Nearly forty transportation leaders and university experts came together at a Sustainable Transportation University Summit hosted by the Harvard Commuter Choice Program on March 19 at the Lamont Library. The summit was organized to discuss best practices and generate ideas for improving transportation access in the region. The attendees represented nine area Colleges and Universities as well as advocacy and transportation management associations.
“Improving mobility to and around campus for students, staff, and visitors is an evolving challenge. From employee subsidies for MBTA, carpool or bicycle commuters, to university-wide partnerships with Hubway and Zipcar, Harvard is proud to offer a range of accessible and affordable sustainable transportation options” explained Mark Rabinsky, Associate Director of CommuterChoice, TDM, & Sustainability. “We recognize that we have a lot to learn from those around us and that collaboration is critical to confronting the complex challenges we face.”
The event featured opening remarks by John Nolan, Managing Director of Transportation and the Campus Service Center. Nolan spoke on the institutional value of supporting sustainable transportation options in regards to cost savings and balancing of parking demand on campus. Emily Stapleton, General Manager of Hubway bike share system and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, spoke on the multi-stakeholder approach that Hubway uses to promote and develop the network.
“Universities play a critical role in the Hubway network. Some of Hubway’s busiest stations are in Harvard and Kendall Squares, and nearly 20% of overall Hubway members are affiliated with either Harvard or MIT” said Stapleton. “Bringing together stakeholders from these Universities and others in the Boston area is a tremendous opportunity to work together to strengthen the sustainable transportation network in the region and to build on the momentum we have in this rapidly changing industry.”
Bringing together stakeholders from these Universities and others in the Boston area is a tremendous opportunity to work together to strengthen the sustainable transportation network in the region and to build on the momentum we have in this rapidly changing industry.
A discussion session followed, with topics ranging from bicycle initiatives to municipal collaborations. The event concluded with a shuttle tour of Harvard's sustainable transportation infrastructure in Cambridge and Allston.
“Our hope is that this is not a one and done event” noted Rabinsky. “The Boston area is rich in sustainable transportation options and initiatives and Colleges and Universities play a significant role in these efforts. This event strengthened our connections with institutions across the region, and we plan to continue to develop these relationships to create collaborative partnerships going forward.”