Commuter Profile

Executive Summary:

The proposed solution is a web-based tool which allows people toindicate the start and end-points of their commute and be provided with a “Commuter Profile” which gives them information about their commuting options including suggested routes (provided by Google Maps), estimated costs and benefits (money spent, calories burned, carbon emissions produced), resources available to UW commuters (e.g. U-PASS, bike facilities, ride-sharing resources, telecommuting policies, etc) and other motivational/inspirational information about the benefits of more environmentally friendly commuting options (e.g. profiles of commuters and expert
advice offered by UW researchers and professionals). My vision is that a link to this tool would be provided to all students/faculty/staff to accompany the information that is sent out each quarter with the U-PASS (this is
something that Transportation Services would help determine).

Purpose/Goal: To encourage low-impact commuting options by presenting information which conveys the message that these options are viable and achievable, and that they have significant health and monetary benefits as well as environmental ones.

Student Involvement:

This project will be entirely student driven. Students will not only do the design and technical work, but also interact with staff and faculty to gather feedback and support,conduct usability testing, and identify the substantial resources the UW community can provide (e.g. expertise on relevant topics ranging from the health impacts of different commuting modes to urban planning and policy-setting to support commuters).

Education & Outreach:

The finished project will provide education/awareness about the environmental impacts and personal/social impacts of various commuting options to everyone who uses it (potentially the entire UW community).

The process of creating the project will involve outreach to UW staff and faculty to garner their support and, in the process, create mutual awareness of the resources the UW has to address and minimize its own environmental impacts.

Environmental Impact:
  • Transportation
Project Longevity:

Environmental Problem:

The primary campus environmental problem this project addresses is carbon emissions. It also addresses problems of resource consumption and pollution produced by the operation of vehicles and creation and maintenance of roads and parking lots. Not only will a switch to lower-impact forms of transportation reduce our environmental impact, but they will reduce traffic congestion, improve health and create a more humane campus environment (some interesting research shows positive effects of reduced vehicle traffic on quality of life:

Explain how the impacts will be measured:

Carbon emissions: The UW monitors carbon emissions from commuting.
Mode Split (e.g. percentage of the campus population that uses each form of transportation): We regularly survey the campus population to determine commuting modes and gather other information about commuting behavior.

These parameters are the ones that will be influenced by this project, but of course, we won’t be able to assume that any changes are the result of this project alone. The evaluation phase (described above) is where we’ll attempt to tease out the effectiveness of this particular piece on commuting behavior. In future, Transportation Services could add questions about the Commuter Profile site to their existing commuting behavior questionnaire to track ongoing success.

The results will be reported to Transportation Services and, if they are compelling enough to make a good story, to the broader UW community via the Daily, University Week, etc.

Total amount requested from the CSF: $30,000
This funding request is a: Grant
If this is a loan, what is the estimated payback period?:


ItemCost per ItemQuantityTotal Cost
Personnel & Wages
Coordinator$8,000-12,000 1$8,000-12,000
Communication designer$1,600-8,000 1$1,600-8,000
Visual designer$1,600-8,0001$1,600-8,000
Web designer$1,600-8,0001$1,600-8,000
General Supplies & Other
focus groups$300
usability testing$754$300

Non-CSF Sources:

Project Completion Total:


Start DateImmediately Upon Approval
Date by which you will need the first installment of the CSF grantThe best case scenario will be that I can find a coordinator to begin Spring quarter which would mean that I would need the fund before the quarter begins.
Date by which you expect to have spent all CSF fundsJanuary, 2012
Target date for submitting final project report to the CSF OfficeJanuary, 2012
hire the project coordinatorMarch 28 or June 20
The rest of the milestones will be dependent upon that date and upon other hires.

Project Approval Forms: