A variety of transportation programs are currently being endorsed and sponsored
by UTEP in order to conserve fuel, reduce the University's carbon footprint, and
improve overall air quality. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to
participate in these transportation programs in hopes that UTEP's efforts will
reach beyond the campus to the community of El Paso and the region.
Initiatives include programs for Fuel Conservation, Electric Vehicles, Alternative Fuel, Shuttle Service, Carpool Priority Parking, and Vanpooling. Alternative transportation programs, such as bicycle sharing, UTEP buses, and electric car amenities are also now taking place across campus!
Bike sharing programs have become very popular in recent years due to its continuous success in providing cities with a cleaner form of transportation. Research students in the Engineering and Business College, working together with El Paso's Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) are currently working in bringing this concept to the University and the city. Their goal is to provide the UTEP community with an alternative form of transportation as they are walking back and forth between buildings and parking zones during their day. As the Campus Transformation Project nears its end late 2014, the system is set to be implemented and ready for student use. This is a project presently being funded by the Green Fund and hopes to have its support from the UTEP community and have its debut in the near future!
The primary objective of the Student Busing System is to provide a wide-area bus service that has a high likelihood of proving benefits in the reduction of emissions gases from student vehicles, be cost effective to students when compared to the cost of commuting and vehicle ownership, and create further exposure of UTEP throughout the El Paso area as an institution growing toward Tier 1 status.
The system will be established as a network of buses specifically tailored to UTEP students, include amenities such as non-stop routes between the pick up points and the University Campus, Wi-Fi availability, air conditioning, and working hours specific to student needs. A partnership with Sun Metro is currently being developed so as to have this system implemented soon!
In 2007, UTEP doubled the size of the Miner Metro fleet to provide better service for students and accommodate increased enrollment. The Miner Metro service provides an alternative source of transportation that reduces UTEP's carbon footprint, especially when paired with the use of the El Paso Sun Metro for transportation to the University. The Parking and Transportation Department in coordination with City has already implemented a Sun Metro bus express route from east El Paso to UTEP. Ridership has averaged approximately 3,800 per month. More express routes are being evaluated by the Student Busing System for implementation, including routes from the far eastside of El Paso and downtown.
UTEP commenced a carpool program in the fall of 2008. Permits are available for students, faculty, and staff at a discount of 15% off of the regular permit price. Approximately 125 parking spaces are reserved for use by carpools. An online ride share service was also established that allows users to search for a one time ride or their best match for a carpool buddy.