Columbia is continuing to switch its fleet to more fuel efficient vehicle types where feasible.
Columbia’s campus is compact, which means that the University can operate with significantly fewer vehicles than most other universities. Columbia has a fleet of about 55 vehicles which are used by Facilities, Athletics, Public Safety, Transportation and Mail departments. As vehicles retire, Columbia replaces them with hybrid or electric vehicles whenever possible. Currently, about 40% of Columbia’s fleet is made up of hybrid or 100% electric vehicles.
Columbia’s Public Safety department has introduced fleet hybridization as a means of further reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Once fleets are incorporated into Bloomberg’s PlaNYC challenge, these savings will count toward Columbia’s mayoral carbon challenge goal. Hybrid cars are introduced into the patrol fleet as older vehicles are retired, in the hopes of eventually replacing the entire fleet with hybrids. The effect of these vehicles is near-zero emissions and maximized fuel efficiency. The anticipated effect is a savings of 2,200 gallons of gas per year. With this, the Department of Public Safety will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
All of Columbia’s bus services are owned and operated by Academy Bus, an outside organization, so when the buses aren’t moving people at Columbia, they are moving people elsewhere, making efficient use of vehicles and natural resources. Academy Bus has incorporated environmentally responsible practices into their operations, such as recycling all liquid waste, and using non-toxic cleaning chemicals.