As students, staff and faculty converge on campus this fall, we want to detail the options everyone has for commuting to, from and throughout campus.
Currently, the primary off-campus construction issue commuters should be aware of is the bridge repair along the eastern I-215 corridor, which has closed southbound access to Foothill Blvd. until early September.
Facing construction delays on your commute is an excellent opportunity to leave your vehicle at home and rethink your trip to campus. In the early 2000’s, less than 5 percent of the university’s commuters used alternative modes of transportation. Today, approximately 40 percent of students, staff and faculty arrive to campus by walking, biking or using public transit. By driving less and driving smarter, you can help improve your health, mobility, energy use and our air quality.
On-campus construction changes daily, but can be easily navigated via map.utah.edu. See illustration here and by reading the “Construction & Commuter Updates” section of @theU.
Reimagine your commute: Cycle. Walk. Ride. Navigate.
Check out these five great alternatives to driving your car:
1. Use public transit.
Bus, TRAX and FrontRunner serve campus commuters across the Wasatch Front. RideUTA offers maps, a trip planning tool and information about how to ride. Even better, thanks to an agreement between the university and UTA, students, faculty and staff enjoy most UTA services with a UTA Ed Pass with unlimited transit access to TRAX, UTA buses and FrontRunner trains. The pass is automatically enabled on your UCard. [/bs_well]
2. Cycle the hill.
Bicycling is a convenient, healthy and sustainable alternative to driving to campus. If your commute starts on the west side of campus, check out the new University to Downtown Bikeway, a mix of painted bike lanes, downhill shared lanes (also called “sharrows”) and special markings for crossing intersections. The bikeway has three routes of increasing difficulty to enable U commuters to find their best path to and from campus. If your commute begins east, north or south of campus, the Salt Lake City/County Bikeways Map is an excellent guide. University Commuter Services also offers resources for bike commuters, including maps for bike parking and registration. A fully functioning Bicycle Repair Shop is now open and offers flat repair, cable service, tune up, consultation and maintenance instruction.[/bs_well]
3. Stretch your legs.
Many members of the campus community live within walking distance of the university. If that’s you, take this opportunity to stretch your legs and walk to campus. This handy guide will help you navigate campus construction, and on-campus shuttles can provide an extra assist in your journey. A live shuttle map is available on your computer and mobile device.[/bs_well]
4. Share your ride.
The parking permit system at Commuter Services is equipped to make carpooling effortless and easy. Purchase the parking permit that suits your on-campus needs and arrange with friends, neighbors, colleagues and partners to commute to and from the U with you. Ordinarily, on a single permit, students are limited to having two vehicles per permit while faculty and staff are limited to three vehicles. But if you plan on carpooling, contact Commuter Services today and they will upgrade the number of eligible vehicles on your permit to four.
If you need help finding other commuters in your area, university carpool match programs include the UTA Ride Matching Database and Zimride, a service through Enterprise that helps you offer or request rides for commutes, road trips and popular events. Additionally, Enterprise Car Share offers hourly car rentals to adults 18 years or older.[/bs_well]
5. Work from home.
For some university employees, flexible working arrangements may help reduce the number of necessary trips to campus. Telecommuting arrangements that enable an employee to work at home or elsewhere for part or all of one’s regular work schedule are made on a case-by-case basis with each employee’s individual supervisor. Review the university policy and discuss directly with your supervisor to see if this is a good option for you.[/bs_well]
Avoid residential neighborhoods, adhere to speed limits and be on the lookout for children walking and biking to school. Foothill Blvd. at a standstill? Try 700 East. Arterial roads, like 700 East, will accommodate more traffic than residential streets.
For even more commuting resources, check out Commuter Services.