Vision and Goals
On Earth Day 2019, Vanderbilt University committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. About a quarter of Vanderbilt’s carbon footprint is produced by faculty, staff, and students commuting to campus in single occupancy vehicles. In order for Vanderbilt to achieve its sustainability goals, members of the Vanderbilt community must start thinking about how they can drive less and instead use sustainable commute modes more.
The vision of MoveVU, the university’s strategic transportation and mobility plan, calls for a transformation in how the Vanderbilt community commutes to campus – one with less reliance on single occupancy vehicles and less demand for parking – by offering a “daily decision” of travel mode choice.
One of MoveVU’s goals is to shift the university’s mode share to increase the number of commuters taking sustainable commute modes and decrease the number of commuters driving single occupancy vehicles. The university’s 2025 daily mode share goal is to reduce the drive alone rate for commuters to campus from 76.5% to 55%, thereby reducing the need for the current amount of parking on campus. Land currently devoted to parking can be used for other purposes, such as increasing green space across campus, another fundamental action of Vanderbilt’s carbon neutrality goal, or building academic buildings and residential colleges as guided by the Academic Strategic Plan.
Currently, Vanderbilt community members are incentivized to drive to campus and park daily because they purchase an annual parking permit and want to maximize the value of the permit price. As part of MoveVU, sustainable commute options will be prioritized and the university will move toward a daily decision model with a daily parking component. Instead of committing to an annual parking permit, more commuters will have the opportunity to choose daily how they will travel to and from campus. Rewards and incentives for sustainable commute modes will become available. The benefits to moving toward a more dynamic program are numerous:
- Helping Vanderbilt achieve its sustainability goals by driving to campus less often, which means less carbon emissions from transportation and improved air quality
- Improving health and wellness by taking more active commutes
- Having more transportation options than simply driving alone and the ability to choose daily how you will travel to campus
- Receiving rewards and incentives for sustainable commute modes and only being charged on the days you drive to and park on campus
Another MoveVU Goal is for 80% of trips made on campus to be done via walking or biking, either for mid-day circulation trips or at the beginning or end of commute trips. In order to achieve this goal, the Transportation and Mobility office will work to make bike and scooter modes available on campus, ensure there are accessible pathways during every day and construction conditions, and improve campus infrastructure to support pedestrians and micromobility. The university plans to develop a greenway network, building off the greenway concept foundational to FutureVU, throughout campus and a Walk and Roll Loop around the campus edge. This comprehensive, layered and connected mobility ecosystem is aimed at connecting neighborhoods, making campus more pedestrian and bicycle friendly and opening the campus edge to the surrounding community.
These efforts align with FutureVU Guiding Principles of prioritizing campus land for academic & residential buildings and green and community space; preserving Vanderbilt’s park-like setting; promoting the walkability and sustainability of campus; and being a leader in the region.
We will update the website with the MoveVU Executive Summary once it is finalized.