Welcome to Smarter Travel Campus!
Smarter Travel Campus is a hands-on programme working with Third Level Institutions to implement campus travel plans – or actions to encourage and support students and staff to walk, cycle, take public transport or carpooling on the commute to campus.
A growing number of Irish Third Levels are engaging in Smarter Travel, working with students and employees to facilitate more sustainable travel choices – resulting in better access, enhanced student and employee wellbeing, reduced costs and more effective parking management.
If your institution would like to find out more about implementing a campus travel plan, you’ll find some useful resources on this site, as well as Partner Success Stories and information on our Partner Package, offered free of charge to Partner Third Levels.
“DCU’s membership of the NTA Smarter Travel Campus programme has brought many advantages over our years of membership. The annual staff and student survey supported under this programme provides extremely valuable information regarding the modal choice and commuting habits, improving our support for commuters and enhancing our future planning. We are very active participants in the NTA challenges and awards with growing levels of engagement every year – we have even won a few!” Samantha Fahy, Sustainability Manager, Dublin City University.
What is a Campus Travel Plan?
Campus Travel Plans consist of a package of measures which, if implemented, support more sustainable and cost-effective travel habits among students, employees and visitors.
These plans comprise actions to promote walking, cycling, public transport, car-sharing, the use of technology instead of travel, or flexible working practices. Travel Plans usually focus on commuting, but can include business travel or suppliers/ visitors coming on to campus.
Why are Campus Travel Plans relevant for my Institution?
Student and Employee travel can often be an invisible cost for an organisation, in terms of both time and money.
There are significant benefits for an employer effectively promoting more sustainable travel to campus, including:
- Increased accessibility to campus for students, employees, visitors and suppliers;
- Enhanced corporate image and ‘Green’ profile;
- Reduced costs associated with providing car parking for students, employees or visitors;
- Reduced pressure on parking spaces so they are available to those with most need;
- Reduced mileage costs and downtime spent travelling;
- Enhanced student and employee wellbeing and teambuilding opportunities;
- Reduced carbon emissions associated with travel;
- Land formerly under parking released for more productive purposes;
- Compliance with planning permission conditions;
- Reduced absenteeism; and
- Reduced employer’s PRSI payments (through Cycle to Work/ Tax Saver ticket for public transport schemes)
Campus Travel Plans make business sense, with some of the biggest Third Levels and other employers in Ireland, the UK and internationally undertaking them as a core business management strategy. These organisations are market leaders, and regularly receive accreditation and awards recognising their achievements in this area, including for example, Green Flags, ISO14001, Best Workplaces in Ireland, Green Awards and Chambers Ireland Awards.
Internationally workplace travel plans have been shown to reduce single-occupant car use by 10-24%, with the reduction depending on the extent of the travel plan and site-specific issues. This reduction in car use can represent significant cost savings to an organisation, in terms of both money and employee time.
While campus travel plans can include some ‘hard’ measures (e.g. infrastructure such as cycle parking, cycle lanes, showers or lockers), they are primarily focused on ‘softer’ measures (e.g. promotion, marketing, events). Many of the actions in workplace travel plans are low-cost, but highly visible, and contribute to a culture of sustainability within the organisation.
Read more about implementing a Workplace Travel Plan.
If your students or employees make a change for just one day every week, this could represent a 20% drop in your campus’s parking requirements.