Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Bikes, Electric Vehicles and Car Sharing
The HWS Update
YellowBike-oncampus

Bikes, Electric Vehicles and Car Sharing

This year, Hobart and William Smith’s Office of Sustainability has evolved transportation options for students and HWS community members to be more accessible and sustainable.

In September, the Colleges’ installed two new electric car charging stations behind the Office of Intercultural Affairs. Each station has two ports for charging, bringing the Colleges’ to a total of six stations – including those located beside the Office of Campus Safety in the Medbury Parking Lot. The new stations were made possible through a Charge Ready NY grant from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“Our original station was occupied over 80% of the time so there was a large demand from campus users,” says Sustainability Manager Michael Amadori.

Each station is a Level 2 EV charging capacity which provides up to 25 miles of electric range per hour of charging. In just one month, there were 25 unique users and over 125 charging sessions. The locations of both charging stations can be found through the U.S. Department of Energy website, as well as other location apps such as Plugshare and Chargepoint. Any HWS community member is able to charge for free as an incentive to switch from a gas burning car to an electric vehicle.

As part of the Colleges’ 2025 carbon neutrality commitment, all emission from students, faculty, and staff using gas cars are pledged to be offset.

“Getting users to go to electric vehicles now will be a major boost to our commitment,” says Amadori. Currently, the Colleges’ electricity is carbon free. The Colleges’ solar farms power fifty percent of energy needs, and the remaining power is purchased from wind energy.

The Colleges have also increased the accessibility of ZipCars on campus by placing two cars near students’ residence halls. One car is parked behind Comstock on the William Smith Hill and the other is in between JPR and Sherrill.

The ZipCar program is a cost-effective and convenient transportation option available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all students, faculty and staff ages 18 and older. Zipcar provides gas, insurance, reserved parking spots and up to 180 miles of driving per day and roadside assistance as part of their hourly and daily rates. Cars can be reserved for as little as an hour or for multiple days. Participating members with smartphones can make reservations by downloading the Zipcar mobile application, which can also be used to lock and unlock the vehicles, as well as honk the horn to locate where the car is parked.

Amadori says “The hope is less students will bring their car to campus and instead choose to rent a ZipCar for their needs.  If you are only driving a few times each month you can save hundreds of dollars using the ZipCar instead of owning your own vehicle.” HWS students, faculty and staff members can join Zipcar here.

This year, the Yellow Bike Program expanded due to increased demand for bikes on campus. According to the EPA, all car trips under a mile in 2009 resulted in 10 billion miles per year and 2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. For the fall semester, the Colleges lent a record amount of 39 bikes to students. Students are also encouraged to bring their bike from home to campus.

The Colleges also provide a shuttle service for students that enables them to reach campus amenities and locations downtown. This year, Campus Safety launched the HWS BusWhere App, which allows students to track the location of the shuttle.

“Zip car, the yellow bike program and the campus shuttle have had a significant impact on decreasing reliance on cars and lowering emissions,” says Amadori. “Using these resources also makes it very easy, affordable, and convenient to come to HWS without a car.”

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.