Brooke Kottkamp, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, uses one of the bicycle repair stations on campus.
When it comes to getting around the campus and the area, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides several travel options.
“Our alternative transportation involves a bicycle share program, Madison County Transit buses and Zipcars,” said Kevin Adkins, SIUE Sustainability officer. “Using alternative transportation has a triple bottom line effect for sustainability. There are the environmental, economic and social benefits, and implications.”
More sustainable modes of transportation are helpful in cutting back on the waste, pollution and the hassle, Adkins continued.
Consider the amount of vehicles that travel to campus. According to Bob Vanzo, director of Administrative Services, SIUE’s Facilities Management sold approximately 16,000 parking permits to SIUE employee and students in fiscal year 2014.
Reducing the number of vehicles on the road will not only benefit the environment and the area, but the person as well, Adkins said.
“It’s a significant cost to operate a vehicle when you factor in repairs and maintenance, gas and insurance,” he said. “And we at SIUE are helping students, staff and faculty by providing these alternative modes of transportation.”
The university’s bike share program began in 2010 as part of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Its purpose is to promote a culture shift toward increased reliance on non-carbon modes of transportation among the university’s community. Thirty university-owned bicycles are available for checkout at the Morris University Center. Last school year, there were more than 700 bicycle checkouts.
Recent improvements to the Bike Share Program include installation of seven repair stations across campus in August. The stations may be utilized for both private and university-owned bicycles. The stations come complete with an air pump and tools, Adkins said.
In addition, Madison County has more than 120 miles of bike trails that connect to campus. Adkins also said he has found that many international students, faculty and visiting scholars are particularly appreciative of the Bike Share Program.
Besides bicycling, the SIUE community can also take advantage of Madison County Transit buses that travel across and around campus, as well as to various destinations in Madison County and St. Louis.
The most recent type of sustainable transportation on campus has been the addition of the Zipcar, which was debuted Aug. 18. Currently, SIUE has two Zipcars, and there have been 294 people to date who have made reservations to use them, said Tony Langendorf, assistant to the director of Administrative Services.
“The Zipcar (program) has been well received,” Adkins said. To date, the Zipcars have traveled a total of 8,841 miles and have been used for 888 hours, Langendorf added.
For more information, visit www.Zipcar.com/siue or find it on Facebook.
“SIUE is a great place to go to school,” Adkins said. “We offer a high-quality education, (providing) sustainable ways for our students to access and enjoy campus life and the surrounding community.”