International Transportation Conference Attendees Take a Tour on Columbia’s Electric Bus

As part of the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) International Conference – where Columbia was awarded “Best Overall Program” for transportation demand management (TDM) – one of Columbia’s new battery-electric buses shuttled industry professionals on a tour from the Marriot Marquis in Times Square to Columbia’s campuses in uptown Manhattan.

August 07, 2019

An effort to showcase successes from Columbia’s implementation of electric buses – some of the first in New York City – the tour group included transportation professionals from a variety of large businesses and universities who are responsible for reducing car dependency and traffic congestion in their own spaces. Representatives from Academy, who operate Columbia’s intercampus shuttle lines, were present to answer questions as the bus drove uptown. Participants noticed the bus’s quiet engine, a benefit that reduces noise pollution in addition to the 70% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions achieved by switching from diesel buses.

The tour also showcased campus bike enclosures and bike share stations, and discussed how such a large university operates while minimizing its footprint in a compact urban environment. Attendees experienced the historic charm of Columbia’s Morningside campus on the way to the emerging Manhattanville campus, where they learned about Manhattanville’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum plan and its goal to invite the community into the new space through a transparent “urban layer.”

“This is a great opportunity to share best practices in transportation demand management with other institutions grappling with some of the same issues,” said Dan Allalemdjian, Director for Transportation Demand Management in Columbia’s Office of Environmental Stewardship. “As a leader in sustainable transport, and as a world-renowned campus situated in one of the world’s most iconic cities, any information we can bring to the table helps to move the industry forward.”

In addition to GHG emissions reduction goals – which Columbia exceeded this year – the university is consistently implementing new transportation initiatives to reduce its impact on the environment. Some of the highlights include shrinking single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) commute rates among students and employees (now below 2% and 14% respectively) and extending carpool parking discounts to Manhattanville employees and construction workers building the Manhattanville Campus.

To learn more about Columbia’s sustainable transportation programs, visit the Transportation website.