Sustainable transportation

University Goals and Planning

Sustainability and Transportation Goals

As outlined in the university's 2030 strategic plan, MSU is committed to reducing 50% of its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reaching climate neutrality by 2050. Transportation, including the university fleet and commuting behaviors, will play an important role in reducing the university's carbon footprint and reaching our sustainability goals. MSU annually conducts a greenhouse emissions inventory and reports progress through the 2030 strategic plan. Scroll down to review transportation-related data from our FY2022 greenhouse gas inventory. 

MSU Strategic Plan Logo

Campus Planning and Transportation

Our campus planning principles also embrace stewardship and sustainability in transportation and circulation. A new comprehensive facilities and land use plan is nearing completion that will envision how the campus should look, feel, and function for decades to come. Detailed assessments examined the pedestrian experience, transit system demand and routing, and parking demand to inform the draft plan, which calls for prioritizing and enhancing pedestrian health and well-being and re-envisioning the center of campus with fewer cars.

Land use planning public input session

Transportation Data

University Fleet and Electric Vehicles

In FY22, the university fleet made up roughly 0.9% of the university's scope 1 emissions. MSU has committed to expanding its electric vehicle fleet by nearly 370 vehicles by 2030 as part of the implementation of the MSU 2030 strategic plan. The conversion will decrease the university’s overall carbon footprint by 18,945 metric tons of carbon dioxide long-term – the equivalent of planting 312,584 trees. As of May 2023, MSU has brought 47 electric vehicles into the university fleet and installed 52 non-public electric vehicle chargers to assist with this transition. See "Sustainable Transportation Resources" for more information about public charging stations.


In FY22, commuting made up approximately 35% of the university's scope 3 emissions. Informed by a commuter survey, 36% of MSU students drive alone when commuting to campus, 24% carpool or take the bus and 40% walk or bike. For MSU faculty and staff, roughly 87% of employees commute to campus driving alone, while 10% carpool or take the bus, and 4% walk or bike. MSU is encouraging sustainable commuting to campus by supporting expansion of the regional trail system in the Lansing area. This includes working closely with Meridian Township on the new Lake Lansing Trail to MSU which will connect the Lansing River Trail, MSU's campus, and the Ingham County Parks at Lake Lansing. The trail is nearing completion as of October 2023, allowing people to use safely use non-motorized transportation to travel between campus and the west side of Meridian Township near Foods for Living.

Sustainable Transportation Resources

There are a number of resources on campus to help you be Spartan green and reduce your carbon footprint while getting around.

Biking on campus

Biking is a healthy and environmentally-sustainable transportation option for the MSU community. With more than 70% of its roads equipped with bike lanes and more than 20,000 bicycle parking spaces, MSU has been named a Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. Visit MSU’s Bikes Service Center or follow MSU Bikes Blog for tips on bike safety, bike security and to learn more about the bike resources offered on campus.

Additionally, MSU has installed several bike repair DIY stations across campus, providing cyclists with a place to fix flats and make minor adjustments. The stations are located at Phillips, Holden, Brody and Yakeley halls, and can also be found at the Bikes Service Center and bike garages located in the Grand River Avenue Ramp and Communication Arts and Sciences Ramp. View bicycling amenities on this map.

Using the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) bus system 

The Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA) bus system is easily-recognizable both on and off campus. For faculty and staff heading to meetings or students hurrying to class, CATA offers safe, reliable transportation. Bike racks are available on all CATA buses for passenger use; no additional fares apply. Additionally, CATA’s Clean Commute Options program offers many more options beyond great bus transit. CATA provides free on-campus bus service for students, faculty and staff.

Not sure how to use the bike racks on a CATA bus? The Shaw Lane Bus Depot has a practice rack. Watch this video to learn how to use it.



MSU has partnered with Zipcar to promote carpooling and the use of mass transit. The program, which launched January 12, 2011, put seven pods on campus with nine cars available for students, faculty and staff to reserve and use.

MSU offers a discounted parking permit for registered carpoolers. The cost of the permit is $24.50 per month per person or $294 per person if paid in-full. Each individual using the permit can decide if they’d like their portion of payment to be prepaid or payroll deducted monthly. This permit must be purchased in person at the parking office.

Additionally, Enterprise has partnered with MSU to provide a Rideshare vanpooling service for commuters at the university. Visit their website to learn about rates and the application process. 

Michigan also offers a Guaranteed Ride Home Program, which helps commuters make it home after work.