We recommend that the University of Puget Sound broaden the original plans for the Puget Sound Bike Shop to encompass more of the ideas tested by Oberlin College’s Bike Co-Op. The Puget Sound Bike shop opened November 2007 with plans for bike maintenance, bike maintenance classes, and a limited amount of bike parts sold. This shop will be run completely by volunteers with hopes of having biking bring community members and students together. This project is a success story for Puget Sound. Adding a bike rental program where students can rent bikes at the beginning of the semester for a low price would greatly increase bike-use on campus. The Puget Sound campus and the area surrounding Tacoma area is very bike friendly and could easily embrace this type of programs. Student’s using their cars accounts for approximately 15 percent of all CO2 created by Puget Sound transportation. Increasing bike use on campus could greatly decrease this number. The new bike racks that have been installed around the Puget Sound campus are a first step to this program.
Another recommendation based on Oberlin’s example is trying to get a similar program to the City-Wheels at Oberlin in Tacoma. This could be as easy as trying to get Seattle based Zip Car to put cars in Tacoma for Puget Sound students. Zip Car has a program in which they make memberships with universities which allows students under 21 to drive their cars. Universities have already made these arrangements include 34 elite universities and some of our “peer institutions” like Willamette University. Flexcar members pay $9 an hour which includes gas, insurance, maintenance, a reserved parking space, 150 free miles per trip, roadside assistance and 24-hour customer service. The $35 membership fees are also waived for students, staff, and neighborhood members for a period of time. The Willamette campus currently has two cars--a hybrid sedan and a Subaru hatchback. A similar program would be very beneficial to the Puget Sound community.
Hybrid Security Vehicles
Finally, campus owned vehicles account for 169 tons of CO2 a year. This will be greatly decreased by the current plans to change all maintenance vehicles to electric in the next year. Transitioning all of the security vehicles to hybrid cars would be another positive step in decreasing the university’s green house gas emissions.
We recommend that the University of Puget Sound look to this project by Appalachian State University for ideas on how to use biodiesel on campus. We strongly encourage the use of the current gasoline tank on campus to be used as a biodiesel tank. ASUPS vans, security and facilities vehicles could be run off of biodiesel. In the future, we recommend that the university begin a program through which students could fill up their personal vehicles with the biodiesel on campus.