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UW-Madison Transportation Services to go by bike

August 31, 2010 By

Transportation Services is putting a suggestion into action this month by downsizing at least one of its vehicles from four wheels to two.

Transportation Services staff from the Commuter Solutions and Field Services teams have been working together to add a bicycle to the Field Services fleet. The suggestion to use a bicycle instead of a vehicle was made at a recent campus forum.

Chuck Strawser, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for Transportation Services and a nationally certified cycling instructor, is providing training for Field Services staff members to ensure that they are well prepared to operate a bicycle safely and legally.

Field Services units ensure compliance with the university’s parking policies, providing maximum utilization of spaces.

Troy Ruland, interim Field Services manager, will be tracking the impact of replacing a traditional field services vehicle with a bicycle. Key indicators to be measured include miles traveled, fuel and emissions saved, and comparisons of the time it takes to get the job done.

In addition to these measurements, Strawser and Ruland also hope to see a qualitative benefit as safe bicycling practices “trickle down.”

For example, bicyclists who approach an intersection and see a Field Services representative signal correctly or stop fully at a stop sign may be more likely to do so themselves.

“Putting a Field Services representative on a bicycle will be a learning experience for everyone,” says Ruland. “In addition to helping manage parking, he or she will serve as a role model when traveling around campus.”

Transportation Services officials expect to get a bicycle on the road before the end of the summer and will share preliminary results with the campus in the weeks following its introduction.

Any comments, questions or suggestions are strongly encouraged. Send feedback via e-mail to, tweet @UWTransServices or online at