Transportation Tomorrow Forum: December 9

Transportation Tomorrow Forum:
Building Tomorrow's Commuting Program

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Transportation Tomorrow Forum. We appreciate your time, engagement and questions. See below for a summary of the forum as well as a link to a recording of the presentation.

  • TOPIC - Building Tomorrow's Commuting Program
  • ORIGINAL DATE - December 9, 2020, 3:30-5p
  • DISCUSSION TOPIC - Transportation Services' revenue has declined significantly since March when the shelter-in-place order came down. Without funding, our commuter program, the goClub, took a hit and we had to discontinue transit subsidies and cease offering complimentary parking passes to members. (Note: We did bring back the complimentary parking pass through December 2020. Read more here.) Additionally, concerns around public health and furthering the spread of COVID-19 have dramatically reduced the ridership across transit agencies and ride-share programs. Many Aggies currently work remotely and/or have opted to drive alone to campus--a trend we see continuing for the foreseeable future, bringing a complicated dynamic to the operational structure of the goClub.


    As the most sustainable university in the world, is there a way forward for a sustainable transportation program? What does a program for Aggies in need of a flexible commute look like?

  • PANELISTS 
    • Perry Eggelston, Executive Director, Transportation Services
    • Ramon Zavala, Transportation Demand Manager, Transportation Services
    • Ryan MillerPh.D. Student, Geography Graduate Group
    • Ryan Jones (Moderator), Engagement Coordinator, Transportation Services 
       

Click Here to Review Recording of Forum

If you have any issues accessing this recording or have questions, please email goclub@ucdavis.edu.


TRANSPORTATION POLLS AND RANKINGS

Poll Question 1

Please select your 3 most important considerations when choosing how you will commute to campus. *

Response Rankings

* Participants were asked to select all that apply; there were 45 respondents.

Sustainability
  1. Personal vehicle savings (fuel, wear and tear) - (26 votes)
  2. Convenience (ease, cargo, etc.) - (24 votes)
  3. Free/Reduced Price Parking when you need to drive - (22 votes)
  4. Greenhouse gas emissions savings and Exercise (bike, walk, etc.) - (20 votes, tie ranking)
  5. Greenhouse gas emissions savings and Exercise (bike, walk, etc.) - (20 votes, tie ranking)
  6. Reduced stress from driving - (15 votes)
  7. Transit Subsidies - (8 votes)
  8. Being car-light/car-free - (6 votes)

Poll Question 2

When will it be “safe enough” for you to commute (via public transportation, carpool, vanpool, etc.)? **

Response Rankings

** Participants were asked to select all that apply; there were 55 respondents.

Poll 2
  1. When I am vaccinated & a sufficient number of others are vaccinated - (35 votes)
  2. When infection rates hit a certain threshold - (19 votes)
  3. I wasn’t much of a transit/carpool/vanpool rider to begin with - (17 votes)
  4. When public officials say that these precautions may cease - (14 votes)
  5. I’m OK with riding transit right now - (9 votes)
  6. When I hear that people I know are going back to transit/carpool/vanpool - (2 votes, tie ranking)
  7. I don’t think I’ll ever ride transit or in carpools/vanpools as frequently as pre-COVID - (2 votes, tie ranking)
  8. I’m OK with riding carpool/vanpool right now - (0 votes)

Discussion Question and Submission

What parts of this sustainable commute program are most important? To you? To the sustainability goals? 

  • Ease, convenience and cost are driving decision factors for me
  • Convenience and cost benefit
  • A reliable transit option (bus or train) that’s on time
  • Flexibility to use pre-tax deduction for both parking and Amtrak passes would be most important to me.
  • Option to continue to telecommute.
  • Bikes. It's the only way to go!
  • I live in Davis and work at the vet school and the ability to bike safely is very important to me, but I also need the flexibility to occasionally drive to campus to drop off and pick up items related to my work. Having some free parking passes per month is helpful, because otherwise I would have my partner drive me to and from campus (four total trips) rather than pay for parking.
  • Walking, biking, and hot air ballooning.
  • I'd buddy up and show people how much better their commute could be taking the slow way to work.

 

FAQ: Sustainable Transportation and Parking

  • What is multi-modality?
  • Multi-modality is the idea of using a variety of transportation modes instead of just one. For example, if you drive alone to campus some days, carpool on others, and then telework from home once per week, you are multi-modal (using more than one mode to commute or get to your destinations). You change your commute mode as you see fit and are not restricted to a single commute option.
  • How do daily parking rates work with multi-modality?
  • Wonderfully, in fact. Consider the description of multi-modality above--sometimes driving alone, sometimes carpooling, sometimes working from home. You would pay for parking each time you drive alone. If you’re carpooling with another person, you take turns paying for parking. When you telework (work from home, don’t come to campus), you don’t pay. With daily parking rates, you see immediate savings the day you chose not to drive to campus.
  • I’ve heard Transportation Services use the term “daily choice” when referring to introducing daily rates. Can you explain what it means to have a daily choice?
  • When we say “Daily Choice” we mean that you won’t be locked into an A-, C-, or L-level monthly pricing. If you as a staff member want to park close today, you can pay the A rate on that day. If you are otherwise OK walking a bit more after you park, you can choose to park in a C stall or L stall on other days.
  • Commuting programs don’t seem to include commute options for out-of-town parents with kids. How can daily parking work for working families?
  • As much as we would like to, we can’t guarantee that all commute options are tenable for all people. For example, transit commutes require that you surrender your “on-demand” transportation habits for a cheaper, low-stress commute. You can keep that on-demand feature if you ride a bike to work, but you’ll also travel a lot slower than a motor vehicle, and you may not want to connect multiple errands on a bike commute. For this reason, a lot of parents and caregivers find that their life simply requires them to drive for their commute. And that is OK!

    Our toolbox for sustainability is full of transportation options, but your toolbox includes energy usage, waste management, water usage, and even encouraging others to be more sustainable. If you are the “energy dictator” of your household because you replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs and you tweak the thermostat, you are contributing to the solution! We don’t ever want people to feel ashamed that they’re not commuting in the most sustainable way imaginable. We would only ask that you consider an EV in your next vehicle purchase and appeal to the general understanding that all of your sustainability efforts matter.

  • For electric vehicles paying for daily parking--will there be a separate fee-charging fee applied (similar to the monthly permits)?
  • Electric vehicle drivers may pay the posted daily rate for EV vehicles. The daily rate includes the time to charge (up to 4 hours) as well as daily parking access in either a C or L zone. No need to pay twice.
    Note: If a charging stall is not available when you need to pay for parking and you pay through ParkMobile, you will see a 4-hour timer. Until further notice, you may ignore this timer and park in a C or L stall until a charging stall becomes available. 
  • Will the Causeway Connection expand its hours of operation?
  • This is our hope and expectation. Due to the pandemic, the Causeway Connection launched with only a 10-trip per day schedule (out of the intended 52 trips per day!). As utilization increased, so did the trips. We are now at 30 trips per day.
  • Are there plans to offer a light-rail connection between Sacramento and Davis? 
  • We know that SacRT is planning to expand its light rail system into Yolo County, and there is little question that we would welcome its arrival in Davis or at the UC Davis Campus, but we don’t know any immediate plan to connect Sacramento and Davis via light rail.
  • How will daily parking permits work for departments that provide monthly permits for staff to use when they need to drive/park?
  • Department permits will continue using the current system of physical permits. As we get closer to July, we will schedule a training session for the department representatives on the use of the new e-coupon system.  
  • Will pre-tax deduction be available to employees who want to pay for daily parking? 
  • Yes, more information about the exact process will be coming out in Spring 2021.
  • My job and those of most of my coworkers cannot be done remotely. What happens for those of us who cannot (or will not) bike or use carpool or transit options?
  • The daily rate pricing has been initially based on the monthly permit fees. So those who cannot participate in alternative transportation modes would not be penalized by daily fees. However, one would still reap the benefits of not having to pay to park when they take a day off or are not able to come to campus (i.e. you pay to park per day, not per month).

    Further, the majority of our Transportation Tomorrow Forum discussion focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from commuter travel via vehicle trip reduction. What we didn’t cover in the forum (and we hope we can in the future) is the role of using sustainable fuels in a sustainable commute. We see a hierarchy of preferred commute options:

    Remote Work
    Walk
    Bike
    Bus/train
    Vanpool
    EV Carpool
    Any other carpool
    EV Drive Alone

    Drive alone
    ​​Notice the addition of EV (Electric Vehicles). If you must drive to work, have the ability to charge an EV at home, and are in the market for a new vehicle, we ask that you consider going with an EV or at least a plug-in hybrid as your new vehicle. The UC Davis Plugin-Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Research Center lists a number of purchase and lease incentives for UC Davis affiliates and also has a wonderful utility to help you decide if such a vehicle is right for you. 

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