In early May 2008, an online survey was distributed to JHSPH faculty, staff and students to determine how individuals commute to the School; identify barriers to using alternative forms of commuting; and gather opinions about possible incentives to encourage the use of alternative forms of commuting. 863 surveys were completed, with a fairly balanced sampling of faculty (20.5%), staff (43.1%) and students (37.2%).
A majority of the respondents indicated that they live five or more miles from JHSPH and approximately 46% commute to JHSPH the majority of the time by driving alone. However, when asked what other methods they used to commute to the School, respondents showed a willingness to consider alternatives, including telecommuting (12.6%) and carpooling (16.6%). These two alternative forms of commuting may present possible opportunities for Hopkins faculty, staff and students to reduce the environmental impact of their commute.
The top three barriers to not using an alternative form of commuting, which included walking, bicycling, carpooling, taking mass transit or the Hopkins shuttle, were
- Convenience (56.8%)
- Time (55%)
- Safety (45.5%)
However, respondents indicated that they would be more willing to use an alternate form of commuting if certain incentive programs were implemented. These included a carpool program that would provide resources to help find carpool partners (42.1%), a Guaranteed Ride Home program (43.4%) and designated, prime parking spaces for carpoolers (46%).
Over 153 respondents indicated that they would be willing to participate in a one-hour focus group to provide more suggestions on improving commuting options at JHSPH. The focus groups, which will be held in late summer, will further inform the Environmental Stewardship Committee’s recommendations to the School and University administration regarding commuting practices that will benefit faculty, staff and students, as well as the environment. If you would like to participate in a focus group, please respond to Leana Pitkevits Houser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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