The BC program will be managed in conjunction with Caravan, a non-profit organization that works with state transportation agencies and employers to promote carpools, vanpools, public transportation and shuttle buses.
Caravan will partner with the BC community to organize carpools - which the program defines as at least two people per vehicle - and help students and employees find public transportation routes to campus.
"Cars and other motor vehicles produce 41 percent of the smog and air pollution in Massachusetts," said Acting Environmental Health and Safety Director Keith Kidd. He cited Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection studies indicating that air pollution is a factor in some 1,100 deaths in the state each year and the cause of health problems for as many as 750,000 people.
"We should do everything we can to reduce pollution if it will have a positive impact on people's health," said Kidd.
Caravan representatives will be on campus next month to sign up interested participants. Following the registration period, Caravan will help match commuting BC employees and students. The organization will also provide information about the program and its benefits. Forms will be available in the Student Services office for those who wish to register at a later date.
To encourage participation in the program, University administrators say those using carpools will be given preferential parking spots on campus. In the event of an emergency at home, Boston College will provide or arrange transportation for the commuting employee or student.
"Along with the obvious environmental advantages this program offers, another excellent benefit will be that the parking shortage on campus will be eased," said Director of Student Services Louise Lonabocker. "That's always a good thing."
The University also will encourage employees and students to consider walking, bicycling or using public transportation to travel to and from campus.
BC operates a shuttle bus service for students and employees who live in Newton, Allston, Brighton, and Brookline. The service makes stops at various locations on the Chestnut Hill and Newton campuses, as well as South Street, Cleveland Circle, Chestnut Hill Avenue, Chiswick Road, Commonwealth Avenue and Greycliff Hall. In addition, MBTA buses and subways are accessible near both campuses.
To promote walking and biking, the University plans to make shower facilities available on campus to commuting employees and students who use those methods of transportation.
For more information on Caravan, see the World Wide Web site www.commute.com or call 1-888-4-Commute. BC shuttle bus routes and schedules are available at www.bc.edu/bc_org/svp/house/busses/routes.html.
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