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.
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.
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.
Locating 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, multiple past CIRs indicate that providing shuttles to existing public transit—either regularly scheduled or on demand, can satisfy the credit requirements as an alternative compliance path.
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 (via an alternative compliance including shuttle service), 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 (for alternative compliance when a project doesn’t meet the basic credit requirements) 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.
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 should be measured from a 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 this compliance path is pursued, be sure to provide a comprehensive summary in the optional narrative section of the Submittal Template.
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 options for pursuing an Exemplary Performance point for this credit. These may include:
Documentation of this credit can occur anytime between schematic design and 100% construction documents, as soon as the locations of your main entries are set.
Fill in the LEED Online submittal template. 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 routes, ½ mile for train.
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.
Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2
Reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use.
Locate project within 1/2 mile of an existing, or planned and funded, commuter rail, light rail or subway station.OR
Locate project within 1/4 mile of one or more stops for two or more public or campus busA campus or private bus is a bus or shuttle service that is privately operated and not available to the general public. In LEED, a campus or private bus line that falls within 1/4 mile of the project site and provides transportation service to the public can contribute to earning credits. lines usable by building occupants.
Perform a transportation survey of future building occupants to identify transportation needs. Site the building near mass transit.
A great site for finding walkable communities and neighborhoods.
Subway and bus directions for NY.
Find public transportation around your site.
List of online resources on encouraging public transportation and space usage.
This is a list of resources on increase of access to public transportation and walkability of cities.
Helps to determine the radius around a project site to determine how many bus stops and other amenities are nearby.
Important to refer to in case of multi-building development.
This encyclopedia is a comprehensive source of information about innovative management solutions to transportation problems.
Government organization dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing vehicle-related crashes.
Organization advocating for pedestrians.
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.
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.
This website outlines strategies employers can use to encourage employees to commute by bicycle.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
This template is the flattened, public version of the dynamic template for this credit that is used within LEED-Online v2 by registered project teams. This and other public versions of LEED credit templates come from the USGBC website, and are posted on LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. You'll need to fill out the live version of this template on LEED Online to document this credit.
Documentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.
Recently, I'm working on an industrial project for a new factory. The client wants to put in place a shuttle bus specially for the managers of the factory. As the other employees live near the site, they can come to work by bicycles. My question is if we could earn this credit in this way ? Thanks for your suggestions!
I am working on a University building that has 1 city bus line within 1/4 mile walking distance, and about 8 SEASONAL OR WEEKDAY ONLY campus busA campus or private bus is a bus or shuttle service that is privately operated and not available to the general public. In LEED, a campus or private bus line that falls within 1/4 mile of the project site and provides transportation service to the public can contribute to earning credits. lines within distance. I did not see any language in the LEED v2.2 reference guide indicating the frequency of bus service. Can anyone please verify if I can expect to attain this credit.
First, are the campus busA campus or private bus is a bus or shuttle service that is privately operated and not available to the general public. In LEED, a campus or private bus line that falls within 1/4 mile of the project site and provides transportation service to the public can contribute to earning credits. lines open to all users or just students and faculty? If they are just for the university user, I would anticipate you would be out of this credit. If the buses are open to all users then I would say you have a shot at it. It would be worth filling out the form and narrating the use of the campus lines.
I have seen a number of submittals for this credit showing the project is located within a 1/4 mile radius of at least two bus lines. My understanding is that the project must be within 1/4 mile walking distance.
Have projects successfully earned this credit with the radius approach? Have projects had the credit denied using the radius approach?
The 2.2 credit language has confused people - whether a .25 mile radius is acceptable or whether it must be documented with a .25 mile walking distance on a map. (The 2009 language is much more clear that it must be shown by walking distance.) The sample area drawing in the 2.2 Reference Guide does show a linear walking distance, and we have seen reviewers of 2.1 and 2.2 projects ask to see the walking distance on the site plan and not just a radius diagram. We've also seen project approved with the .25 mile radius shown, but my guess is these have been accepted when the stops were well with the .25 mile radius.
If you are right on the edge of that .25 mile radius, you may be asked to show the walking distance, so be prepared to also document the frequency of bus service. In a few cases where there were not 2 stops exactly with .25 mile distance, projects have been successful with an alternative compliance path that shows more detail about the level of transit service provided. (See interpretation #704 for one example.) You'd want to show with number of bus lines, number of stops per day, frequency, access to other modes, etc. that you are providing an equivalent or better access to transit than 2 lines within .25 miles with at least 50 rides each per day.
The city where our project is located is not large enough to sustain a bus system. However there is a "call and ride" bus available.
If we were to document that the frequency of operation, past usage (near the project site), capacity of the bus, and average distance people are riding, is equivalent or better than two standard bus, would we be able to work toward an alternative compliance?
It's possible that might be accepted as an alternative compliance path, but I wouldn't have high expectations for it to pass. You may want to present this as part of an over-all transit management plan that uses several methods to reduce single occupant car use.
First, you'll want to create a baseline of how many employees and visitors would be traveling to and from your project by single occupant vehicles if no transit services existed. You'll need to make reasonable assumptions about the geographic and demographic area your project serves, and the distance and locations people will be traveling from.
Then, describe the transit services you are providing - the call and ride bus would be one, but are there others such as an organized car pooling network, a public car-share program like Zipcar, incentives for shared car use or biking, or a second scheduled shuttle at peak commuting times?
Lastly, you'd want to predict what the percent reduction of single occupant vehicle use will be with the transit management plan. This can be hard to predict, and convince the reviewer that the predictions are credible, so it helps if there is data from any similar programs in other companies or cities that have already demonstrated some measurable reductions of car use.
If you want to get an early review of your proposed plan you could always 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, or you could wait till the Design Phase review to see if technical advice is offered or if it is accepted.
Hope that helps!
I am working on a private resort project that is constituted of many small villas located on a big site.
Previous 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 mentioned that for such mixed used project, 5% of bicycle parking should be provided for FTEs and 15% for residents. We already have this for the FTE but wonder about the residents one.
No cars will be allowed on the site; bicycle are allowed to park anywhere and the resort will be private, i.e. controlled. The project team wonders if that won't be enough to meet the requirements, rather than to have special dedicated area in each villa.
In my opinion, only the fact that the dedicated area must be covered makes a non compliance for us. What is your opinion? Many thanks
We've seen large closets or storage units in apartments used for bike parking instead of racks, so other arrangements are possible than a typical rack. Still, you'll need to show on the drawings a designated covered place where bikes can be stored for residents to use. You'll also want to explain in the narrative that the whole site is secured.
1) Would you explain how the 6 available credits are allocated?
2) We have a project with 2 public bus lines/stops within 1/4 mile of the site that connect to a light rail system. The owner also provides a public shuttle service with pick-up/drop-off within 300' of our building that also connects to the light rail system. The buses and shuttle run 12-14 times each, per day, generally from 6:30am to 7:30pm to and from the light rail stations. The light rail system runs +/-60 times per day. Will this fulfill the intent of the public transportation credit?
Daniel, it sounds like you clearly meet Option 2 for this credit. Do you have any uncertainty about that?
I don't understand your first question.
In case question 1 is asking if earning fewer than 6 is possible, the answer is no, it's all 6 or none.
We are working on a national monument located on a peninsula. Approx. 20% of visitors arrive by water taxi and public transportation, with more arriving via school buses and tour buses. I can’t find 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 that establishes these as alternative compliance options for LEED 2.2. Is there any precedent? Thank you.
True, the CIRs for NCv2.2 SSc4.1 don't address your situation exactly, but it the rulings on 9/25/2008 and 7/13/2009 may help interpret your project.
The 9/25/ 2008 ruling suggests that private tour buses and school buses don't count as public transit, since they are not available to the general public.
The 7/13/2009 ruling suggests that the water taxi may comply if it serves the general public, and other transit lines link to where it launches/ departs for the monument. If you have any other public transit lines that come all the way to the monument without using the water taxi those could count as well. You'll need to show that two different public transit routes can be used to access the monument, such as two bus lines that provide access to the water taxi, or one that serves the launch and another that serves the monument directly.
You'll probably also need to show that the buses or water taxi stop within a 1/4 mile walk of the building entry.
We do have bus linkages on both ends, so your comments will help us to make that case. Thank you, David.
I am working with a private school that has 1 bus line within the 1/4 mile radius. The school does not have a bus service, but there is an extensive and organized carpooling system as an alternative to a bus system. Could carpooling/ride sharing be viewed as an alternative compliance path for this credit?
I'd estimate you may have difficulty getting the carpools accepted as an alternative compliance path, but if you follow the guidelines for a comprehensive transit management plan as referenced in the checklist above you might succeed. If you go into the review with a few extra buffer points you'll be a lot safer.
Is it possible to attain 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 if the owner provides a shuttle service to and from the building? How would I document this?
William this might contribute to an EP point here, but it's a bit more complex than that. The requirements for an EP point under SSc4 are discussed under the Checklists tab above.
Projects that pursue SSc2 are likely to be located in urban centers with close proximity to public transportation.
Transit-oriented projects tend to need less parking, contributing to SSc4.4.
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