The Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) was awarded the 2019 ACT TDM Excellence Award for a University at the TDM Forum in Seattle, WA.
OHSU is Portland’s largest employer and a regional academic health care destination visited by 20,000 people a day and one million patients a year. A new central campus building has opened during each of the last five years and the transportation network has been critical in the success of this growth.
For over a decade, OHSU has provided an aerial tramway that now moves six- to nine thousand people a day while also offering subsidized transit, free shuttles and streetcar, and cash incentives for bicycle commuting. Eight years ago, the university launched an online platform for trip logging and the next year launched bike valet.
Within the past year, OHSU has made steps towards achieving this goal by launching MyCommute, increasing rewards and incentives, distributing monthly commute statements, and many other efforts we will soon highlight.
OHSU provides employees with personalized on-request trip plans complete with time, cost, rewards, parking, and directions for several options to compare with turn by turn directions in Google Maps. MyCommute serves as an all-in-one online hub for commute rewards. The program includes a Guaranteed Ride Home program, free rides on the Portland Aerial Tram, Portland Streetcar & OHSU Shuttle, incentives for active commuting, up to 90% discounts for public transit, and reimbursement for driving a Scoop carpool.
The OHSU website offers a full transportation library with detailed maps of transit services, information on each alternative mode from walking to driving, information on teleworking, and employee commute data.
In addition to the incentives offered to use sustainable modes, OHSU also transitioned hundreds of long-term parking permits to a pay per use model that rewards reduced driving alone.
OHSU’s employee drive alone rate is now 17% lower than trips to work in the Portland metro region with 3 out of 5 employees not primarily driving alone to OHSU.
These commute programs are guided and supported by commuter feedback. Recommendations from the university’s 2018 Transportation Census included adding lockers and showers to a central part of campus, promoting flexible teleworking, and adding off campus parking in arears where Park and Rides are either at capacity or unavailable. By surveying over 2,000 employees a year on a range of commuter topics, OHSU has learned that the bike valet makes it easier to bike to work and a discounted transit pass gives commuters the flexibility to take transit from wherever they are.
“OHSU is humbled by ACT’s recognition of efforts in transportation,” said John Landolfe, OHSU Transportation Options Coordinator. “OHSU’s approach to transportation demand management has been informed by the wide breadth of knowledge of other ACT members, our community partners, and OHSU’s organizing principle to be a torchbearer of innovation.”
OHSU’s central campuses are part of one of the most unique transportation systems in the world, providing employees a multitude of transportation options that make commuting an easier part of the workday.