Commute Platform helps people find routes, calculate timing, costs, and emissions for their routes, and even match with potential carpooling options on their same schedule and route.
The university is committed to supporting connectivity, the use of sustainable transportation rather than personal vehicles, increasing access and appeal of the campus for pedestrians, and housing students on campus or adjacent to campus to reduce commuting emissions.
UMD Department of Transportation Services (DOTS) provides the campus community options and incentives encouraging sustainable transportation use, to reduce emissions and single-occupancy vehicles on campus.
Parking cash out incentivizes employees to commute sustainably: The program in 2018 & 2019 successfully incentivized 100 university employees to give up their annual parking permit and commute using sustainable modes for one year. By the end of the program period, most participants indicated they will continue their sustainable car-free commute and not repurchase their parking permit.
Bicycle Recycle program gives old bikes a new life: Funded through a Sustainability Fund Award, the Bicycle Recycle program was started in 2019 to reduce environmental waste, encourage sustainable commutes and develop a culture of donation among students who no longer need their bikes. Bikes are repaired and sold at a discount at the annual DOTS Transportation Fair. Learn more
Electric Scooter & Bike Share: In 2019 DOTS, the City of College Park, and Town of University Park partnered with the micro-mobility company Veo to create regulations and initially introduce 70 e-scooters to campus and the surrounding area.
Related Academic and Research Programs:
- UMD Smart Growth Center
- Urban Studies and Planning
- Transportation Engineering Program
- Maryland Transportation Institute
Sustainable Transportation Stories:
Building a Sustainable Future
At the local scale, UMD and partners in government and business are guiding that planning with a deep commitment to “smart growth.”
Importance of Sustainable Transportation
In 2016, transportation surpassed electricity as the biggest source of emissions in the US. Most of these emissions come from vehicles like your average car.
Smart Commute Story: Taking Transit a Better Use of Time
Kishwar Kabiruddin jumped at the opportunity to take transit to work when she moved to Maryland. Her quality of life has improved and she makes better use of her commute time.