Spring 2007 Transportation Survey Summary
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
October 24, 2007
The most recent survey of UNH transportation reveals significant progress
has been made since 2001; students, faculty and staff have expressed overall
satisfaction with current services and a willingness to support continued
This spring, telephone and e-mail surveys were conducted by the UNH Survey
Center and the Campus Planning Office on behalf of the University Transportation
Policy Committee. The findings will assist the committee in making recommendations
regarding further changes and improvements in the same way a 2001 evaluation
The 2007 telephone survey, conducted by the survey center, randomly polled
more than 400 faculty and staff members. That was followed by Campus Planning’s
Web survey which included many aspects of the phone poll but allowed for
full community participation.
Publicized in the Campus Journal, on Blackboard and through e-mails to
the faculty senate and the PAT and OS Councils, the Web survey resulted
in more than 1,200 interviews from a wide cross section of students—who
weren’t included in the phone surveys--faculty and staff.
This year’s surveys repeated key questions from 2001 so comparisons
in attitudes over time could be made. The 2007 poll went beyond the focus
of the last one, which concentrated primarily on parking issues and commuting
The Web-based survey, posted on SurveyMonkey.com between April 20 and
May 10, represents the largest sample of transportation opinions collected
at UNH to date. A summary of the findings follows.
Not surprisingly, students use the Campus Connector shuttle buses more
frequently than faculty or staff, with the exception the Mast Road (excluding
Gables use for A-lot access) and the West Edge Express. Satisfaction is
generally high except that community members feel connector buses are not
meeting advertised frequencies.
To counter the problem, the policy committee is looking at options that
might include schedule alterations, higher frequencies, continued traffic
flow improvements and/or investing in technologies that would provide real
time status information to waiting passengers.
Those surveyed expressed a general feeling that some runs are underutilized
and that resources might better serve other routes. Woodsides and the dining
shuttles were seen as lower priorities.
One surprisingly positive finding indicates that for students living off-campus,
Wildcat Transit routes are a significant factor in deciding where they
will live. More than 50 percent of those in non-campus housing live within
walking distance of a Wildcat bus stop.
While many believe the level and quality of the university transit service
is very good, there is still an interest in adding more frequent bus service
with more runs and more stops.
Students are far more likely to carpool; only half of those living off-campus
drive their own vehicles compared with the majority of the faculty and
staff. The student number is down from 93 percent of those surveyed in
2001. Today, students are much more likely to carpool, take Wildcat Transit,
While solo travel among students is down, the amount of time they spend
on campus has increased two-fold. Survey responses indicate more student
visits for shorter periods of time, underscoring the need for increased
short-term parking access and/or improved transit access and intra-campus
Another surprising point of the 2007 survey is that nearly half of those
who do commute to campus—faculty, staff and students—move their
vehicles at some point during the day prior to going home; this is up from
the 2001 survey. Reasons for doing so include going to lunch, running errands,
and having to make job-related trips such as going to meetings or to remote
areas of campus.
Respondents also note that if they do give up a core-area parking spot,
they typically spend time circling campus before finding a new one. The
transportation committee is looking at strategies to expand a park-once
concept based on connectivity provided by the Campus Connector. Reducing
private vehicle circling will reduce energy consumption, save wasted time
and reduce emissions.
The committee also is looking at other strategies to provide intra-campus
mobility for people and packages with the Cat Courier, increased promotion
of Campus Connector routes or policies that make moving from one parking
spot on campus to another less attractive.
The most important overall finding of both surveys was support for a continuation
of the system improvements made during the past five years. A majority
of all groups prefers some level of fee increase to a reduction in transportation
A summary of the survey and other information on the Transportation Policy
Committee can be found a www.unh.edu/transportation/tpc.