Committee Reviews Transportation Programs
A transportation review committee during the spring and summer to assess the effectiveness of Emory’s transportation programs. The committee evaluated the way the University provides incentives, distributes information and engages students.
Emory Transportation and Parking is responsible for all of the University’s transportation programs, which include Cliff shuttles, transit passes, carpool programs and bike programs.
The assessment focused on the participation rate, environmental impact and cost of each program. Additionally, the committee questioned whether the University should offer the same benefits to employees for all programs, even though some programs are more effective at decreasing traffic than others.
Currently, the University offers MARTA passes to employees who are willing to take public transportation to campus. Emory also provides occasional parking passes to employees who commute to campus by carpooling, walking or other means of transportation alternative to driving.
The committee also discovered a lack of communication between the University commuters in addition to suggesting ways to bridge this gap, such as social media, Associate Vice President of Transportation, Parking and Community Services Lisa Underwood said.
For example, the University could use social media to alert people of route changes immediately instead of expecting them to check the website themselves, Director of Transportation and Parking Services Adele Clements said.
The study also found that there are not many incentives for students to use the transportation programs. As a result of this discovery, Emory has hired an intern this year to improve student transportation options and make them more appealing to the campus, according to Underwood.
“We’re already doing the right thing or, at least, pretty close to the right thing,” Underwood said. “But getting all of that feedback showed us where we could improve what we’re already doing.”
According to Underwood, a significant increase in transit costs, specifically shuttle costs, prompted the formation of the committee.
Underwood stressed that the committee was representative of the entire campus with members from each school, Emory Healthcare, student leaders and other areas. The committee performed campus-wide surveys and formed focus groups in order to gather feedback from all areas of the University.
“The most important thing that came out of the process was the engagement of so many people across campus,” Underwood said. “We know how it all works from our side, but the collaborative effort was really helpful in looking at all sides of how people are using our services.”
— By Elizabeth Howell