I’ll join my schools climate commission. I have an idea of how to reduce car usage. What do y’all think of this idea:
I’m going to suggest that they apply a parking cost raise. Around 5,000 students and faculty members commute by car and its frankly too many (I include myself in this group)
At the moment it’s two dollars per day, while the bus to school is up to four dollars a day; way too expensive. So I suggest this:
On Mondays parking costs 2X to 1st and 2nd semester students
Tuesdays its 2x parking costs for 3rd and 4th semester students
Wednesday’s its 2x for 5th and 6th semester
Thursday’s its 2x for 7th and 8th semester students
Friday it’s 2x for 9th semester students and masters degree candidates
On the day students have a 2X parking cost their bus fare goes down 90%. Or they could arrive by carpooling; 2 passengers is normal fare and 3passegers is free.
Motorcycles will start paying for parking, 1 dollar per day. Also former students must pay three times the regular cost.
In order to exempt the charges they need to prove need for a car (say architecture students bringing a model for a presentation) for bulky items, they live outside the school bus routes by more than a 15min walk/public transit route, or having classes outside the bus’ schedule.
For students living in Santa fe, bringing their bicycle gives them a 0.50 cent bonus per day in their student account.
The parking and school bus finances will be made publicly available and any profit must be used to place solar pannels in the parking lot and the purchase of any equipment that could reduce the school’s carbon footprint.
The concept is an excise tax; by making parking more expensive, less people will be inclined to use the parking lot. However, the 2x increase is still lower than the cost of parking in the adjacent public parking lots, so it avoids the loophole of using an adjacent lot instead of the school lot.
The environmental costs of cars is well known here, but there’s also traffic; all private vehicles (electric or not) reduce a road’s capacity significantly more than a bus, more traffic means lower speeds and more stop-go traffic, meaning that it increases pollution.
Ps: in the case of carpooling, my school has a contract with SPLT, but it doesn’t teach us how to use it... maybe we could include more material about SPLT.