Columbia Expands Park and Ride to Reduce Emissions and Congestion in Manhattan

November 29, 2021
The Lamont shuttle is parked in front of the parking lot full of cars at Lamont-Doherty campus on a clear winter evening

Columbia University added 15 parking spaces to the park and ride program at its Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory campus, bringing the total to 36 spaces. The program allows Columbia employees living in the Rockland County area to give up their car commute to Columbia’s Morningside and Manhattanville campuses by parking at Lamont and catching the free, battery-electric Columbia Transportation shuttle. Participants avoid 15 miles of driving each way, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, parking congestion in Manhattan, and time wasted behind the wheel.

Commuter travel accounts for about 9 percent of total university emissions, and about 38 percent of commute emissions are attributed to affiliates with a driving commute. In the University’s newly released sustainability plan, Plan 2030, Columbia has committed to growing car-free connections to campus to reduce emissions and Columbia-associated vehicle traffic. The park and ride initiative and its recent expansion support the university’s mission to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

The Lamont-Doherty Shuttle Park & Ride has been a popular commute choice since it launched in 2017, with all parking spaces filled shortly after it began. Columbia plans to grow the program further as space allows, as well as establish new commute initiatives to achieve its sustainability goals. To maximize the reduction in emissions, priority is given to employees who have an existing driving commute.

A parking space is not required to use the free shuttle from Lamont to Manhattanville and Morningside campuses. All Columbia affiliates with a CUID can board the battery-electric shuttle, whether they choose to walk, bike, or be dropped off at the Lamont campus. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Columbia asks all affiliates to consider choosing as sustainable commute mode. To learn more about the sustainable transportation services and resources Columbia offers, browse the Commute & Travel Options menu at the top of this page.

Passengers board the Lamont shuttle outside Teachers College on 120th Street in Manhattan