Sustainability Initiative  
 

 

 

 

Our Success Stories: Transportation

Transportation is a key part of our lives. As a population, we commute to work, school, church, sporting activities, and the homes of friends/family. The mode of transport we choose has direct implications for the environment. Studies have been conducted that indicate a peak of petroleum product production between 2020 and 2050 (trb.org). This will likely create a disparity between the supply and demand of petroleum, which could have significant impacts on our economy and our pocket books.

 
Provide an Incentive for Utilizing the Rapid Bus System
Implementation Status: Fully Implemented. A lunchtime event was held on April 22nd, 2009 (Earth Day) featuring a representative from the Rapid and avid bus users from Aquinas. This idea came up through a formal proposal submitted by Kim Quigg. Because of ease of implementation, the proposal did not traverse the entire process.
Full Proposal: I had to take the RAPID bus for the first time in the 16 years I have lived in Grand Rapids earlier this week. I was thinking since it only costs 25 cents for Aquinas employees could we do some sort of an incentive for riding the bus? Perhaps a ride to work day? Incentives for people who already ride the bus, walk or ride a bike?
 
Provide a Subsidy for the Rapid Van
Implementation Status: Fully Implemented. Program details can be found here.
Faculty member Dr. Kathy Kremer proposed an Aquinas subsidy for the Rapid Van Program in February 2009. The program subsidizes $22.00 of the monthly ride-share fee. Check back for more information.
The proposal received a 4 in the Joint Sustainability Committee on September 28 and was approved by the Provost on November 13, 2009.
Click here to view the full proposal (pdf)
 
Bike Rack Initiative
Bike Rack Initiative

On October 7 (2007), Dr. Matthew Tueth submitted a proposal for purchasing and installing 20 new bike rack units on campus. The proposal received a 5 in the Joint Sustainability Committee on Nov. 30th and passed the Faculty Assembly on Feb. 13th (2008). The financial benefits of installing something as simple as bike racks has a much larger impact upon the college rather than just offering a space to keep a bicycle. Cycling avoids the release of CO2, oxides of nitrogen, and other ozone forming compounds into the air. Consistent grounds elements like bike racks also help establish unity of the campus look and feel. >>More Information (pdf)*

 

Since then, bike racks in the forms of U-Racks and wall mount racks have been installed all over campus to accommodate for the large amounts of students who choose to bike to school and across campus.

 
Community Carpooling
Implementation Status: The web site is available on the Moose.
Carpool Parking

Lead by Chair Bradley Vandenbroeck, the Student Sustainability Committee developed a proposal to increase carpooling among the student population. Through the Moose web site, students, staff, and faculty have the ability to post upcoming trips and contact information with the hopes of finding carpoolers. By providing an avenue for ride-sharing, Aquinas hopes to decrease the need for long-term parking of cars on campus and help ease the parking burden currently faced by all members of the Aquinas community. If more students, faculty, and staff utilized alternative transportation such as carpooling, we can better use the current parking infrastructure rather than spending money to build and maintain more parking lots.

 

In addition, more carpooling on campus means fewer cars are on the road. This change results in healthier air in and around the Aquinas Campus. The Joint Sustainability Committee assigned this proposal a value rating of 4 and Interim Provost Chaffee approved the proposal on Nov. 27, 2007.

 
Community Bikes
Implementation Status: The specifics of the program are being worked out, led by the Student Senate Sustainability Committee.
Lead by Chair Brad Vandenbroeck, the Student Sustainability Committee submitted this proposal to allow for the rental of bicycles to all campus members (October 2007). Campus Safety will coordinate the rental process through the utilization of the Moose as a web interface. On the web site, students will have the ability to reserve a bicycle for a particular amount of time after signing a rental agreement. The individual would then travel to the campus safety office to pick up a key to the bicycle lock. This proposal was originally tabled in the Joint Sustainability Committee on October 25, 2007 for further development. On November 30, 2007, the updated proposal received a 4 in the Joint Sustainability Committee. The student senate voted "yes" on January 16, 2008 and Provost Chaffee gave the final approval in April.
 
*Note: These links are only accessible from the Aquinas computer network and AQNet.