Alternatives to Driving Alone

Person sitting on a bus.
AI-generated image created and edited by Robert DeSanto

For seven years in a row, Yale has been named as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters, the only workplace in Connecticut, and one of only three universities in the Northeast, awarded the designation in 2023. The award, granted from a program run by the Center for Urban Transportation Research that encourages better commuting practices, recognizes Yale’s comprehensive benefits, which make commuting easier and more cost-effective for employees — and promotes greener transportation options.

Here are some of Yale’s options for sustainable travel — find the one that works best for you.

Commute by transit
Commuter benefits help make taking a train, bus, or van pool to work easier. Staff and faculty can purchase transit passes or a commuter check card with pre-tax dollars (up to the IRS limit of $300 per month) through the university’s transit vendor, Health Equity. The purchases are processed through payroll deduction and passes or cards are delivered in the mail. The program also offers flexibility for those times when your regular transit commute doesn’t work. With a monthly train, bus, or vanpool pass the university offers three daily parking permits per month; a 10-ride pass comes with one.

Off-campus parking may also figure into your commute to work. If you need to park in a non-Yale parking facility as part of your transit plan, you can take advantage of pre-tax savings on your parking expenses, up to the IRS limit of $300 per month. You have 180 days (about 6 months) to submit your expenses for reimbursement from the date the expense is incurred.

Carpool to campus
Carpool matching and rewards through CTrides, run by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, make sharing a ride to work easier — and helps defray the cost of parking. Each member of a two-person carpool pays 50% of the parking rate, in 3-person carpools each pays 33%, and members of 4-person carpools have their parking charges waived. All carpoolers also receive 3 free parking passes per month for any time they might need to drive solo.

In case of an emergency or an unexpected disruption, CTrides also offers a guaranteed ride home — reimbursement for emergency transportation, up to four times a year.

Take two wheels to work
There are many resources to support commuting by bike at Yale and in New Haven, including bike racks, repair stations, bike registration, and designated paths. And Yale is a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM, as awarded by the League of American Bicyclists.

Yale Shuttle and Zipcar
Staff and faculty can count on the free Yale Shuttle to get to campus and get around during the day. For destinations off the Yale Shuttle routes, Yale staff, faculty, and students are eligible for discounted memberships to Zipcar.

Change your mind anytime
Try something new — risk-free. When you decide to use transit options and suspend your parking permit, you have six months to reclaim your current parking space if you change your mind. And pre-tax allocations for transit through Health Equity can be changed month-to-month.

More to Know about the Yale Shuttle

With a total of 14 routes, Yale’s shuttle offers service around Yale’s New Haven campus, out to West Campus and the West Haven VA hospital, and to New Haven train stations. They run seven days a week, from about 6:00 a.m. -1 a.m. And accessible transit services operate seven days a week as well. (Both services may be subject to listed holiday closures.)

While the Yale Shuttle service runs year-round, the slowest time of the year begins after Commencement and ends when students return in August. During the busiest period, from August through Commencement, October stands out with high passenger volume. In October 2022, there were approximately 69,000 passengers in the Yale shuttle system.