Transportation Management at UNH
UNH’s commitment to sustainable transportation is part of its Climate Education Initiative. Under a framework of Transportation Demand Management (TDM), which seeks to reduce our use of single occupancy vehicle private vehicles, UNH takes a holistic approach that includes expanded free transit services, increased on-campus housing, development of improved transit and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure, support of the Amtrak Downeaster regional rail service, and ongoing educational and information programs aimed at providing expanded mobility without private vehicle use. Our goal is maximizing mobility and accessibility in a climate protection framework that emphasizes health and safety, efficiency, cost effectiveness, equity, accessibility, and sustainability. Designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation as a “Best Workplace for Commuters” in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, UNH actively works with the state department of transportation and regional MPO to coordinate transit and intermodal transportation activities, and is a critical player in the regional transit system.
- $40,000 by the Space Allocation, Repairs and Renovation Committee (SARRC) for campus bike racks
- Federal funding is being sought to provide additional bus shelters and pullouts, to develop design plans for the final build-out of the transit center on the north end of the rail station, and to develop high-density bike parking on Academic Way at Morse Circle.
- Year-round weekday bus service to Rochester via Route 125 is slated to begin in September 2013 with a new compressed natural gas-powered transit bus whose operations will be federally supported for three years. Terminus and major stops at NH DOT park-and-rides will provide convenient parking en route, with future connections planned to service downtown Rochester and beyond.
- Three other projects will move forward once the Federal Transit Administration approves funding, delayed due to the lack of a long-term federal transportation bill. Expanded Wildcat Transit service to Portsmouth, with buses running every half hour during peak commuting times, is scheduled to begin in September 2012. The Congestion, Mitigation & Air Quality program will provide 100 percent of capital and operating assistance for that route as part of the environmental impact plan for the Little Bay Bridge construction project that NH DOT is undertaking. Also planned is the replacement in the spring of 2013 of three Bluebird buses with vehicles powered by biodiesel, and the addition of real-time transit information, which will allow the public to see the location of UNH Wildcat and Campus Connector buses in real-time on any Web- enabled device. The anticipated start date is January 2013.
- Main Street-East (completed September 2007): $2.2 million reconstruction of core campus street from downtown to Field House providing dedicated bike lanes to enhance bicycle capacity and safety; improve travel way configuration; improve transit, including bus pullouts and lit shelters; expand sidewalks; and improve crosswalk lighting.
- Intermodal Rail Station Restoration and Expansion (completion July 2008): $1 million restoration of our on-campus historic train station and expansion of intermodal faculties to include full intercity bus capacity, indoor rail/bus transit passenger waiting areas, a renovated UNH Dairy Bar restaurant, and historic transportation displays highlighting the role of transportation in the founding of UNH-Durham. The Amtrak station in Durham (which is UNH-funded) served over 50,000 travelers in the ’06-‘07 academic year. Learn more...
- Main Street-West (completed 2010): $500,000 reconstruction of key arterial from Field House to West Edge providing dedicated bike lanes to enhance bicycle capacity and safety; improve travel way configuration; improve transit and provided a separated mixed use trail.
- UNH CNG Fueling Infrastructure and Fleet (completed 2011): Expansion of our existing compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility and our procurement of CNG and low emission biodiesel transit and non-transit vehicle fleet.
The UNH Transportation Policy Committee (TPC) serves in an advisory capacity to the UNH President, making recommendations on the full range of issues that relate to transportation management at UNH, including parking policy and transit services. Chaired by the UNH Vice President of Finance & Administration and comprised of members from across the entire campus, the overarching goal of the TPC is to guide the university toward a systemic transportation system that is consistent with priorities set by the UNH Academic Plan and the UNH Campus Master Plan and that maximizes mobility and accessibility in a climate education framework that emphasizes health and safety, efficiency, cost effectiveness, equity, and sustainability.
UNH collects data on its transportation systems (transit, vehicle fuel consumption, mileage) and community transportation needs and behaviors as a way of benchmarking and tracking progress in its sustainable transportation system goals. This data collection is permitting UNH to measure effectiveness versus peer institutions.
UNH boasts the state’s largest public transit system, and highlights include the following:
- Campus Connector: UNH's free, on-campus shuttle system that is open to all in UNH Durham community and runs on compressed natural gas (CNG).
- Wildcat Transit: UNH's off-campus transit system that is free to UNH ID holders and $1 for general public access. Handicap accessible with bike racks for use on all buses, Wildcat Transit connects the UNH community with the Campus Connector shuttle system, with local, state, and region-wide commercial bus service, and with the Dover and Durham Amtrak Downeaster train stations. Wildcat Transit also offers a guaranteed ride home program for transit riders during the academic year. UNH continues to grow its transit offerings, especially into the densest travel routes and off-campus housing areas used by UNH faculty, staff, and students; the Wildcat Transit Fleet will be expanded by March 2009 to include new and replacement vehicles. The service is operated without federal operating assistance.
Cool UNH Transit Facts
- In 2008, UNH WildCat Transit won the Federal Transit Administration "Success in Enhancing Ridership Award" in the 50,000 to 200,000 population category. Wildcat Transit was recognized for its efforts in getting at least 5% more passengers per year over a two-year period; UNH has used better traveler information, nicer bus shelters (with solar power lighting), a website with regularly updated transit and parking information, and new biodiesel transit buses to increase ridership by 21 percent.
- Wildcat Transit ridership has increased at double digit rates for five years -- 150% over the 1999-2007 period -- and in Fiscal Year 2007 UNH provided over 1 million transit trips – a new record!
- Combined ridership on Wildcat Transit and the Campus Connector has averaged 9% yearly growth over the past 5 years. Ridership has doubled since 2000.
- In fiscal year 2008 (July 1, 2007 - July 1, 2008), Wildcat Transit and Campus Connector combined ridership will exceed 1.1 million trips, representing a reduction of over 4 million private vehicle miles traveled and removing over 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions!
- Look up UNH Wildcat Transit routes and services
- Look up schedule and ticket information for the Amtrak Downeaster
- Look up C&J Trailways service
UNH is transitioning its entire fleet of diesel vehicles to the use of low sulfur B20 biodiesel. In fall 2006, the UNH transit system began use of B20 in eight new CARB certified low-floor diesel buses. As part of our growing "Clean Fleet" program of alternative fuels and clean technology transit vehicles, UNH currently has:
- 10 gasoline-electric, non-plug-in hybrid vehicles
- 3 plug-in hybrids
- 10 100% electric vehicles
- 17 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles
- 56 vehicles fueld by B20 or higher biodiesel for more than 6 months of the year
In August 2006, UNH President J. Bonnie Newman, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, and officials from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) officially opened a new DOT biodiesel fueling facility on the Durham campus.
- "Biodiesel @ UNH: Best Practices for Production, Use, Handling & Safety (2007)," UNH Office of Environmental Health & Safety (PDF)
- UNH Biodiesel Transition Memo (2007), UNH Campus Planning and UNH Transportation Services (PDF)
- Learn more about UNH's carpool lot and program
- UNH offers ZipCar memberships for students, employees and departments
Managed by UNH Transportation Services, the Cat Cycles program allows any member of the university community to sign out a bike at the UNH Visitor Service Center and have sole use of the bike for up to a week. All the bikes are durable, single-speed "cruisers" equipped with a lock, fenders, and a cargo basket. Borrow a Cat Cycle on campus for free with your UNH ID!
Amtrak Downeaster service in Durham began 2001, offering a welcome relief to traffic congestion, high gasoline prices, parking woes, and air pollution caused by single occupany vehicles. The Amtrak Downeaster serves the communities of Old Orchard Beach, Saco/Biddeford, and Wells in Maine; Dover, Durham and Exeter in New Hampshire; and Haverhill and Woburn in Massachusetts. With five roundtrips a day originating in Portland, Maine and terminating at North Station in Boston, Mass, the service regularly rates well for on-time service and customer satisfaction. Amtrak Downeaster ridership has exploded and will exceed 55,000 trips to/from Durham in 2008. This is an average 20% per year annual growth over the past 5 years and represents a reduction of over 2.5 million private vehicle trips and the prevention of over 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions!
- Learn more about Amtrak Downeaster service
- Learn more about the current expansion and renovation of the Durham rail station
In 2006, the UNH Durham Campus and the Durham Enterprise Rent-A-Car office signed a voluntary agreement to offer gas-electric hybrids in the Durham rental fleet. The entire UNH community is strongly encouraged to select these hybrid vehicles for their rental needs. To learn more, contact UNH Durham Enterprise Rent-A-Car at (603) 868-2282.
In 2009, UNH unveiled a Eco-Cat™ labeling on all UNH alternative fuel and clean technology vehicles that will educate riders and local residents about the environmental and economic benefits of UNH's growing suite of such transit and non-transit vehicles.
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