2022 TDM Excellence Awards: Stanford University

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This Year’s TDM Excellence award winner for higher education is Stanford University. Stanford University is a shining example for how TDM can be done, successfully reducing peak-hour and drive-alone commutes at their main campus and its Stanford Redwood City campus.

The percentage of Stanford employees and commuting students who drove alone to the main campus dropped from 67% in 2003 to 41% in 2019. Following the post-pandemic return to campus in 2021, that percentage was further reduced to 39%. These are dramatic reductions, only achievable when an organization embraces a full menu of TDM strategies to ensure all people can travel without a vehicle no matter where they live and the resources, they have available to them. 

A group of people at an outdoor eventDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceThis started in 2002, when Stanford expanded its TDM program to meet peak-trip reduction goals outlined in its 2000 General Use Permit. In addition to reducing peak-hour trips, the program aimed to reduce university-related traffic emissions, congestion, and parking demand. Stanford has met and plans to continue to meet its "No Net New Commute Trips" commitment.  

Among the TDM programs that enable Stanford Transportation to achieve these goals are Stanford's free Marguerite shuttle ridership, with 41 all-electric buses in its fleet, is on track to serve 1.3 million passengers in 2022

In 2011, Stanford was the first university to receive the Platinum Bicycle Friendly University designation and is the only university to win three consecutive four-year Platinum awards. 65% of students living on campus use their bikes to traverse campus on a typical day. Among those commuting to campus, more than 35% of students and roughly 10% of employees bike. 

Stanford’s free vanpool program offers participants a 100% vehicle subsidy and free parking. Nearly 800 Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital employees currently participate in Stanford’s Commute Club program earning up to $300 a year. The university offers free transit to nearly 55,000 affiliates.

A person standing in front of a busDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceAdditionally, while the pandemic presented Stanford Transportation with many challenges, the department positioned itself to respond quickly. It also showed resilience in implementing necessary changes to its programs and services in support of the entire campus community. During the shelter-in-place orders, Stanford installed two bike cages (each with capacity for 50 bikes) and offered over 20 online bike safety webinars for bike enthusiasts. 

Stanford continues to be at the forefront of the most comprehensive sustainable transportation offerings. The department’s ability to adapt and pivot quickly makes it even more nimble to demand changes.