Penn biking

Reducing Emissions

Sustainable Transportation

Penn’s Sustainable Transportation Initiative was launched in 2010 in support of the University’s Climate Action Plan’s goal of lowering the University’s carbon footprint. The focus of the Initiative is developing and expanding sustainable commuting options for members of the Penn community. The Department of Transportation and Parking has implemented over a dozen new programs or service enhancements designed to provide faculty, staff and students with more choice, greater flexibility in their commuting options.

The 2009 Climate Action Plan set a goal that over half of the University population will use alternative transit by FY14. In 2007, 40% of the Penn community used alternative transit to commute to campus. Today over 50% use alternative transit.

Getting Around Penn

Locust Walk


Penn is a pedestrian friendly environment with Locust Walk, a pedestrian street, running through the center of campus. The majority of Penn students walk to class, and a large percentage of staff and faculty who live in the area also walk to work.

Bike Rack


The University of Pennsylvania promotes bicycling as a safe, healthy, and environmentally responsible means of transportation.  We encourage our students, faculty, staff, and visitors to incorporate bicycling into their daily and weekly routines. Cycling reduces traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and health care costs.  It fulfills the University's commitment to sustainability, and provides a low-cost way to move around the city while promoting physical and mental well-being.

Penn offers a number of resources for cyclists including, free bike registration to prevent theft, bike repair stations on campus, a bike helmet reimbursement program, and ample campus bike parking. Penn’s campus bike map also provides locations of all bike related services on campus.

A new program offers reimbursement to those who commute to Penn primarily by bicycle.

For a complete list of resources available to cyclists on campus, visit:

PennTransit Shuttle


Penn Transit Services, the University operated transportation system, provides shuttles and buses that offer safe and efficient travel to, from and around campus. The service is free for holders of a valid PennCard. When used with other options throughout University City and with specified service boundaries that extend into Center City, riders can utilize an integrated transit system that is accessible year round, eliminating a need to have a car on campus. Additionally, with a valid PennCard members of the Penn Community can take advantage of Penn Transit, Loop Through University City (LUCY) and the Drexel University bus system at no charge.

Parking Garage at 40th & Walnut


Penn Parking Services works hard to provide adequate and sustainable parking facilities for the purposes of commuters. Offering LED lights, special parking for Low Emission Vehicles and covered bike corrals in parking garages, Parking Services is looking to make its garages as sustainable as possible. 


Commuting options

The University supports a number of programs to encourage faculty, staff, students and visitors to utilize alternative modes of transportation. Through Penn’s Commuting Program, discounts are offered to students, faculty and staff for using public transportation options such as Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), PATCO and N.J. Transit.  Penn also promotes carpooling and vanpooling programs.

For commuters who  carpool, vanpool or use public transportation on a regular basis, Penn provides a "safety net" for in the event of an unexpected personal or family emergency or illness, unscheduled overtime, or if the regular ride home is not available for certain reasons. In partnership with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Emergency Ride Home Program provides registered commuters with a free ride to home, their car or to the place of the emergency.  Additionally, Penn’s Occasional Parking Program allows commuters to be able to drive to campus when necessary by offering discounted parking passes. 



Although it is easy to get around Penn and Philadelphia on foot, by bike or using a variety of public transit options, there are still times when a car comes in handy. Penn has negotiated favorable membership rates with the City’s two car sharing companies Enterprise Carshare and Zip Car. There are over 30 cars parked in or around campus making car share an easy and convenient alternative to bringing a car on campus.