Hundreds of individuals took the opportunity to learn more about the various commuting options available to students and employees at the Active Commuting Celebration Sept. 16.

The Active Commuting Celebration, which is held annually during Virginia Tech's Sustainability Week, recognizes those who chose to bike, bus, walk, carpool, or vanpool to campus, and also serves to educate the community about transportation options.

Several campus organizations participated in the event, including Blacksburg Transit, the Virginia Tech Office of Energy and Sustainability, the Blacksburg Office of Sustainability, Hokie Wellness, Virginia Tech Bicycle Ambassadors, Zipcar, and the Virginia Tech Environmental Coalition. A gallery of photos from the event is available online.

"We are fortunate to live and work in a community where there are so many transportation options. Not only are we reducing air pollution and roadway congestion by reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles on campus roadway, we are demonstrating our commitment on a local and regional level," said Deborah Freed, alternative transportation manager.

Representatives from the company that's been hired to lead the development of a Parking and Transportation Master Plan at Virginia Tech answered questions and collected feedback from community members and shared information about the new MOVES app for bicyclists and pedestrians.

In addition to the more traditional forms of alternative transportation (bicycling, walking, vanpooling, carpooling, and riding busses), Virginia Tech has partnered with Zimride and ZipCar to offer car sharing options on the Blacksburg campus.

Two of the most popular programs for commuters are the carpool program and the bike, bus, and walk program. 

A RIDE Solutions program allows interested students and employees to search a local database to find others who would like to carpool. The Virginia Tech Vanpool Program allows full-time employees to use a university van to carpool travel between the Blacksburg campus and various locations across the region. 

More than 38 percent of students, faculty, and staff report that they walk to and from work, and to get around campus. Additionally, nearly 13 percent of students, faculty, and staff report that they ride a bike to and from work. The percentages are much higher than the national average of 2.7 percent and 0.6 percent, according to the 2014 American Commuter Survey, respectively. 

In 2013, Virginia Tech was designated a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. Each year since 2010, the the university has been awarded gold in Best Workplaces for Commuters Race to Excellence. In 2014, the university was also recognized in the "Best of" categories for universities in the Best Workplaces for Commuters Race to Excellence.

For more information about alternative transportation, or to participate in next year's Active Commuting Celebration, contact Mackenzie Jarvis at 540-231 2701.