cyclists crossing the commuter bridge over the Mississippi river

Commuting with less carbon

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota and a significant source for the University. The new U of M Twin Cities Climate Action Plan calls for the U of M to reduce emissions from commuting by 40 percent by 2033, and by 70 percent for the University's more than 500 fleet vehicles.

One of the best ways to get to, from, and around campus is by bus or bike.

The University has invested heavily in biking infrastructure on campus, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed: The U has been recognized as a Platinum Level Bike Friendly University and a Platinum Level Bike Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists numerous times, most recently in 2023.

Thousands of people bike to campus every day, and there are plenty of reasons why.

cyclists riding across the Washington street bridge

Get zapped!

The U of M Zap program rewards cyclists for biking, and thousands do so every day on and around campus. Students receive gift cards and employees earn health insurance premium reductions just for riding their bikes. Participants can also view a dashboard that tracks miles, pounds of CO2 offset, and gallons of gas saved.

worker at U of M bike center working on a bike as customer waits in background

U of M Bike Center

The U of M Bike Center provides bike services to the U of M community and the public, including bike repair, classes, and sales. This is where you can join the ZAP Program; just stop in and have them install an identification tag on your bike.

cyclist wearing helmet with UMN block M logo painted on wall in background

Helmets and Headlights

Cyclists can get discounts on bike helmets, lights and/or LED straps, and other accessories to help them ride safely.

two Asian students working in the Wang Lab

Research snapshot: A record-setting discovery

A discovery by U of M researchers could lower the energy consumption and improve heat management in electronic devices. Similar to the way a switch controls the flow of electricity to a light bulb, the researchers’ method provides a way to turn heat flow on and off in devices and opens the door to more energy-efficient and durable electronics.

By bus or by car

view of the Washington Ave transit center with view of pedestrian bridge, Washington St bridge, hybrid-power bus, light rail tracks, and Weisman Museum in background

Universal Transit Pass

U of M students have unlimited access to the regional transit system in the Twin Cities metro area through a Universal Transit Pass. All students are automatically enrolled when they pay a transportation and safety fee.

Employee Transit Pass

Benefits-eligible faculty and staff on the Twin Cities campus have unlimited access to the regional transit system in the Twin Cities metro area through an Employee Transit Pass. The ETP can significantly reduce transportation costs while expanding access to health care, affordable food options, frequent rides regardless of time of day or weather, and reduce the need for single occupancy vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Campus buses and Metro Transit

U of M campus buses serve around 10,000 riders per day, taking students between stops on the east and west banks, as well as the U of M campus in St. Paul. Anyone who needs alternative transportation service while on campus can request a free accessible ride (curb-to-curb) through University Paratransit Service. Additional public transportation options are available through Twin Cities Metro Transit, which includes a light rail that can take riders just about anywhere in the metro area, from Target Field to the Mall of America.

Carsharing and carpooling

The largest vehicle sharing program in the Twin Cities, Hourcar, has more than a dozen locations on campus and guarantees 24/7 access to vehicles. For an all-electric option, Evie carshare offers trips by the minute, hour, or day. Students can also download the Gopher Rideshare app to save time and money and reduce congestion.

University fleet services

The U of M operates a fleet of more than 500 vehicles for many different uses, ranging from research to groundskeeping to emergency response vehicles and buses. With a goal to reduce fleet emissions 70 percent by 2033, the U is increasing EV campus charging infrastructure and transitioning toward electric, hybrid, and flex fuel vehicles.

students studying on the Northrop mall with bicycle in background

What can you do about climate change?

Climate science is important. So is the need to make it actionable to communities at large, which is the driving force behind the U of M’s Climate Adaptation Partnership, led by Heidi Roop, assistant professor of climate science. Roop’s new book, The Climate Action Handbook: A Visual Guide to 100 Climate Solutions for Everyone, offers ideas for how we can all help to mitigate climate change.