West Chester University


CO2 and climate change: Transportation

Each gallon of gasoline consumed releases over 19 pounds of CO2. The most important source of these emissions at WCU are student, faculty, and staff commuters who drive. A 2004 survey of student commuters conducted by students in 'Humans and the Environment (ESS 102) indicated that the average commuter drove 137 miles per week. In the report linked to this survey they estimated that there are roughly 5000 WCU commuters, that they consume 34,000 gallons of gasoline each week, and emit 325 tons of CO2 each week. The report calls attention to carpooling as one way to reduce emissions; WCU supports a ride share program for faculty and staff but not for students.

An analysis of greenhouse gas emissions by BLUER, estimated that vehicles in the Borough of West Chester emit about 41,000 tons of CO2 each year, about 18% of the Borough's total emissions inventory. On a weekly basis, the Borough's vehicle emissions are 788 tons of CO2. Not all WCU commuters drive on Borough streets but it is clear that they have a substantial impact even when compared to vehicle traffic in an entire town.

Much more information can be found in the report Commuting to WCU: Implications for Carpooling and Carbon Emissions.