MOSCOW, Idaho – After an extensive feasibility assessment, the University of Idaho and the Washington State University have decided to end their agreements with Wheatland Express.
The Intercampus Shuttle was established between the University of Idaho and Washington State University in the early 1990s. The service has facilitated cooperative programs at Idaho and WSU. Both institutions provided 50 percent of the funding for the shuttle program per an interagency agreement.
WSU and U-Idaho Parking and Transportation Service departments were asked earlier this year to examine the feasibility to continue an intercampus shuttle service and provide a collaborative recommendation to their respective administrations. The study revealed that the contracted transit model, from an annual, per-rider cost perspective based on current demand, was not cost-effective or sustainable. The annual cost per rider was more than $800 based on the most recent $140,000 annual contract.
While both universities are concerned about the transportation and parking needs of the Moscow-Pullman community, the shuttle has been utilized for purposes other than its original use. In addition, a downward trend in ridership combined with projected increases in the contract costs each year made clear the need for more cost-effective options.
Both universities have made a commitment to provide ridesharing services and a carsharing program, which will place fuel-efficient vehicles on each campus for short-term rental. Other options available include the reciprocal parking agreements between campuses, as well as vanpools and carpools.
“We will continue to focus support for cooperative programs by providing the most effective and sustainable mobility options available,” said Carl Root, director of Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Idaho.
“We are working on alternatives for our students in cooperative programs,” said Bridgette Brady, director of WSU Parking and Transportation. “Unfortunately, the existing program is not economically feasible.”
About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity. The student population of 12,000 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For more information, visit www.uidaho.edu.
About Washington State University
Since its founding in 1890, WSU has forged a rich history from stories of remarkable people-scholars, and leaders whose contributions transformed lives around the world. Washington State University (WSU) is a top-tier research university and the state’s land-grant university. Students work side-by-side with professors whose scholarship and research are at the frontiers of knowledge. Among the faculty are members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and recipients of numerous national awards and fellowships.
Washington State University is one of only three universities in the Pacific Northwest and one of only American universities–public and 33 private–”with “very high research activity,” according to The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. U.S. News and World Reports lists Washington State University as the 52nd best state university in the nation, with a ranking of 111th overall. Kiplinger’s included WSU in its list of the top “100 Best Values in Public Colleges.” Money magazine ranked it in the top 15 colleges in the West in three of the past four years.
Washington State University is known for research strengths in such diverse areas as biotechnology, reproductive biology, global animal health, shock physics, viticulture, smart power grid, sleep and performance, wood technology, computer chips and the impact of advertising on healthy decision-making. Check out www.wsu.edu for more information.