Transportation: Economic Sustainability  

  • First used in August 2010, "Cybrids" are 12 hybrid buses that account for approximately 17% of CyRide's large bus fleet. Cybrids combine a small biodiesel engine with an electric motor for efficiency and also capture braking energy during stops, releasing that energy for use during accelerations. Cybrids are estimated to save 23,000 gallons of fuel and 464,102 pounds of CO2 every year! Because they are 50% quieter, Cybrids also help cut unwanted noise pollution. Read more information here about CyRide's other sustainability initiatives, including solar-powered bus stations.
  • Outdoor Recreation Services offers a plethora of free and reduced-cost services to the avid cycler! Some of those services include giving free bike safety inspections and tune-ups, teaching responsible biking classes, offering minor bicycle repair services, answering questions and providing recommendations.
  • The online Ride Share program and the car share program (Zipcar, suspended through spring semester 2020 due to COVID-19 precautions) allow students to find carpool opportunities or reduced-cost rentals that can save money related to the costs of fuel and on-campus parking. Participating in this program also reduces fuel emissions that contribute to climate change.
  • Transportation Services extensively uses E85, a bio-based fuel that contains up to 85% corn ethanol. This type of fuel is becoming increasingly popular in the Midwest, where corn remains a major agricultural crop. As a result, not only is E85 cheaper than traditional gasoline, it also provides economic support to the many local farmers and businesses who contribute to its production. With its fleet of 550 vehicles driving six million miles a year, E85 provides substantial economic benefit to Transportation Services.
  • Transportation Services owns and operates three on-site fuel tanks: an above-ground E85 tank, a below-ground unleaded fuel tank and a below-ground diesel tank. This enables Transportation Services to buy fuel at bulk rates, which brings costs down, saves tax money and allows vehicles to be fueled on campus whenever possible. Additionally, Transportation Services allows local organizations and non-profits such as CyRide, the City of Ames and Main Stream Living to purchase fuel from campus at a small 3-5 cent surcharge. Fuel purchased at Transportation Services is cheaper than normal fuel rates because of joint contracts with other state entities.
  • To save money, Transportation Services buys new vehicles in bulk at a decreased price. It also partners with the Iowa Department of Transportation to sell old vehicles at auction, bringing revenue to campus while also ensuring vehicles find a new home with those who need their own form of transportation.
  • In partnership with ISU Environmental Health and Safety, Transportation Services recycles engine oil.