April 8, 2020
Calling all commuters: You can help shape the future of transportation at UCalgary
Physical distancing provides a perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on how we can do things better.
Through the Office of Sustainability’s Campus as a Learning Lab (CLL) initiative, Dr. Saeid Saidi, PhD, an assistant professor in the Civil Engineering Department, and Hassan Kamkar, a graduate student in the Schulich School of Engineering, have partnered with Parking and Transportation Services to investigate the sustainable commuting habits of our UCalgary community by conducting a transportation survey.
“With automation, electrification and shared mobility, we are in a very exciting era in the field of transportation. Our transportation systems are transforming and can potentially re-shape the future of our society and the local community,” says Saidi, pictured above.
Data-driven policies to improve sustainable transportation at UCalgary
The survey will provide an understanding of our campus community’s commuting habits. Results will help UCalgary implement data-driven policies to improve sustainable transportation options to, from, and within campus.
The survey will also give Saidi and Kamkar a glimpse into current public transportation challenges. One challenge they’re aware of is the first/last mile access from major transit stations to the campus. The first/last mile describes the beginning or end of an individual trip made primarily by public transportation.
“If the walking route is not pleasant and inviting, or if the walk time is long on either end of a public transit trip or destination, it can discourage people from utilizing public transit. This study will help us to generate innovative solutions to the first/last mile access problem in our campus,” says Saidi.
With this survey, Kamkar and Saidi hope to help improve commuters’ lives and make transportation more affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly.
“Transportation plays a major role in contributing to sustainability in university communities. A carefully planned transportation strategy can encourage commuters to use more sustainable modes,” says Kamkar. “The outcomes from the transportation survey will help advance sustainability at UCalgary by providing information that can be used to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and noise.”
Parking and Transportation Services is an integral part of this study and in supporting this important work. The outcomes of the survey are crucial to informing future transportation plans.
“Parking and Transportation Services is excited to be a part of this study and support this important work,” says Susan Austen, associate director, Parking and Transportation Services. “Transportation options at UCalgary are evolving in response to our community’s growth. As a result of increased interest and uptake in different means of transportation, we have made more options available. We believe transportation to the campus and mobility around the campus itself will be transformed by this study in ways we are only just discussing now.”
Set the wheels in motion for positive change
By filling out the transportation survey, you will set the wheels in motion to inform transportation practices at UCalgary. The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and any member of the campus community can participate.
Complete the survey by April 22 and help make a valuable contribution to the development of more user-friendly, sustainable transportation programs and campus infrastructure in the future. Survey participants can enter to win one of five $100 vouchers to the UCalgary Bookstore. Access the survey.
The University of Calgary’s Institutional Sustainability Strategy provides a road map for continuous improvement in our pursuit of excellence and leadership in sustainability. We aim to become a Canadian post-secondary education leader in sustainability in our academic and engagement programs, administrative and operational practices and through supporting community and industry in their aims for leadership in sustainability. Learn more about UCalgary’s leadership in sustainability.