On Campus Travel > Public Transit

Public transportation is often cheaper than travel by car, and increased use of buses, trains, and subways reduces the need for onsite parking facilities. Review the ideas and resources in this section for more information on how to increase travel by public transportation to your sports facilities for staff and off-campus fans.

Identify and contact any staff on your campus who might help identify and publicize the best public transit options for your sports facilities. The departments with knowledgeable staff may include the Transportation, Facilities, Grounds Keeping, and the Sustainability Office, among others.


  • Reward game attendees who present evidence of campus shuttle or public transit ridership to athletic events (e.g. shuttle ticket, transit day pass receipt, monthly train pass, etc). For example, offer discounts at stadium merchandise or concessions to public transit users.

  • Work with your public transit agency to have game tickets double as round-trip transit passes or trigger a discounted fare during periods of low ridership on local buses and trains.

  • Enter fans who ride public transportation into game day or raffles, which can provide opportunities for sponsor branding and visibility. Raffle prizes could include discounts at stadium merchandise or concessions to public transit users.

  • Enter staff who ride public transportation into office raffles with a chance to win a free lunch or other local prize.

  • Provide information on your internal website, your athletics website, and in publicity materials on public transit options, including park & ride sites.

  • Pay or discount cost of employee public transportation passes.

  • Provide other incentives for employees who take public transportation.


Promoting environmentally preferable transportation options throughout athletics and recreation can help your institution earn up to 7 points within the “Transportation” subcategory of AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Work with sustainability and facilities staff on your campus to support any institutional efforts to attain or improve your institution’s STARS rating. Use the STARS 2.0 Technical Manual to learn more.


Using public transportation cuts down on the number of cars on the road. In addition, many forms of public transportation use environmentally preferable fuels such as natural gas, electricity, and fuel cells. Using public transportation therefore reduces the transportation sector’s emissions of harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulates. This reduces the emissions that cause smog, global warming, acid rain, and other negative health effects.


In 2008, the University of Oregon hosted the U.S. Olympic Trials for track and field, then did so again in 2012. Anticipating more than 220,000 athletes, media members and spectators, the event team created a multifaceted transportation plan. It introduced the first bicycle and skateboard valet service at an Olympic competition and partnered with the Lane Transit District to provide all ticketholders and credentialed volunteers with free local bus transportation. To learn more, read the full case study in the NRDC Collegiate Game Changers report.

The University of Washington’s LEED Silver Husky Stadium is integrating resource-efficient features with multi-use design that ensures the building will be used year-round. One of the keys to the success was reaching out past the edge of the stadium, working with the university and local transit authorities to design a bike parking system that accommodates day to day use as well as expanding to accommodate game day use. To learn more, read the full case study in the NRDC Collegiate Game Changers report.

For the 2013 NCAA Final Four® in Atlanta, the National Collegiate Athletics Association partnered with Atlanta’s public transit agency to encourage fans to use public transit and provide a free bike valet service for those cycling to the event. To learn more, read the full case study in the NRDC Game Changer report.

The Ivy League athletics conference office promotes carpooling and public transit in correspondence to coaches, athletes, parents and fans ahead of Ivy Championship events. To learn more, read the full case study in the NRDC Game Changer report.


NRDC: Transportation
AASHE: Resources on Sustainable Campus Transportation
The University of Vermont: Certification for Sustainability Transportation
American Public Transportation Association