Campus Initiatives: Transportation

Commuter Travel accounted for 10% of Elon’s FY2012 carbon emissions and the University Fleet accounted for another 2%. A more detailed comparison of the commuter habit survey results can be viewed here. With a goal of climate neutrality by 2037, Elon uses, encourages and supports transportation that reduces carbon emissions.

The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) compliments Elon’s efforts by offering the Emergency Ride Home Program and information about exploring the region without a car. The Emergency Ride Home Program provides commuters who regularly use alternative transportation with a ride home if they have an emergency. Individuals who live or work in PART member counties, of which Alamance is one, and utilize an alternative mode of transportation on the day of the emergency are eligible for the Emergency Ride Home Program. For more information, visit the PART web site.

University Fleet

Elon has 11 biodiesel fueled buses in its fleet. In addition to the biobuses, there are over 55 additional alternative fuel vehicles including additional biodiesel, electric utility and security and hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions. They run off of batteries, which are charged when they are not being used. Hybrid vehicles emit less pollution and get better gas mileage than non-hybrid versions of the same vehicle type.

Low-Emitting Vehicle (LEV) Parking

To encourage the use of Low-Emitting Vehicles, there are several parking lots on campus that have preferred parking spaces designated for LEVs. A LEV permit is required to park in these spaces and can be obtained from the Traffic Office.

Do you drive a LEV?  LEVs include non-hybrids as well as hybrid models. LEVs are classified as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board or have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) annual vehicle rating guide. See if your car is on the list of LEVs (use the LEED v. 2009 tab).  To learn more about LEVs and to find out if you drive one visit

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

There are two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on campus.  A Tesla Connector/Charging Station is located in the Inman Admissions Welcome Center parking lot.  A Level 2 charging station that is part of the ChargePoint network is located in the McMichael parking lot near the Greenhouse.

Elon does not charge to use the stations but users must have a ChargePoint card to activate charging at the Level 2 station in the McMichael parking lot. New EV owners and first time users of the station can find directions for getting a card on the ChargePoint website.

Getting Around

There are a variety of ways to get where you need to go without owning your own car, and if you are a regular commuter there are opportunities for you to decrease the impact of a daily commute, too! 

Students, thinking about bringing a car to campus? You should know students who do not have a parking permit are not allowed to park their vehicles in campus parking lots until after 6pm. Consider getting around using the following options instead of a personal vehicle.

WalkBusCar Share
BikeRide Share (carpool)Airport Shuttle


The Elon campus is quite manageable on foot. If you do walk to a destination and are concerned about returning safely on foot, Campus Safety and Police in partnership with student volunteers offer three programs: Safe Rides, E-Rides and a Security Escort, to help you get home safe.


If you do not own a bike, a limited number are available for rent by semester or year from Campus Recreation. If you do own a bike, it must be registered with the Office of Safety & Police (no fee involved).

Bike racks are provided near at least one entrance of most buildings on campus.

Shower facilities for bicycle commuters are located in the Koury Athletic Center.

Currently, those traveling via bike to campus from the surrounding community or from campus into the surrounding community have limited access to designated bike lanes. However, when trying to find directions many map/direction applications will provide a more bike friendly route if selected. A study was conducted to identify and prioritize key opportunities for improving the Town of Elon’s bicycle, pedestrian and lighting systems over the next 20 years. The resulting plan has been adopted by the Town of Elon. Click here for an executive summary.


Elon BioBus

Elon began operating its first BioBus in January of 2007. There are now 11 BioBuses in Elon’s fleet, all of which run on fuel that is 20% bio-fuel and 80% ultra-low sulfur diesel. This fuel burns cleaner than regular diesel and contains fewer petroleum-based components. Elon’s buses are refueled on campus at the University’s own refueling station. This initiative was made possible through a $1 million federal grant, which U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) helped secure.   

The Elon BioBus system consists of five routes and is free of charge to all students, faculty, staff and community members. Three of the routes service on and off campus student housing. One route makes stops at local shopping centers including a grocery store and movie theater. Another route, the Downtown/East Burlington Route, services community partner locations at which students do community service. Click here for more information on the BioBus system, including the detailed route schedule.

A GPS tracking system, NextBus, has been installed to provide exact bus location and arrival time. Those waiting at a bus stop can call the service with the bus number printed on each bus stop sign to find out the exact location of the bus for which they are waiting. The NextBus website also has a feature that will allow riders to set-up text messaging to tell them when the bus on their route is five or ten minutes away from the desired stop.   


The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation offers a bus system that services Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Durham and a number of other towns in the Piedmont Triad region. The closest PART bus stop to Elon is the Cone Health Center, on PART Route 4.  Click here for PART bus routes that may be of interest.

Ride Share (Carpool)

Zimride is a private ride share community only available to Elon students, faculty and staff.  Sign-up for free at Post your ride and Zimride will match you with potential people to share your ride with based on others in the Elon Zimride system. You can use Zimride for regular commutes or occasional trips to the airport, beach or wherever else you travel. Elon Parents click here.

Already carpool?  It is still a good idea to sign-up and add your ride in case your regular carpool group is not available or your car is not full.

Elon students, faculty and staff are already ridesharing. Based on the responses to the Commuter Habit Survey conducted in the fall of 2012:

    45% of students carpool on average 3 days a week.
    11% of faculty carpool on average 2.5 days a week.
    10% of staff carpool on average 3.5 days a week.

PART Vanpool

This program provides a van to small groups of commuters to commute to work who live at least 10 miles from their workplace and live or work in PART member counties. Participants who agree to drive the van in their daily commute to and from work are eligible for a vanpool lease. Vanpool drivers typically ride free and are allowed limited personal use of the van at no additional cost. For more information, visit the PART Vanpool web site.

Car Share

The Enterprise CarShare program provides students, faculty and staff with easy access to vehicles parked in the McMichael parking lot. Elon's program includes 4 fuel-efficient vehicles available for online reservations 24/7 at low rates for hourly, daily and overnight usage.

Elon members only need to be 18+ to join Enterprise CarShare.

After joining the program, members simply reserve online, let themselves in with their membership card and drive. Rental rates include gas, insurance and 200 miles per day.  

To join click here

Students . . . Join now and receive $35 in driving credits, and your application fee will be waived. Annual membership is just $35/year.

Faculty and Staff . . . The Enterprise CarShare program is great for short trips and can be more economical than driving a personal vehicle for reimbursement. Faculty and staff can join the program for a $25 application fee and can use the program for business and personal use. Faculty and staff using the program for business use must be on the University's approved driver list. Click here for the online application for the University's driver list. Those who want to use the Enterprise CarShare program for business use should contact Elaine Durr to have their department established in the system.

Consider a trip to the Raleigh Durham airport, which is roughly 100 miles round trip. Reimbursed at the University’s mileage rate that is $55.50. Renting an Enterprise CarShare vehicle for three hours is about $28. You can feel good about saving your department money and helping the environment. Elon’s Enterprise CarShare vehicles get great gas mileage.

More Information: Enterprise CarShare FAQs, Membership Policies, Join Today!

Airport Shuttle

Elon provides shuttle service to Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International Airport and the Raleigh/Durham International Airport at designated break times throughout the year.  All reservations must be made 14 days before the first departure of each break to be guaranteed a seat on the shuttle.  Date, departure times and reservation information can be found here.