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Fees provide alternative transportation for students

Colorado State University is committed to sustainability, being the first university in the world to earn a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System Platinum rating.

One of the many ways CSU practices sustainability is through the many alternative transportation options available to students, making it easier for students to not bring their car to campus.

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“We are always looking for that environment aspect in all of our projects.”-Michael Townsend, CSU fourth-year student and ATFAB chair

According to the Alternative Transportation Fee Advisory Board’s website, each semester students are charged an “alternative transportation fee” to their bill. This semester, the fee for full-time, on-campus students amounted to $33.65.

ATFAB is responsible for funding new transportation projects and investing students’ money to improve campus, according to its website. 

Each year student fees are used to fund the Transfort contract, enabling students to ride city busses with a student ID. 

Alternative Transportation Manager Aaron Fodge helps allocate the budget and explained that money is not only awarded to the Transfort contract, but also funded to construction contracts. 

According to Fodge, the ATFAB collaborates with the city of Fort Collins and works toward new construction projects on campus.

A recent project is Hughes Way, a trail that goes from Shields Street to the Morgan Library parking lot. ATFAB successfully converted the one way road into a new road with a two-way bicycle facility, making it much safer and more effective for bikers and pedestrians, according to ATFAB’s website.

Mark Kohn, a third-year student studying human dimensions of natural resources and vice chair for ATFAB said that the completed Hughes Way Trail was one of their “shining projects.” He said, “It was a total transformation, and it was impressive how they were able to transform the area.”

Another successful investment funded through the alternative transportation fees was the Poudre Express, a new line going from Fort Collins to Windsor and Greeley. This line grew connections between the neighboring communities of Northern Colorado, according to Kohn.

“We were hoping that it would open up housing opportunities for students to live outside of Fort Collins and give students in those areas the opportunity to attend university by utilizing our transportation,” Kohn said. 

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CSU also has staff and faculty who live in the area, making it easier for them to travel to campus sustainably, Kohn said. 

ATFAB has many additional funded projects, both completed and in the works, including The Spoke, the Amy Van Dyken Way Contraflow Bike Lane and Monfort Quad Crossing Trail, according to the website. Additionally, Bird 2.0 scooters are available to students on campus, making CSU the only location other than Los Angeles to offer these, according to Fodge.

Last year the board moved points away from other criteria to the sustainability category to put emphasis on the importance of environmental benefits within projects, according to Kohn. 

ATFAB always seeks out new project proposals and rates the proposals based on a set criteria, including how the project will directly affect students and the quality, efficiency, aesthetics, architectural style and environmental benefit, according to Michael Townsend, a  fourth-year student and ATFAB chair.

Additionally, Townsend said that sustainability is a priority.

“We are always looking for that environment aspect in all of our projects,” Townsend said. 

Nicole Taylor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @nicoletaylor_32.

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