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Creating Change on College Campuses

Move Minnesota is working with colleges and universities in the Twin Cities to build a stronger culture and community around transportation options. It’s an important shift that benefits the students, their campuses, and the environment we all share.

Over the spring semester, we learned more about what motivates students, faculty, and staff and what barriers they face when making transportation choices, encouraging more to try sustainable ways of getting around.

At Augsburg College, we held focus groups for over 60 students, faculty, and staff. We learned that by changing the parking policy from a semester pass to a a daily parking payment, staff thought they would make more daily decisions about transportation options and choose transit and biking more often.

This is a great reminder for all employers that workplace policies around transportation really do influence how employees get around. Strategic changes can make it easier and more appealing for them to cut down on solo car trips.

At the University of Saint Thomas, we held a Bike, Walk, Roll to Campus Day and enrolled over 100 students in a commuter Challenge Passport program. Students had the month of May to visit area businesses by bicycle, train, bus, scooter, or walking to receive great discounts and be entered into a raffle.

Thanks to all the Tommies who participated and embraced the many transportation options the city has to offer. Special congrats to our Bike, Walk, Roll raffle winner, St. Thomas student Jennifer McKay. Jennifer won a brand new Civia Venue bicycle donated by the kind folks at Quality Bicycle Products. We held onto it for a couple weeks so she could move into her new place but she came in to pick it up last night along with a bike light, water bottle, and tire patch kit to keep her pedaling all summer long. Yay!

At Minneapolis College, we engaged over 500 students in transportation surveys and focus groups, learning that students have multiple issues they are juggling as they make their transportation choices, including daycare, jobs, finances, and family.

Throughout this summer, we plan to engage more with staff members at these colleges and host field trips that give people experience and confidence with new ways of getting around. You may see us showing how to transfer from the train to the A Line or how to put a bike on the front of a bus—something most of us could use some practice with! We are also planning for fall kick-off events with students in September. We’re excited to move these colleges forward with their transportation options!