NC-2009 SSc4.1: Alternative Transportation—Public Transportation Access

  • NC_CS_SS4-1_Type3_Pub Transport Diagram
  • Site selection makes all the difference

    Site selection is the key factor in determining how easily a project can qualify for this credit. If your project is located in a densely populated area that is well-served by public transportation, it should be very easy to meet the requirements.

    An all-around good idea

    Facilitating access to public transportation not only brings environmental benefits in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fewer cars on the road, but it can also reduce commuting costs for building occupants and help attract new hires and retain employees.

    Options for larger projects

    Larger-scale projects may want to consider working with local transit authorities to bring public transportation access near the project site if none already exists. You may not need to ask for an entirely new bus route—some other options include diverting an existing bus route or adding a stop on a route that runs nearby.

    Go by streetcarLocating in neighborhoods with public transit, like Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District, reduces transportation energy use while giving occupants more options. Photo – Reconnecting America If public transportation cannot be brought closer to your project site, you still have the alternative of providing shuttles to existing public transit—either regularly scheduled or on demand. Note that shuttles buses should provide direct access to transit facilities within two miles of the project site, approximately a 5–10 minute drive, and must be available to all project occupants.

    FAQs for SSc4.1

    What are the requirements for shuttle buses?

    Per the LEED Reference Guide, they must connect to public transit and operate during the most frequent commuting hours.

    Per a LEED addendum published 4/1/12, they must also "provide direct access to transit facilities within 2 miles of the project site, approximately a 5-10 minute drive, and must be available to all project occupants."

    A bus has multiple stops within my 1/4-mile radius. Can I count each of those?

    No, as this doesn't increase service to the LEED project. (Depending on project specifics, you could try to make a case, however.)

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Selecting a site with easy access to public transportation is the easiest way to earn this credit, so ideally this credit will be considered during site selection. Projects located in dense urban areas generally can qualify, whereas projects located in rural or suburban areas, where public transportation infrastructure is not as developed, may need to facilitate access to existing mass transit nearby, which may in some cases be difficult or expensive.


  • If there are no bus stops or train stations in the project’s immediate vicinity, consider talking to local transit authorities to see if a bus line can be rerouted closer to the project site, or if a bus stop can be added near the building to serve the occupants.


  • There is generally no extra cost for projects with access to existing transportation access or those that request an added bus stop.


  • Establishing a regular shuttle for building occupants to a transportation hub can add additional costs. However, making commuting easier for your employees, or making your building more accessible to customers can pay off in productivity or sales.


  • A transit-oriented project may need less parking area, contributing to SSc4.4: Alternative Transportation—Parking Capacity. You can also reduce your costs for parking construction, maintenance, and stormwater infrastructure and fees.

Schematic Design

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  • Typically, the owner or LEED consultant is responsible for documenting access to public transportation and should identify local stations and bus routes closest to the project, reaching out to local transit authorities if necessary.


  • To document the credit create a vicinity site map, to scale, illustrating the building in relation to the bus lines or rail stations that will be used for compliance. A delineated walking route from the project to the transit stop is also recommended.


  • One commuter train station within a half-mile walking distance is sufficient to meet the credit requirement. This can be a local metro, subway, light rail or long-distance commuter line. Alternatively, two bus lines within ¼ mile walking distance can satisfy the credit requirement. These can be private, public, or campus bus lines.


  • Walking distance must be measured from the main building entrance to the bus stop or rail station. This path must follow sidewalks and other walkable areas. Crossing highways, lawns or other private areas is not considered an acceptable part of pedestrian access.


  • Some projects have two or three “main” entrances from which to measure the distance to bus stops or rail stations. If any one of these entrances is within the required distance, this can qualify your project for the credit. Confirm in the credit narrative which entries are “main” entries.


  • Public, private, or campus bus lines in proximity to the project site can be used for credit compliance as long as building occupants have consistent access at peak times. If there is an existing shuttle that runs nearby to the project site with restricted access, consider talking to bus operators to see if you can get permission for your project occupants to use the shuttle. (See the Documentation Toolkit for an example using a shuttle from the project site.)


  • If a rail station or bus stop that you plan to use for compliance has not yet been built, you will need to provide proof that it will be funded, sited and planned at the time of project completion. (It does not have to be built, however.)


  • A bus line that goes in separate directions (for example, one into town, one out of town), counts as a single bus line, not two, and does not meet the credit requirement for two bus lines. Compliant bus lines must serve two distinct routes. The simplest way to determine this is to verify that the buses display two different route numbers. Two routes that converge near the project and then diverge blocks away count as separate.


  • Consider one of the two options for pursuing an Exemplary Performance point for this credit:

    • Developing a comprehensive transportation management plan. The plan must quantify the reduction of personal automobile use by building occupants due to a variety of alternative transportation options and strategies. This same Exemplary Performance point covers all of the Alternative Transportation credits.
    • Demonstrate access to double the number of train lines or bus lines. The frequency of service at these particular stations must total a minimum of 200 rides daily. (See the Documentation Toolkit for an example.)

  • Documentation of this credit can occur anytime between schematic design and 100% construction documents. Unless your team is pursuing an alternative compliance path, you can document the credit as soon as the locations of your main entries are set.

Construction Documents

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  • Fill in the LEED Online credit form. Document the credit with a site plan highlighting the pedestrian route from the building entrance to the identified bus or train stop or stops. Provide a distance scale to confirm that the building entrance is within the required distance of transit—¼ mile for bus, ½ mile for train.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Consider providing building occupants with information about public transportation options in the vicinity and instituting programs that promote their use, such as subsidized passes or other financial incentives. This could be part of a wider transportation management plan, which is one available strategy for gaining an Exemplary Performance point under IDc1. To meet this ID point, project teams would have to institute a Comprehensive Transportation Management Plan that promotes the use of alternate transportation and limits the use of personal vehicles.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    SS Credit 4.1: Alternative transportation - public transportation access

    6 Points

    Intent

    To reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use.

    Requirements

    Option 1: Rail station, bus rapid transit station & ferry terminal proximity

    Locate the project within 1/2-mile (800 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of an existing or planned and funded commuter rail, light rail, subway station bus rapid transit1 station or commuter ferry terminal.

    OR

    Option 2: Bus stop proximity

    Locate the project within 1/4-mile (400 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more public, campus, or private bus lines usable by building occupants.

    OR

    Option 3. Rideshare proximity

    Projects outside the U.S. may locate the project within 1/4-mile (400 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more existing rideshare options2 that that meet the definition of public transportation3 and are authorized by the local transit authority if one exists.

    1 Bus rapid transit is an enhanced bus system that operates on exclusive bus lanes or other transit rights-of-way; it is designed to combine the flexibility of uses with the efficiency of rail.

    2 Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders. Rideshare options must hold 4 or more passengers, except for human-powered conveyances which must hold 2 or more passengers.

    3Public transportation consists of bus, rail, or other transit services for the general public that operate on a regular, continual basis.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Perform a transportation survey of future building occupants to identify transportation needs. Locate the building near mass transit.

    FOOTNOTES

    1 Bus rapid transit is an enhanced bus system that operates on exclusive bus lanes or other transit rights-of-way; it is designed to combine the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail.

    2 Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders. Rideshare options must hold 4 or more passengers, except for human-powered conveyances which must hold 2 or more passengers.

    3 Public transportation consists of bus, rail, or other transit services for the general public that operate on a regular, continual basis.

Web Tools

Walkscore.com

A great site for finding walkable communities and neighborhoods.


Hopstop.com

Subway and bus directions for NY.


Public transportation resources

Find public transportation around your site.


Project for public spaces

List of online resources on encouraging public transportation and space usage.


Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

This is a list of resources on increase of access to public transportation and walkability of cities.


Radius Around a Point

Helps to determine the radius around a project site to determine how many bus stops and other amenities are nearby.

Technical Guides

USGBC guide for campus building

Important to refer to in case of multi-building development.


Guide to transportation management plan

This encyclopedia is a comprehensive source of information about innovative management solutions to transportation problems.

Organizations

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Government organization dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing vehicle-related crashes.


Walkable Communities Transportation Alternatives

Organization advocating for pedestrians.

Publications

Comprehensive Transporation Management Plan for Seattle Children’s Hospital

A sample plan highlighting enhanced transportation options, including a shuttle to transit system, an innovative bicycle program, and increased financial rewards for employees who commute without driving alone.


Juniper Networks Headquarters Campus Transportation Demand Management Plan

A good example of a transportation plan that has variety of infrastructure and incentive based measures that encourage all forms of alternative mode use: transit/shuttles, carpool/vanpool, bicycling, walking, and telecommuting.

Other

Commuter Program at Juniper Networks

Video of a good transportation plan that highlights company’s mass transit subsidies and telecommuting programs as well as its financial incentives, which helped the company achieve over 24% trip reduction in 2007.

Comprehensive Transportation Management Plan

A comprehensive transportation management plan is one way to earn an Exemplary PerformanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. point under SSc4. 

Vicinity Map

Option 2: Bus Stop Proximity

Use a vicinity map like this to demonstrate your project's proximity to public transit. Include the number and location of stations or lines and the walking distances from main building entrances.

Alternative Compliance Path

This sample narrative (which was approved for a project whose name has been removed) illustrates documentation of an alternative compliance path, in which shuttle service is provided to connect the project building with a light rail station and a public bus line.

Subway Ridership

Exemplary Performance

Exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. was earned for this project by demonstrating proximity to at least two commuter rail lines with over 200 transit rides per day, total. (In this case, 14 subway lines with 2,227 stops per day were documented.)

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 SS

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 SS credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

Version 4 forms: (newest)

Version 3 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions on these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

Design Submittal

PencilDocumentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.

205 Comments

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Sarah Lavalliere
Oct 02 2014
Guest
2 Thumbs Up

Number of bus stops and bus lines required

Project Location: Canada

There seem to be a slight difference in the wording between the English version of the LEED 2009 CS Canada reference guide and its French translation. For one project, there are two bus lines with a bus stop each within a 400 m walking distance from the main entrance of the building. However, the French translation states that there should be at least one stop for at least 2 lines with frequent service within a 400 m walking distance. I was wondering if the credit could be obtained if there are 2 bus stops with one line each with frequent service or if it is required to have one stop for at least 2 bus lines with frequent service.

OPTION 2. BUS STOP PROXIMITY (6 points)
Locate the project within 400 metres (¼ mile) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more public, campus, or private bus lines with frequent service usable by building occupants.

OPTION 2: Proximité d'un arrêt d'autobus
Implanter le projet à une distance de marche d'au plus 400 m d'au moins un arrêt d'au moins 2 trajets d'autobus publics, scolaires ou privés qui offrent un service fréquent que peuvent utiliser les occupants du bâtiment (distance mesurée à partir de l'entrée principale d'un bâtiment).

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Melissa Hill
Sep 29 2014
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4 Thumbs Up

Shuttle service definition?

I'm working on a new construction project under the 2009 version and we recently received our preliminary review comments. We attempted option 2 of this credit, but were denied because the bus routes closest in proximity to the site are different directions of the same bus line (Line 52). The reviewer suggested we look into the recent Addenda that allows a shuttle service to a second bus line.
There is an additional bus stop located well within 2 miles of the project site that connects to Line 52. Can we consider the public bus Line 52 as a shuttle that provides access to additional lines? The additional bus stop provides access to 3 different bus lines, which would allow us to meet the credit requirements.

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Mary Kay Project Coordinator Gray Construction
Sep 11 2014
LEEDuser Member
275 Thumbs Up

Prviate Shuttle System Used Solely

We are going to use a private company shuttle system since there is no bus stop within 1/4 mile of the site. Is it permissible to use the shuttle system to transport employees to both of the two separate public bus lines? And, if so, do these lines have to be within 2 miles of the project site AND a 5-10 minute drive? Or can these lines be within 2 miles OR a 5-10 minute drive? In other words, one of the bus lines is more than 2 miles away, but without traffic lights, so the stop is reachable in just under 10 minutes. Thank you.

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Charlie Haas
Sep 10 2014
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2 Thumbs Up

Providing Accurate Number of Bus Rides for Exemplary Performance

I am working on a project at a large local university that has both its own large bus system and a municipal bus system. For 99% of the lines, each bus line has both a north and south stop. My confusion comes with accurately counting rides for the LEED form. As an example, I have a bus line that, when looking at the north route, has 97 rides total. The south route has 98 rides (because it runs slightly later than the north). This route also has four stops (two in north direction, two in south direction) within the 1/4 mile radius. Do I start with a total of 195 rides for that line? And do I need to subtract out something for the stops within the radius or will my number for submission be 195 rides?

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist Sep 11 2014 LEEDuser Member 1101 Thumbs Up

For daily rides - you can only count the number of rides in one direction, not both. While the bus runs in both directions, theoretically your occupants would be taking each direction once (i.e. if you come from the north, you're going to get on the opposite bus to go home). As such, the daily rides are calculated on a route basis, not a direction basis. It also doesn't matter how many times that same route stops within your quarter mile walking distance - as it's all on the same route, it counts as just one daily ride. So for your example, that route would give you a total of 97 daily rides (smaller of the north vs. south total).

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Brian Muldoon Planning Specialist Howard County MD Government
Aug 12 2014
Guest

Please help-your perspective appreciated on transit

Developer creating a local TOD ... not a State of MD endorsed TOD. Proposes a shuttle bus line to convey commuters to commuter rail station. Developer desires credits fo transit availability- this is not public transit.

Would this developer be eligible for transit points with private commuter shuttle transit?

I believe not but how do you think USGBC would interpret?

Thank you

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Alicja Bieszyńska Skanska
Aug 06 2014
LEEDuser Member
1086 Thumbs Up

Future bus line

Our project is located in a suburb area which is planned for intensive development in the nearest future. Currently it's just a huge undeveloped plot but we're staring together with a few other investments in parallel. For obvious reasons right now there's no bus stop within 1/4 mile but local authorities are planning to create two bus lines that will serve the new buildings. Do you think we could get the points for the SSc4.1 credit if we get a letter from the city where they'll say that they assure that the two bus stops will be created within e.g. one year from now to serve the new investments?

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Mary Kay Project Coordinator Gray Construction
Aug 05 2014
LEEDuser Member
275 Thumbs Up

Official Building Entrance

Possibly I posed this question under the wrong credit. I posted it under SSc4.2 last week and didn't get a response, so am trying again under this credit. Our project is located at a large airport. The building is surrounded by tall fencing and all employees must enter by foot through the security entrance, which is at the parking lot adjacent to the building. The main door to the bldg. is approximately 145 yds. from the security entrance. No cars or bikes can go through the security gate. Since the security entrance is a forced point of entry, would this be considered our main building entrance? Thanks so much!

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Aug 05 2014 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

Mary,

There are several LI's that discuss this issue - in particular on military bases. You may want to look them up and hopefully they will provide an answer to your question, if not at least a good place to start. You can find them if you go to the LEED credit library and click on the Interpretations button.

Thank you,

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John Edwards Sustainable Design Coordinator/Sr. Proj. Mgr. Bonstra Haresign Architects
Jul 28 2014
LEEDuser Member
20 Thumbs Up

EP - rail AND bus vs. rail OR bus

The EP Option 2 criteria for SSc4.1 requires 2 rail stations within 1/2-mile OR 2 bus stops serving 4 lines within 1/4-mile, with a minimum of 200 rides per day. Our situation has 1 rail station within 1/2-mile AND 1 bus stop serving 2 lines within 1/4-mile, with a minimum >200 rides per day. I would think that if we provide 1/2 of each of the two alteratives, we're achieving the EP intent of increasing/diversifying the transit opportunities, especially since the number of rides per day exceeds the threshold. Has anyone been successful in making this argument?

Also, based on past discussion threads, we are counting trips in each direction of each line as a ride. We have done this successfully (i.e., without comment) on several past v.3/2009 projects that have been certified. I understand this may not be the case with v4, but can I assume it is still acceptable in v3/2009?

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Jul 28 2014 LEEDuser Expert 18072 Thumbs Up

John,
The criteria for exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. for this credit was based on interpretation # 5020, which includes the sentence “A combination of rail and bus is allowable.” That sentence doesn’t appear in the v2009 Reference Guide, but I think the intent is still there.

In most cases the proximity of the transit stop (the physical access point to a transit line) and the level of service (# different transit lines and total # of rides or per day) have been the key criteria, more so than the number of stops.

(Think of rides as the number of times a bus is scheduled to serve the stop nearest your project per day for each line, not the total number of riders. And yes, v3 didn’t clarify whether to count rides in both directions for each line, so many 2009 projects do count both, whereas v4 only allows counting the # of rides in one direction. We might assume that’s still allowed for 2009 projects, but hard to say for sure.)

The other key for exemplary performance is showing that you have quadruple, not just double, the level of service that would be provided by a baseline of bus service with 50 rides per day. The more rides per day, and the more transit lines (and geographic coverage) you have the stronger your case for exemplary performance over a baseline.

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Meghan Ward Architectural Technologist, Sustainable Design Consultant Aurecon South Africa
Jul 17 2014
LEEDuser Member
4 Thumbs Up

Combining Option 2 and Option 3

We are working on an Office project located 3 miles from a rail station. We have more than one bus stop located a 1/4 mile walking distance from the site, but only one bus line and a mini-bus taxi rideshare option.
Would it be possible in this case to achieve this credit if we combine options 2 and 3? I am battling to find a previous thread that discusses this combination on option 2 and 3.

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Scott Adams Principal, Sustainable Integration LLC Jul 17 2014 Guest 34 Thumbs Up

I afraid your question requires some further clarification. Option 3 of NC credit SS4.1 is very specific to school projects and would be inapplicable to an office building.

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Meghan Ward Architectural Technologist, Sustainable Design Consultant, Aurecon South Africa Jul 21 2014 LEEDuser Member 4 Thumbs Up

Per the LEED addendum published 7/6/12, Option 3: Rideshare Proximity was added for projects outside the U.S. Would it be possible to achieve this credit if we combine this Option 3 and Option 2:Bus Stop Proximity?

Option 4: Rideshare Proximity is for schools only.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 25 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Meghan, I'm confused what you mean by combining those options. Can you be more specific about how you would combine them?

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Meghan Ward Architectural Technologist, Sustainable Design Consultant, Aurecon South Africa Jul 29 2014 LEEDuser Member 4 Thumbs Up

Hi Tristan,

For Option 2 the criteria is locating the project close to stop/s for 2 or more public, campus or private bus lines.
For Option 3 the criteria is locating the project close to stops/s for 2 or more existing rideshare options.

For our project we only have one public bus line and then one rideshare option. Would we then be able to achieve this credit based on the project having two public transportation access? Even though one is in option one and the other is in option two?

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Sheryl Swartzle Sustainability Specialist TLC Engineering for Architecture
Jun 24 2014
LEEDuser Member
728 Thumbs Up

Cruise Terminal - Public Transportation

Our cruise terminal is located within a secure port, county transit buses are not allowed access to the port (for security reasons) but have a stop not far outside of the security check point (but over the 1/4 mile limit). Buses from the nearby airport (a transit hub) have a constant loop to the terminal (a 5 - 7 minute drive) and buses (or small shuttles) come from hotels to pick up and drop off cruise passengers. Any thoughts on if and how I can document so the owner can achieve these very much needed 6 points? Or is this a lost cause?

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Kotaro Nakamura Jul 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 19 Thumbs Up

If the bus stop is within a 1/4 mile from the security checkpoint, but over 1/4 mile from the entrance to your project, the client can provide a shuttle from the checkpoint to your building.

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Dillon Lee
Jun 10 2014
Guest
2 Thumbs Up

Small city with only one bus option

We are pursuing LEED credits for a VA Clinic in Sanford, North Carolina... Sanford is a fairly rural city, but it does have a public transportation that provides many options for the public. Is there any flexibility for more rural areas that don't have multiple bus lines or a rail/subway system. The Bus line does run during all business hours and can even pick people up if not too far from the determined route. Is this worth pursuing further? What avenue would I take to find out more about this?

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Jun 16 2014 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

Read all the LEED Interpretations (LI's) in LEED Online, as well there have been several threads under this credit that address that situation.

You need to prove that you have at least 2 bus lines and either have a bus stop from each line within a 1/4 mile walking distance from your building OR can provide a shuttle with no more than a 2 mile ride to a location where both bus lines can be accessed.

This credit does become tough for smaller towns and rural areas.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Jun 16 2014 LEEDuser Expert 15702 Thumbs Up

You might want to contact the local bus service provider. Some small towns will alter their bus service for large volume buildings and your project may meet that criteria.

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deborah davidson dsquared consulting
Jun 05 2014
LEEDuser Member
3 Thumbs Up

How Close to 1/4mi?

We are doing a LEED submission on a Univeristy new construction project in Townsville, Australia.

The project's 'front' door is located 430 meters from a bus stop which is serviced by 5 public bus routes. A 1/4 mile is equivalent to 400 meters, making us 30 meters (just under 100ft) off.

Would this not make the cut off distance to be awarded? Or would this be in the 'good enough' zone? Is there any leeway on the distance?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Jun 13 2014 LEEDuser Expert 18072 Thumbs Up

Reviews have typically been strict about the 1/4 mile distance being the walking distance from building entry to bus stop (as opposed to a 1/4 mile radius shown on a map or 1/4 mile "as the crow flies"). If your building has another frequently used entry/ exit point that is within the quarter mile walking distance it seems reasonable to use that one. It's hard to say if there would be any margin of error; the more information you can provide on the frequency of bus service or data on transit ridership the better your chances.

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GOVINDACHARI SUNDARARAJAN
May 12 2014
Guest
26 Thumbs Up

Alternate Transportation – Public Transportation Access”.

The project is located in an industrial area. The project building entry is 0.59 mile walking distance from a train station and has one bus stop within 1/4 mi. It’s unlikely the city transit authority would add another bus stop, the project is going in for LEED certification, will this be conidered for credit

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Magda Aghababyan CEO, Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd. May 19 2014 LEEDuser Member 583 Thumbs Up

The credit concerns about bus lines (not bus stops). So even if you have 2 or more bus stops within 1/4 mile for the same bus route, you are still not meeting the requirements. You need to have at least 2 different bus routes within 1/4 mile.

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GOVINDACHARI SUNDARARAJAN
May 12 2014
Guest
26 Thumbs Up

Alternative Transportation

The alternate transportaion specified 2 Bus Lines with in 1/4 Mile distance from site, it is specifed as 2 lines, kindly confirm that this site should be accesible for 2 different bus routes or simply 2 bus stops

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Magda Aghababyan CEO, Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd. May 19 2014 LEEDuser Member 583 Thumbs Up

No

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects May 29 2014 LEEDuser Expert 18072 Thumbs Up

The site should be served by two different bus routes. Each bus route needs to stop at least once within a quarter mile of your project.

You can only count one stop for each bus line going in each direction. So if one line makes more than one stop in that quarter mile, that extra stop doesn't help, and you still need a second bus line.

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GOVINDACHARI SUNDARARAJAN
May 12 2014
Guest
26 Thumbs Up

Sustainable sites-Development denisty & community connectivity

In Development denisty & community connectivity Various type sites it has been indicated that green field site should not be developed and not eligible for credit

but under Site development- Restore habitat-Green field site- this has been indicated that disturbance of developement should be limited as per the guideline given, why this is contradictory, kindly clarify

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects May 29 2014 LEEDuser Expert 18072 Thumbs Up

You might want to re-post this question under credit SSc2 http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/SSc2 and
SSc5.1 http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/SSc5.1

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Eric Thompson Architect NBBJ
Apr 16 2014
LEEDuser Member
395 Thumbs Up

Alternate Compliance Concept - Thoughts?

We have a situation where our site only has one bus line with a stop within 1/4 mile (though 2 other stops are within 1/2 mile).

However, the one bus line is very frequent and runs all day. We noticed that in the new credit (LT - Access to Quality Transit) in Version 4, they count the overall aggregate of trips and abandon the concept of stops.

Also note that the Exemplary Credit section of the LEED v3 states that "This strategy is based on the assumption that the threshold of the base credit would provide, in most cases, at least 50 transit rides per day". Our daily average is well above that.

This seems to us to meet the intent, and we plan to propose it, but wondered if anyone sees any objection to it or can poke holes in the argument?

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects May 29 2014 LEEDuser Expert 18072 Thumbs Up

Eric,
I can think of one case where a project achieved the credit with only one bus stop by showing the level of service for that stop and the near vicinity exceeded the 200 rides per day that would be needed for exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements.. I've also heard of projects that tried a similar approach and didn't earn the point.
One hole to poke in your argument would be that frequency is one aspect of transit service, but the extent of geographic coverage provided by that one bus line might be limited. You might want to provide an annotated map along with a detailed narrative and try to describe how broad an area the bus line serves, or any other transit studies for the area.
Hope that helps.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator Opsis Architecture
Apr 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
850 Thumbs Up

Walking path through another building

Our project is on a University campus but is not using the campus approach. University students cut through other campus buildings frequently. Would it be acceptable to show the walking route to the bus stop going through another building?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Apr 16 2014 Guest 3929 Thumbs Up

Are the buildings open during the same hours? Is the building they'd cut through open to the public? So long as anyone at your LEED project has access to the "cut through" building this seems fair to me. You may be able to find a similar situation in the LEED Interpretations database.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture Apr 16 2014 LEEDuser Member 850 Thumbs Up

Hi Kathryn - very good points. The building is open the same hours and open to the public. Those points would be good to add as a note to the reviewer. Thanks-

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Kelly Searle LEED Green Associate, Sustainable Innovation Specialist Clark Builders
Mar 28 2014
LEEDuser Member
17 Thumbs Up

LEED Canada Option 3 Public & Catholic Joint Use School

We are building a joint use school and trying to determine the likelihood of achieving 3 credits under SSc4.1 Alternative Transportation: Public Transportation Access - Option 3 (Transportation Demand Management Plan). To do this we have to demonstrate a 25% reduction in SOV trips and the school bus is our only option.

Our school has approximately 1200 FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. so we would require more than 300 students to be using the bus each day to demonstrate a 25% reduction in SOV trips. I believe I read somewhere that you also have to be prepared to prove this is as good or better than other schools in the area.

After speaking to the busing supervisors for each of the schools, I was told that one end user currently has 4 buses servicing the school with approximately 200 students. There is a charge for busing if the student is outside the formation area (kind of the same thing as jurisdiction in public schools) and there is a charge for students who live within walking but want to get on the bus (walking distance is considered under 2.4km from the school.) This would show there is incentive to not take the bus if you don’t have to. It is projected that the new school we are building will have the same number of buses, but will be transporting 230-240 students. This proves better than the first school.

The second end user has confirmed their busing service has approximately 20 buses servicing all the public schools in the town. The buses meet at a common place and students transfer to the bus going to that school. Because of this system, it would probably mean 2 buses will go to this school and as long as those two buses are carrying a reasonable number of students (would need to be 60-70) it would qualify. In fact this would eliminate numerous buses travelling the same roads which greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, fuel consumption, and air & water pollution from vehicle.

We could also include some or all of the following information in a report and/or template:
a) A transportation hierarchy example showing modes of transport, including Walking Bicycling, Bus Service, personal vehicle use to show best type of transportation to worst.
b) The school is located in close proximity to many amenities proving that anyone (bused students, those who walk, anyone who has drove) are within walking distance to a variety of choices for lunch.
c) Sidewalks around the school providing safety and comfort to pedestrians which will be cleared on a regular basis throughout the winter.
d) Bike Racks and Showers onsite

Is there something more that I need to attempt this credit? Is there any cost associated with attempting this credit? Based on the information, what is the likelihood of achieving this credit and is it a worthwhile investment to pursue?

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Mar 31 2014 LEEDuser Expert 18072 Thumbs Up

Kelly,
My understanding is LEED Canada has its own NC2009 rating system, reference guides, and review body with some differences from the US-based USGBC, so I can't speak for specific differences between the credit requirements and review process besides noting that the point totals and options are slightly different.

Since CaGBC does have the split review option for a design phase and then the construction phase, you could submit this credit with whatever information you currently have and see from your design phase review response if they ask for additional information. Even if you are not doing a split review you'll still have a chance to respond to the reviewers comments and request for additional information.

For your initial submission, you might not need the all the detailed info you list, so you might start with just the information about the bus services, number of riders expected for each, and the method used to predict usage by the busing coordinators and bus services. Your task is to show that the 25% reduction of SOV use is based on bus ridership alone, so primarily you need to show that 300+ bus riders is realistic to expect for your campus and that this is an improvement over the previous campuses and/ or other local schools.

Since your option is worth 3 points, and there don't appear to be any additional costs involved, it sounds worth pursuing.

Hope that helps!

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory Colliers International
Mar 19 2014
LEEDuser Member
2468 Thumbs Up

Using BD+C SSc4.1 as an EBOM IO credit

We're working on the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. certification of a building with excellent public transportation. Has anyone attempted to use SSc4.1 as an IO credit in EBOM? We will pursue EBOM SSc4 and conduct an alternative commuting transportation survey as well.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Mar 19 2014 Guest 3929 Thumbs Up

I think this should be posted under the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. Credit?

I don't think documenting SSC4.1 from LEED NC as an EBOM IO credit makes sense. I think it's already covered in the survey credit.

Originally I thought you were asking the other way around. (whether the EBOM survey could be used as an IO credit on an NC project).

I think that might have merit but the narrative would have to be really compelling.

Personally if I were going to attempt this as a credit I would want to document that there was was quantifiable environmental benefit associated with my efforts. I would almost pitch it as incentivizing low-carbon means of transportation and state that you are actively increasing the amount of people who are taking low-carbon means of transportation. Perhaps you could do the survey one day and then the next week tell people that you will give them candy or coffee if they carpooled, took mass transit or drove a low-emitting/fuel efficient vehicle. Then you could measure the difference and argue that your ID credit strategy resulted in quantifiable environmental benefit. I worry that just measuring but not creating any incentive would not be seen as adding any benefit on top of the already existing LEED NC credits regarding transportation. Just my two cents. If you do submit please let everyone know how it goes.

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Farah A.
Mar 01 2014
Guest
523 Thumbs Up

School bus stops

If a project is located within 1/4 mile of two school bus lines, will it earn the credit? Or must one of the lines be public?

Thanks!

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Mar 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

If you have a project that is other than LEED for Schools at minimum 1 of the bus lines should be a public bus line for your staff etc., as well, the other bus line as a school bus - your building would really want to be a school or a major portion of the project is a school of some sort or entertains school age children for a major potion of their occupants. You would need to provide a narrative describing how many occupants the school buses bring on a daily basis, see LEED for Schools on documenting the use of school buses.

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Neil Rosen Director of Sustainable Development North Shore LIJ Health System
Feb 27 2014
LEEDuser Member
558 Thumbs Up

No "official" bus stops

I'm working on a project that is served by multiple bus lines that do no have traditional bus stops...according to the official schedule the program works on "Hail-a-Bus - Every corner is a bus stop...just give a wave" Would this concept be acceptable for credit compliance?

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist Feb 27 2014 LEEDuser Member 1101 Thumbs Up

If you have documentation from the public bus company that explains the fact that the bus operates on a hail-a-bus method and include documentation of the route map (so reviewers can see that it does go near your site since there are no official stops), I would think that would be fine.

Just a general question for my own knowledge- how does getting off work in a hail-a-bus system? I.e. will the bus stop at the next immediate corner once the stop cord is pulled? Or are there pre-defined stops for offloading and you can only get on at random corners? I've ridden on systems where the bus wouldn't stop at a predefined stop unless you waved/hailed it, but never one where any corner could be a stop if you waved/hailed it. Just curious :)

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Neil Rosen Director of Sustainable Development, North Shore LIJ Health System Feb 27 2014 LEEDuser Member 558 Thumbs Up

Kristina, Thanks for the quick response. They tell me they will drop off anywhere on the route...The facility that I am working on is actually written on the schedule and shown on the route map

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ADRIENN GELESZ LEED AP, ABUD Engineering Ltd. Apr 01 2014 Guest 1351 Thumbs Up

Check out ID#10003 MADE ON 05/09/2011, Inquiry 1) Can a bus line be counted if there are no proper stops, but anyone can board by hailing the bus? Ruling: 1) Yes, document that the bus travels an established route at regular times, and that the hailing system is the established means for boarding the bus at the given location.

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Hannah Sokol Senior Associate, Sustainability Group U.S. Equities Realty
Feb 04 2014
LEEDuser Member
23 Thumbs Up

City Bike Share Program

Has anyone ever included a City Bike Share Program as a form of public/ alternative trans for this credit? We are working on a project that will have a bike share docking station very close by and I was curious if this could possibly contribute to achieving exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. for the credit.

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David Eldridge Project Manager, Grumman/Butkus Associates Feb 10 2014 LEEDuser Member 503 Thumbs Up

We haven't submitted any downtown projects during the "Divvy era" - I think it would be a worthy request of the GBCI though.

Particularly noting that the other Divvy docking stations are at key locations such as the Metra and CTA.

Divvy might contribute through the "comprehensive transportation management plan" part of the credit if you can write up a similar document.

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Guillaume Martel LEED Project Manager, PROVENCHER ROY + ASSOCIÉS ARCHITECTES Feb 11 2014 Guest 15 Thumbs Up

The bike share program hasn't been allowed for a complete replacement of SS4.2 in Canada.

However, I agree that it could be used as part of a comprehensive Transportation management plan.

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Naten Maniktala M.E. GROUP
Dec 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
185 Thumbs Up

Definiition of building entrance

What is the definition of 'building entrance'? If a canopy extends out 150ft from the actual door, can we could the canopy length? Or does the actual door dictate the distance?

Thanks!

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Dec 12 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15702 Thumbs Up

Usually the main building entrance is a door. I'm not sure how the canopy length matters.

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Naten Maniktala M.E. GROUP Dec 13 2013 LEEDuser Member 185 Thumbs Up

Thanks Susan. Has anyone else encountered this dilema?

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E H Sustainability Architect Dec 13 2013 LEEDuser Member 3266 Thumbs Up

Naten, I have not heard of the edge of a canopy being used to delineate the "entrance" to the building. I doubt the GBCI reviewer will accept this.

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Neetika Parmar
Nov 28 2013
Guest
120 Thumbs Up

Hi, We are working on a

Hi, We are working on a refinery located in a remote/restricted area and hence there is no public bus access within 1/4 mile of the project. The project however plans to provide shuttle bus to the nearest public bus stops, which is nearly 25 miles to the project for employees and visitors. Can the project still target this credit if we provide a narrative saying its a remote/restricted area and does not have public transport.

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Dec 02 2013 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

There are several LI's that deal with restricted areas such as military bases that may apply to your situation. However 25 miles may be to far for consideration as GBCI typically wants the distance to be no more than 2 miles for the shuttle. You may want to submit a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide to be sure.

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Neetika Parmar Sep 23 2014 Guest 120 Thumbs Up

Thanks Donald.

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Magda Aghababyan CEO Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd.
Nov 27 2013
LEEDuser Member
583 Thumbs Up

Distance measurement submission

Hi,

In the submission LEED asks to submit a site plan to scale with the walking path marked on it. But alternatively we can take a screen shot of the google distance (Using Distance Measurement Tool) for submission.

Will this be acceptable?

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Dec 02 2013 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

Yes, it should be - however it would benefit to also call out the actual distance as a notation to the image; such as - Walking Distance .23 miles.

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Nilo Regojo
Nov 13 2013
LEEDuser Member
205 Thumbs Up

comprehensive transportation management plan

Our project complies with Option 2 - Bus Stop Proximity. Can we still earn the ID point for Exemplary PerformanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. by instituting a comprehensive transportation management plan?
Are there examples of Comprehensive Transportation Management Plans as described in the Exemplary Performance section of SS Credit 4.1 available for review?

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Dec 02 2013 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

Yes you can. But keep in mind you can only earn 1 exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. credit within SSc4.1 thru SSc4.4 by implementing a Comprehensive Transportation Management Plan.

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Krysta Dimick
Sep 18 2013
Guest
19 Thumbs Up

Building a Library next to a School

Can a school bus line count as our additional transportation line? In construction right now is a school, in which we are building a public library directly to the east of it (no roads dividing these two properties). We have established an entrance next to the school bus lines, knowing that many of the children will be taking trips to the library and engaging in the library's programs. In LEED for schools, this is able to count as one of the lines, but what about LEED-NC?

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Sep 18 2013 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

Krysta,

It may be possible to use school buses as a second bus line however you would need to prove that the buses bring a significant amount of your occupants on a regular basis. I don't feel bringing students maybe once a week or several times a month would do it. You would need to submit a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide with your calculations to be sure.

Have you searched the LI database for anything similar?

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Mark Kumar Bose Dipl.-Ing., Immobilienökonom (ebs) Masterplan Informationsmanagement GmbH
Sep 10 2013
LEEDuser Member
4 Thumbs Up

Source of EP

Where exactly is the EP for double transit ridership or comprehensive transportation management plan documented?

I could' t find it in "LEED 2009 RS_NC_04.01.13_tracked-1.pdf" nor in "LEED 2009 RS_NC_04.01.13_current.pdf".

Same to SSc2 ...

Thanks, Mark

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Sep 18 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Mark, it's in the LEED Reference Guide.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Sep 18 2013 Guest 3929 Thumbs Up

the reference guide doesn't have details about what constitutes a "comprehensive transportation management plan." To get that you need to read LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #532

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Sean Hogan LEED AP RKD Architects
Sep 04 2013
LEEDuser Member
153 Thumbs Up

Bus Frequency

Our office/labs/pilot plant project will provide a compliant bus stop at the site entrance and a local bus company has agreed to divert an existing bus route which connects the town's rail station, shopping center and community college. However the bus company has only committed to aMonday - Saturday 7-10am and 4-7pm service. The current bus does not operate after 7pm in any case, and is an hourly service between 10 and 4pm so the site is missing out on only 4 bus opportunities.

Will this arrangement satisfy credit requirements?

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Sep 18 2013 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

Sean,

It sounds like you are in between Option 1 and Option 2, but it would seem more likely to achieve via Option 1.

Option 1 - it sounds like your diverted bus route may achieve compliance as it would assume the role of a shuttle per several LEED Interpretations and it connects to a rail station. The diverted bus route would need to be in place prior to your Construction Review. The time frames of the diverted bus route also sound like they would comply with what LEED refers to as the"most frequent commuting hours". The rail station would also have to be within 2 miles from the shuttle stop at your project.

The no Sunday service on the shuttle may be an issue - I have received some interesting comments lately about having consistent bus/shuttle service 7 days a week. You may want to submit a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide to verify as I feel it may depend on who your reviewer is.

You may also pursue via Option 2 using the Shuttle in the same way as your 2nd bus line but you would still have the no Sunday issue.

Hope this helps.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Sep 18 2013 Guest 3929 Thumbs Up

Is the building open on the weekends? Who cares if there is service to and from a building that will be locked ;)

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Sep 19 2013 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

That is what our argument is, the public transportation system on our project doesn't offer the same breadth of service on the weekends and it does provide service on Sunday just not to the same extent as M-F. If your project's main operating hours are M-F why does the weekend have to have the same extent of service? The reference guide language only speaks to "the most frequent commuting hours". One thing we are looking at is all the LI's written on this subject as well as addendum - we cannot find anything that references the language "7 days a week". We are still in discussions with GBCI on this issue. You can see where I posted a question on this subject back in July. I will follow up once we have resolution one way or another - hopefully soon.

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Tiffany Moore LEED Documentation Consultant, Built Kansas City LLC Jan 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 882 Thumbs Up

Donald, was your issue resolved? I'm facing a very similar review comment. We have begun to assemble our argument, which is very similar to yours. I'm curious as to whether you were successful defending the commuting hours point.

Thanks

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Jan 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 1231 Thumbs Up

Tiffany - thanks for the reminder. Yes we were successful in achieving this credit. The only comment provided was as follows: "An appeal narrative including a transit schedule and revised shuttle schedule has been provided to address the issues outlined in the Design Final Review. The narrative verifies that the shuttle schedule aligns with the public transit schedule and meets commuter needs. The documentation demonstrates credit compliance."

We were able to show that the project shuttle schedule aligned with the public transportation schedule for all 7 days of the week, even though the weekend traffic/schedule was less than the weekday traffic/schedule.

Hope that helps.

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