Our district covers 2,600 square miles so a student from Gates or an employee from McMinnville logs a 70-80 mile round trip each time he or she commutes to the Chemeketa Salem campus.
Sustainability Coordinator Steph Fregosi estimates that our collective carbon footprint last year totaled 12,829 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent which is approximately 1,443,669 gallons of gasoline. Per commuter, we’re each responsible, on average, for pumping 1.15 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air above the Mid-Willamette Valley. Our average annual gas consumption to get to and from Chemeketa Salem is approximately 130 gallons with an individual commuting cost of $357.
When Chemeketa signed the American Colleges and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment we agreed to examine how to reduce the impact of commuting. Fregosi surveyed over 1,500 students and staff last fall to establish a baseline for commuting behavior. Here’s how far respondents live from their Chemeketa location –
|Between 0 and 5||558.00|
|5 to 10||361.00|
|10 to 15||218.00|
|15 to 20||194.00|
|20 to 30||134.00|
|30 and up||107.00|
Some upcoming projects may help us reduce our dependence on single passenger vehicle commuting –
Cherriots Transit Service
Cherriots plans to increase the frequency of buses on high volume and cross-town routes though they plan to reduce the overall number of routes.
The college is determining the best practices for riding safely at our locations. When that assessment is complete, we may be able to update the bicycle racks for commuting.
Electric Vehicle Stations
Chemeketa has been working for a number of years to install electric charging stations. This will help the college promote increased electric vehicle usage.