For some students, IUP commuting goes green

A Civic Project story

IUP student Stephen W. Mack: “Some Indiana University of Pennsylvania students say they think they have a right to a parking space on campus, right next to their classes.” Photo by David Loomis

By Kara Holtzman

INDIANA — Stephen W. Mack, 21, a junior criminology major, is going green instead of getting mad about commuting to campus.

“Some Indiana University of Pennsylvania students say they think they have a right to a parking space on campus, right next to their classes,” said Mack in a Feb. 4 interview at his University Square apartment on Grant Street.

Mack said he goes green by walking or biking his way around Indiana. Or he takes local public transportation – the IndiGO shuttle bus.

“Students think they deserve a parking spot every day,” said Mack. “I take the IndiGO almost every day.  It’s just so convenient.”

During the spring 2011 semester, Mack left his car at home in Johnstown.  He said he sees no need for it when he does not drive anywhere during the week.

“I tend to take the shuttle very often,” said Mack.  “I live at the complete opposite end of campus than my friends.  In the winter, it is more convenient than walking.”

Other IUP students are going green without even knowing it.  Some walk, bike or skateboard to class instead of commuting by car.  Kevin T. Morea, a 21, junior business major, skateboards. 

“I enjoy skateboarding to class and all over IUP,” said Morea in a Feb. 1 interview at his Wayne Avenue apartment.  “It’s more fun than walking.  And it saves me from spending money on gas.”

Morea said he walks or skateboards to class every day.  He said he sees no point in driving when he lives a few blocks from the Hadley Union Building and when he knows he won’t find a parking space in the HUB parking lot anyway.

Students who don’t drive to campus say they don’t want to pollute when they commute. About a dozen of these students have formed an environmental group, Environmentally Conscious Organization. The group’s faculty advisor is Amanda Poole, Ph.D, an IUP anthropology professor.

The group promotes global awareness and change through local action, according to the group’s Facebook page. ECO’s goal is to minimize adverse impacts of the IUP community on the environment.  ECO members pledge to lead by setting examples through environmentally conscious choices they make.

ECO group leader Ryan Egan, 19, a freshman economics major, organizes ECO events and weekly meetings. plays a large role in the group. 

“ECO is still trying to get up and running,” said Egan.  “I believe the group has great potential and will continue to promote eco-friendly lifestyles in hopes to rub off on the IUP and Indiana community.”

      — Kara Holtzman, a junior journalism major at IUP, is from Johnstown.


Commuting: Indiana County’s public option

INDIANA — IndiGO is the Indiana County’s shuttle bus.  It operates countywide seven days a week during the spring and fall semesters on 25 different schedules and routes. 

The regular daytime shuttle runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The late-night shuttle runs seven days a week: Sundays, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Monday through Friday, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.,and Saturdays, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. 

The bus is free to IUP students with a flash of an I-Card.  For the rest of the Indiana community, the ride is $1 for fixed routes. 

     Kara Holtzman


Sidebar: IUP tuition fees for transportation

All in-state undergraduate students at IUP pay a mandatory “transportation fee” of $18 per semester. The revenue pays for “an effort to address parking issues on campus and to improve transportation systems available to students,” according to the IUP website. 

It also pays for rides on IndiGO buses. Students need only to flash an I-Card when they board the bus. 

     Kara Holtzman


Sidebar: How to get involved

In 2010, Environmentally Conscious Organization members tried to tack a “green fee” onto IUP student tuition bills. The proposal failed.

Under the green-fee proposal, students would have paid $5 each year for making the campus more green and sustainable, ECO members said. 

Members said they continue to press for passage of the green fee. To join the effort, contact:

Amanda Poole, Ph.D.
ECO faculty advisor
Department of Anthropology
McElhaney Hall G1K


Sidebar: For more information:

For more information about this story, contact the following sources:

Indiana County Transit Authority
Jack Cunningham
Chairman, Board of Directors
1657 Saltsburg Ave.
P.O. Box 869
Indiana, Pa 15701
Phone: (724) 465-2140; 1-800-422-6928

Lt. Gregory Cusimano
Parking Services and Visitor Center
IUP Campus Police
University Towers
850 Maple Street
Indiana, Pa 15705
Phone: (724) 357-8748 or (724) 357-2104

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