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UMD Sustainability Banner: Transportation - As a school in an urban center, UMD encourages more sustainable commuting and transportation options for students, staff, and faculty.

Transportation accounts for almost 8% of campus emissions. Encouraging alternative transportation is par of UMD's Energy Action Plan. Carpooling, walking, biking and using public transportation are ways anyone can reduce their emissions.

Encouraging Alternative Forms of Transportation

Alternative commuting will play a large role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these methods are economically advantageous to the campus community, especially since parking rates are likely to increase in the future as UMD supports a wider variety of transportation methods.

The average U.S. automobile emits approximately one pound of CO2 for every mile driven. But it's more than just the CO2, automobiles also release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), CO and other particles. Commuting by biking or walking emits no carbon, reduces congestion on campus, and encourages healthy, active living. Commuting by bus or carpooling reduces carbon versus single-driver vehicles as well. With a commitment from the campus community to reducing emissions, we can all breathe easier.

Ride the bus - FREE!

U-Pass ProgramThe U-PASS Program is an innovative partnership between UMD and the Duluth Transit Authority to encourage use of public transportation at UMD. Unlimited, free rides are provided for students, faculty and staff anytime, anywhere around the Twin Ports area.

The program was designed to reduce on-campus traffic and decongest campus parking.

What is the impact of the U-Pass program on campus emissions?

Through student, faculty, and staff use of the U-Pass program in 2007, UMD successfully prevented 349 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions. An amount equal to 39,258 gallons of gasoline or the amount of carbon sequestered annually by 79.3 acres of pine or fir forests.

Other equivalencies can be seen using the EPA emissions calculator at the EPA website.

 Hybrid DTA bus near Kirby Plaza.

In addition to the ecologically friendly benefits already mentioned, the DTA is also involved in other energy conservation practices, such as hybrid buses and biodiesels. Watch the DTA video for more information on their sustainable initiatives.

Biking at UMD

tiny map link to bicycle parking map for UMD.

Don't want to worry about parking on campus? A simple solution can be biking to class. If you don't feel like biking home, combine biking and busing to maximize your convenience.

While biking to UMD might get more difficult to do during the winter, it's not impossible: some students and staff — such as the professors featured in this video from the UMD student-run-publication LakeVoice — bike to UMD year round.

New!  UMD Faculty and Staff Earn Wellness Points for Biking and Students Win Prizes!

University of Minnesota Wellness Program, UMD Sustainability Office and UMD Wellness Program/Human Resources and Equal Opportunity are teaming up to offer employees an incentive to bike to and from work. Faculty and Staff can register for free by contacting Bryan French ( or call 726-6203) or visit the UMD Sustainability booth at the Market Day on the Plaza on Wednesdays, in Kirby Plaza. The program is now open to students as well, but with the opportunity to win prizes, rather than wellness points. A small Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) equipment will be installed on your bike. Bike commuters can accumulate 50 points for their Wellness Points Bank, along with tracking their personal bike commuting miles. Learn more about the Bike RFID reader program here.

There are a few UMD BIKING Regulations you should know and some handy tips on where to store and secure your bike. You can view the bicycle parking map, which shows the racks that will be available for year-round use. (PRINT both regulations & map)

For cycling enthusiasts, join the UMD Cycling Club!

The newest resource for bikers at UMD is a compressed air pump. The unit is housed under the Dining Center near Kirby Drive and is available to refill bike tires year round.

For any bike-realted issues on campus, please email

Going Out of Town

You're probably not the only one. Students at UMD frequently travel through various parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as many other places. Carpooling is a viable option to reduce costs and emissions for anyone looking to get out of Duluth for a couple of days.

UMD Ride Board in Kirby Student Center

There are always people looking for a ride/riders on the ride board during the school year. The ride board is located in the Kirby Student Center near the Kirby Lounge.

If you're seeking an approach to finding a ride that uses a bit less paper, there's always the UMD Ride Share Facebook group.

In addition to student ride resources, Jefferson Lines also runs a daily bus service that leaves from the Kirby Student Center and goes through the Twin Cities and other locations.

Campus Efforts

Blue Prius Hybrid Car

The university’s Fleet Rental Service includes dual-fuel or flex-fuel (E85) and gas/electric hybrid vehicles.
This reduces the university’s use of petroleum-based fuel and protects it from fluctuating fuel prices. The UMD Fleet Service has earned the Green Star Award from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Battery-powered golf carts are used for grounds staff transportation. Bicycles are being purchased for grounds staff use during the summer months.

DTA at Sustainable TwinPorts YouTube Channel

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 02/14/13 07:35 AM
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