New Jersey Public Interest Research Group of Rutgers – New Brunswick held a press conference Thursday, February 06, 2014 to announce the release of a new report, titled, “A New Course: How Innovative University Programs Are Reducing Driving on Campus and Creating New Models for Transportation Policy” by U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
Piscataway Mayor Brian C. Wahler, Rutgers Senior Transportation Planner Dorothy Kieu Le, and Rutgers freshman Jake Schuhardt, njpirgstudnets.org spoke. Mayor Wahler noted that Piscataway, New Brunswick, and Rutgers engage forward-thinking planning taking into consideration future transportation needs and developments. “During the upgrade to Route 18 through New Brunswick and Livingston Campus, all utility lines were placed on the side of the roadway. This makes future rapid transit development much easier” said Wahler. Best practices urban planning comes from university-community partnerships that make mass transit safe, efficient, and convenient to the benefit of students and communities according to Wahler.
Rutgers Senior Transportation Planner Dorothy Kieu Le noted that Rutgers Department of Transportation Services operates the largest university bus transit system in the nation at no charge to riders. Le and Wahler agreed that they hoped to continue working together to expand transportation options such as the Bike RU Initiative to the university’s neighboring cities.
Jake Schuhardt quoted the report statistic that “Americans aged 16 to 34 years of age reduced their annual driving miles by 23 percent per person between 2001 and 2009.”
In the report, Phineas Baxandall, a co-author of the report and Senior Analyst at U.S. PIRG Education Fund wrote: “Across America, colleges and universities are showing that efforts to meet increased demand for transportation options deliver powerful benefits for their community and surrounding areas. These efforts are saving money for universities, and improving the quality of life on campus.”