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Our transportation choices have a big impact on the environment. In 2018, transportation caused 28% of America's greenhouse gas emissions, with small vehicles accounting for 59% of that. Biking or walking are great ways to get around while producing no greenhouse gas emissions. If you can't walk or bike somewhere, taking a bus, choosing a train, or carpooling can all reduce your carbon footprint compared to driving alone or flying. Walking, biking, and public transportation all support better air quality and less congestion on roads in your community.  

At 350 acres, our campus is very easy to navigate on foot or by bike. Exploring Richmond can be a little more challenging. Luckily, there are many free and cheap environmentally-friendly options for getting around the city. All students, faculty, and staff can take campus shuttles or get a free GRTC bus pass. 

Transportation and Environmental Justice

Traffic congestion significantly contributes to poor air quality and noise pollution. Communities impacted by poor air quality experience increased rates of respiratory issues and asthma. Public transportation services help mitigate vehicle emissions and congested roadways. Environmental justice concerns in transportation emerge as some communities are more likely to disproportionately receive improved services and funding over vulnerable communities most affected by air pollution.

Test Your Knowledge With Our Transportation Quiz

Test your knowledge, learn more, or get one step closer to joining URSA with our transportation quiz.

Be A Green Spider On The Move

Get out on walking trails around campus

There are four mapped trails on campus, three around the lake and one that goes all the way to the James River. You can view a map of all four trails here.

Look for Green Bikes on campus

50 bikes are available to all students, faculty, and staff to travel around campus in a fun and environmentally friendly way. To take advantage of this program, simply find a yellow bike on campus and start riding!

Rent a bike to get off campus

Need to take a bike off campus? There are 6 mountain bikes and 4 commuter bikes available for rent through the Outdoor Equipment Rental program. The bikes come fully equipped with helmets and locks. Pick yours up at the the Outdoor Adventure & Recreation (OAR) desk located in the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness.

The City of Richmond also has a bike share program with stations located throughout the city. 

Maintain your bike on campus

If you have a flat tire or need to tighten up a loose brake cable, basic maintenance is just a short walk away. There are two self-repair stations include all the tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance. The fix-it stations are located in front of the Weinstein Center and at the Gateway apartments.

Use GRTC buses to commute or travel around town for free

The University provides city bus passes to students, faculty, and staff. Get your free pass here. Get information on the bus routes to and from campus here

Ride the Campus Shuttle

The Campus Shuttle takes you around UR and around the city, all you need is your UR ID. The shuttle routes include: 

  • Willow Lawn Xpress
  • Evening Circuit
  • Weekend Connector
  • Campus Loop
  • Spider Mall Crawl

View route details and updates on the Transportation website.

Carpool when commuting or traveling off-campus or out of town

You can use Ridefinders to find carpooling options.

You can also rent a Zipcar on campus. 

Choose a train instead of a plane
Traveling by train can be a more affordable, relaxed, and environmentally friendly experience than traveling by plane. Trains have much lower greenhouse gas emissions than planes and offer more legroom and great scenery along the way.
Purchase offsets for air travel

Air travel produces more greenhouse gas emissions than car, train, or bus travel, but sometimes you have to travel by plane. When you do, you can purchase offsets through companies like Cool Effect or Terrapass based on the length of your flight and money from your purchase is put towards sustainable projects like tree planting, landfill gas capture, and renewable energy.  

Consider a hybrid or electric car
Hybrid and electric cars produce fewer emissions than gas or diesel powered vehicles. If you're planning to purchase a car soon, learn about the benefits of hybrid and electric vehicles through Drive Electric RVA or the Virginia Electric Vehicles Initiative.

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Transportation Facts