SU's Commuter Benefits
The university provides incentives to get to work using alternative transportation including: $10 flex pass, Zipcar rental, car and van pool, showers and lockers for commuters, shuttle from the train station. Visit the Commuter web page
Get a Tune Up - A tuned engine will increase a car's gas mileage. Also have your car's heater and air conditioner checked for clogs and reduce the amount spent on gas by up to $130 per year. Filter obstructions force your car to work harder to blow air out, wasting energy.
Inflate Your Tires - Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated. Check them monthly.
Change Your Air Filter - Check your car's air filter monthly.
The Real Costs of Car Ownership calculator - The amount you spend on your car is lost money you could have spent on saving for retirement, education or the purchase of a home. Learn how much your car is really costing you in terms of these foregone opportunities. If you don't own a car you will want to someday, so use the calculator's default values to learn what a car will cost you.
Buy a Fuel Efficient Car - Today's passenger cars average just 24 miles per gallon, the lowest level since 1980. In the early 20th century, by comparison, Ford's Model T got 28.5 miles per gallon. For each gallon of gas your car burns, it releases about 19 pounds of carbon dioxide. So, if you could tweak your ride to eke out just three extra miles per gallon, you'd reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by about 1,000 pounds a year, based on an average mileage of 12,000 a year. The Fuel Economy web site shows you a side-by-side comparison of every cars' fuel economy, annual oil consumption, green house gas emissions and air pollution.
Idling Costs Money - Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more gas than re-starting your engine. Idling consumes 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon of gas per hour. Excessive idling is bad for your engine's spark plugs and exhaust system. Vehicle exhaust is a main cause of toxic air pollution.
Keep Speed Under 60 mph - Every 5-mile increase above 60 mph is an extra 10 cents per gallon of gas you have to put into your car.
Use Cruise Control - Aggressive driving and irregularly hitting the brake or accelerator can waste 33% more gas.
Remove Your Sports Rack - An empty sports rack on your car's roof increases wind resistance and decreases your fuel efficiency.
Remove Excess Weight - An extra 100 pounds of stuff in your trunk can reduce your mph by 2%.
Roll Down the Window - Get some fresh air. Car air conditioners use 20% more fuel.
Put Your Car on a Diet- Decide to fill up a certain amount of gas each week and use alternative forms of transportation when you run out.
Eliminate One Weekly 20 Mile Car Trip - You'll reduce your annual production of CO2 greenhouse gasses by nearly 1,000 pounds. (That's equal to the amount of CO2 that an acre of rainforest can absorb in a year.)
Combine Short Car Trips - Plan your errands in advance so you can do them all in one trip. Keep track of when you use your car most. Consider for which trips you could use alternative forms of transportation instead. If you live in a large city and use your car only occasionally, consider renting a car when you need it instead.
Alternatives to Driving
Commute Cost Calculator - Compare the actual cost of driving alone to the cost of carpooling, vanpooling, riding the bus, working a compressed workweek and telecommuting. Fill in your data on this form to figure out your annual drive-alone commute cost.
Use a Flex Car - Flex Car, the car-sharing company which rents cars by the hour, has partnered with Seattle University to park a Flexcar on campus. You can reserve a Flexcar online at a moment's notice. Rates average $10/hour and include gas, insurance, cleaning, maintenance, and 150 miles/day. SU employees that carpool, vanpool, van share, walk, or bike to campus can drive to a lunch meeting or doctor's appointment during the work day in a Flex Car. Students that are at least 21 or older with five years of verifiable driving experience are eligible to join Flexcar. SU pays the first year's membership, application fees and a 2.5 hour trial for faculty and staff. To sign up, contact Public Safety.
For Short Trips, Walk/Bike/Bus -Cars pollute the most when they are first started. If it's a short trip, walk, bike or take the bus instead.
Ride a Bike - Riding your bike to school, the park and ride or the store four days a week for four miles eliminates up to 54 gallons of gas annually.
Carpool When You Can - Accept rides from friends. Carpooling emits fewer pollutants and carpooling lanes get you there faster! Carpooling with friends and co-workers reduces fuel consumption. Carpool in the car that gets the highest gas mileage.