Alternate transportation going
places on the Emory campus

To get to work, Katharine Gaddie, a graduate program assistant in psychology, rides MARTA's Number 115 bus from her home to the Kensington train station and then catches the Kensington express bus to Emory, and it doesn't cost her anything. "I decided the expense of keeping a car up was getting too much, since I was riding MARTA anyway-I've been riding the Kensington express bus since it started, because it was more convenient."

To Cheryle Crumley, assistant director of community services for transportation in the parking and community services office, Gaddie's story is just one example of the success of Emory's alternate transportation programs.

"We've had significant success in our MARTA pass and carpooling program since we started over two years ago," said Crumley. To build on that success, Crumley said the carpooling program will add an incentive in February that will allow three or more person carpools to park for free. "Basically, the three-person carpools will have a deck or lot reserved carpool space for free," said Crumley. "This is at least a $700 value."

There are 82 registered carpools that include 165 people: 49 faculty, 89 staff and 27 members of The Emory Clinic staff. Michael Street, Fishburne and Lowergate decks are the most popular spots for carpools to park. Crumley noted that in the past two years, only a few people have used the guaranteed ride home provided by the parking and community services office. "In our initial surveys, people said not having a car during an emergency was an obstacle to their being in a carpool," said Crumley. "But it turns out that most times people feel comfortable getting rides from co-workers and friends if they have an unexpected situation to deal with and need to go home."

In addition to the carpooling program, Emory also provides $45 monthly MARTA transcards to 765 employees; Crawford Long Hospital provides an additional 372 to its employees. "We are one of the biggest participants in the MARTA partnership program," said Crumley.

"The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has held Emory's alternate transportation up as a model," said Crumley. "When ARC began its Commute Connections Program last spring, they wanted to get other businesses to do what Emory's doing in the alternate transportation arena."

Crumley also mentioned that ARC has identified Emory's Clifton Corridor as one of the four areas in metro Atlanta identified as having potential for a transportation management association (TMA). "The study said that the Clifton Corridor, along with Buckhead, the Airport and Midtown areas, had the greatest traffic congestion and that these areas had the best potential for a TMA." TMAs already exist in the Cumberland and Perimeter mall areas.

Crumley said there are numerous plans for commuter options. Discussions are under way with an outside vendor to provide vanpools to Emory. The parking and community services office has had several meetings with MARTA officials about creating light rail service to Emory, but Crumley said rail service to Emory will be five to 10 years away with the study and political process that MARTA will need to go through. "We have told MARTA that Emory needs improved and expanded bus service," said Crumley. A bus from Emory to the Decatur MARTA station, express service to the Highway 78 area and a shuttle to the Northlake area have all been discussed with MARTA.

She said that MARTA and ARC consultants met with the consultants from the master planning firm, Ayers/ Saint/Gross in mid December and that her office plans to explore more commuter options for students.

-Jan Gleason

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