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Tips for Using Alternative Transportation

Air pollution and climate change are two of the greatest environmental detriments to public health. Transportation is a major contributor to both. The choices that each of us makes about how to get to work or school impact the quality of the air in Baltimore and the quantity of greenhouse gases released that contribute to global climate change.

Tim Buckley , PhD, MHS ’86, assistant professor in Environmental Health Sciences, and his doctoral student, Sung Roul Kim, have an ongoing research project investigating air pollution in Baltimore. Preliminary results from their study strongly suggest that SUVs produce two to three times more air pollution than sedans. They’ve also looked at census tract data for the entire United States, and Baltimore has among the worst air in the nation.

Of those responding to a voluntary email survey of the School’s faculty, staff, and students in May 2001, 72 percent of faculty, 61 percent of staff, and 44 percent of students drive alone to work or school.


These websites offer information for commuters looking for ways to help the environment.
The Johns Hopkins University website contains information on recycling and energy-saving programs throughout the University. It also contains helpful commuter information including links to mass transit schedules and ride share programs.
Maryland’s Mass Transit Administration website contains all the information needed for riding the train, subway, or bus. The site includes mass transit maps, routes, schedules and fare information.
Baltimore Rideshare is a free service to help commuters find carpool partners, van pools, or other transportation alternatives. The site also contains links and information for Washington, D.C. area commuters.
Commuter Connections is the information site for Washington, D.C.-area commuters. This page contains information and links on everything from Metro schedules to carpool services. Commuter Connections also offer the Guaranteed Ride Program, which assists commuters with rides during mass transit emergencies. Visitors will also find the latest news on transportation issues and many helpful links.
The Telework Partnership with Employers is an initiative of the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, and the Washington Council of Governments. They help businesses enable employees to work from home or satellite offices to reduce traffic on the roads. The website contains information about telework programs and benefits.

In concordance with President William Brody’s call to reduce the University’s footprint on the environment, the School’s Environmental Stewardship Committee continues to work with the University and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions to increase environmentally friendly options for transportation to work and school.

The Committee has used the May 2001 survey results to direct some of the School’s priorities and activities. It cited several barriers that prevented people from using existing alternative transportation systems including lack of convenience and safety of Mass Transit Authority (MTA) buses and trains, and the lack of incentives for not driving.

Hopkins already offers services to help employees and students reduce single occupancy vehicle trips by using alternatives to driving alone. For those who ride mass transit, the cost of the MTA passes can be deducted from pretax income, thereby reducing the total income tax paid. This requires a special form which is available from the Benefits Office at 2021 Monument Street. There are also special benefits for those who wish to carpool. Details can be obtained by calling the Parking Office at 410-955-5333.

The shuttle system operated by Hopkins is a great way to conveniently ride between the Homewood campus, Pennsylvania Station/Henderson House, Peabody Institute, and the East Baltimore campus. There’s no charge for the shuttles, but riders are required to show Hopkins identification. Schedules can be obtained from the stand just inside the School’s Monument Street entrance.

Information about other ways to get to work or school can be difficult to track down. Many websites, including the Greening Initiatives site, contain helpful information for commuters. For those interested in biking to the East Baltimore campus, please join the listserv at

Limiting the number of miles we all ride solo in our cars is an important step to do our part to make the air healthier for everyone.

If you have suggestions about how to reduce, reuse, or recycle more paper, please send them to

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Gates Foundation Gift |
Iraqi Relief Efforts | Photos of Cambodia | Awards & Honors 

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