On May 16, 2017, The Business Council of Fairfield County held the first annual recognition program for the Best Places in Connecticut to Live-Work-Play | Car-Free awards. Yale University was one of two employers recognized, and received the highest level of certification for its efforts to encourage students, faculty, and staff to travel without a car.
The awards are given to Connecticut employers who have an established transportation program that meets nine criteria established by the Stamford Transportation Roundtable. Platinum-level programs are comprehensive programs that can demonstrate measurable success and documented outcomes.
Yale is already recognized as one of only two Best Workplaces for Commuters by the National Center for Transit Research in the state for offering transportation options and benefits to encourage sustainable commuting. The Transportation Options program was created to decrease the percentage, and environmental and economic impacts, of Yale commuters using single-occupancy vehicles to and from campus. A variety of projects and programs across the Central, Medical, and West campuses promote walking, biking, transit, and carpooling as sustainable alternatives.
A biennial University-wide Transportation Survey measures the impact of these programs on Yale commuter habits. In 2015, the majority (61%) of Yale commuters utilized sustainable transportation methods, i.e., transit (24%), walking (22%), biking (9%), ridesharing (5%), and telecommuting (2%). The Yale Sustainability Plan 2025 sets a goal to increase the proportion of Yale commuters using sustainable transportation by 10% by 2025.
In addition to the employer certification, Yale’s partnership with other local and state institutions to promote sustainable transportation, goNewHavengo, received a Transportation Innovation Award during the Car-Free recognition program. The annual CarFree Challenge in September has encouraged hundreds of New Haven commuters and dozens of employers to reduce congestion in the region and develop a better work-life balance, improve health, and save money by avoiding personal vehicle trips.
From left to right: Sarah Jane Compton and Brianne Mullen with the Yale Office of Sustainability; Joe McGee with The Business Council of Fairfield County (Photo credit: John Vecchiolla Photography)
The Live-Work-Play | Car-Free Recognition program is an initiative of The Business Council of Fairfield County’s Stamford Transportation Roundtable, an ongoing leadership forum formed in 2010 working to reduce congestion, improve safety, and strengthen connectivity by engaging employers, building owners and developers, and civic leaders. A Best Practices document contains more information about each awardees’ programs and initiatives.
For more information on sustainable transportation options to and around Yale, visit to.yale.edu.