Stanford recently shared new data about their transportation programs and performance showing how they have avoided $100,000,000 in the construction of parking structures over the last decade, according to data presented by Stanford’s Transportation program director Brodie Hamilton, at a recent event hosted by Palo Alto Green Planning Action and Friends of Caltrain.
Since Santa Clara County imposed a “trip cap” in 2000, requiring Stanford to keep vehicle trips constant (or pay for unwanted road construction), Stanford has increased its employee and student population by about 25% over the last decade, but decreased the amount of parking used, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and the share of employees driving to work.
Continuous program improvements turns driving into a minority activity
By continually improving its transportation program, Stanford has reduced the share of employees driving alone to work from 72% in the early 2000s (fairly typical for a suburban campus) to nearly 40% according to the last reported data.
Caltrain and bicycling are the largest non-drivealone modes, followed by vanpool, carpool, and Marguerite shuttle. Stanford employees are a heavy users of Caltrain’s Go Pass bulk purchase program, and the Marguerite Shuttles are by far the heaviest used transit shuttles on the Caltrain line.
The Stanford experience may be relevant for the City of Palo Alto, which faces the need to build $100,000,000 in parking structures for the downtown area if it continues with its current transportation use.