One of the most prevalent service vehicle used are small carts that travel on sidewalks, such as Gators or Mules. These vehicles have been replaced with a few full-electric equivalents, but the reliability and success of the battery technology in these vehicles proved inconsistent during the winter months.
The passenger vehicle fleet has been outsourced to Enterprise Rental, so we do not have any significant impact on their vehicle choices. The few passenger vehicles in our fleet do have flex-fuel capabilities, although it is easy to argue against the sustainability of ethanol. Exploring biodiesel options seems to be the likely course for future adoption, along with integrating electric vehicles with lithium-ion battery technology since there are now charging stations appearing on campus. Enterprise has also partnered with our campus to provide two programs that cater to individuals that do not have access to their own vehicle or wish to reduce their costs by sharing a ride with others that need one.
The campus is a member of Zimride, operated by Enterprise Rental, which is an online ride sharing database. Campus users can create profiles using secure campus log-in information and be automatically matched with other commuters who enter the same schedule. We have also partnered with several other UW System schools who also have Zimride to expand our regional network.
This service was launched to offer campus community members an opportunity to use a short-term rental car for things like quick errands and trips home on weekends. This is particularly useful for college students who otherwise don't qualify for a traditional rental car if they are under the age of 21. This program allows you to sign up for a car that you can use to unlock one of the two available cars located in Lot 7 on campus. The hourly rate is reasonable and includes fuel costs, so you do not need to refuel before returning the car. This is an affordable way to get a vehicle if you find yourself in need on relatively short notice. Please visit our partner website for details.
The relatively small size of the City of Whitewater makes a local mass transit option challenging. A variety of shuttle and bus services have been offered over the years, but none of them have persisted for daily travel to and from Whitewater or around the city. Currently, the only services that still exist for mass transit are the two weekend bus service routes.
Van Galder Bus Company provides weekend bus routes as part of the Wisconsin Coach Lines that leave at two times on Friday and Sunday. The Friday route departs UW-Whitewater on Friday from Drumlin Hall at 1:20 and 3:15 PM and Esker Hall at 1:25 and 3:20 PM. This bus stops in Waukesha, Brookfield, and Milwaukee. Please see this full schedule for details on current stop locations and times or call 262-542-8861. The cost is $8 for a one-way trip.
Badger Bus operates their "College Connection" schedule for several UW campuses, including a route between UW-Whitewater and Madison (Chazen Museum). The Friday route departs Esker Hall at 1:15 PM and Drumlin Hall at 1:20 PM. The Sunday route arrives at Esker Hall at 4:55 PM and Drumlin Hall at 5:00 PM. Please see this full schedule of their bus routes, which includes service from Madison to other campuses.
Janesville-Milton-Whitewater Innovation Express was a regional commuter bus service that served the UW-Whitewater campus. This program was suspended due to low ridership and loss of ongoing funding.
The City of Whitewater has recently adopted a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which includes recommendations for a Complete Streets ordinance that recently passed Common Council. While there is no specific commitment to following this policy on campus, the general effort to provide connectivity and accommodation to the city efforts (particularly the city streets that intersect the campus) is already underway as the campus has been an active partner in the city's process. Take a look as this map to learn about existing bike routes in the Whitewater area.
On our campus, there are several efforts to improve the user experience for individuals using bicycles to travel to and from campus locations. Whitewater Student Government launched its free Bike Share program in Spring 2015 with funding from the Student Sustainability Fund. Bike check-outs are located at the University Center Information Desk. These bikes are free to use and come with a bike helmet and lock and can be used for up to a week at a time. Users assume all personal responsibility for the use of the bike, including injury sustained through its use and damage or theft that occurs to the bike. You can contact the WSG Sustainability Director and administrator for the bike share program via email here if you have any questions or comments. Bike racks are found throughout campus and long-term bike lockers are also available near residence halls for added protection and security. Starin Hall also features covered racks for use to keep your bikes out of the elements. Finally, there are two bike repair stations located near Drumlin Hall and Wellers Hall so students can perform their own basic maintenance and help save money for basic repairs.
We have two electric vehicle Level 2 charging locations on campus that are connected to the ChargePoint network. One is a single-post charger located at the General Services building and is designed to serve an electric vehicle in the service or rental vehicle fleet. The other location is a dual-post charger in the parking lot adjacent to Upham Hall and is designed to serve the wider campus community with a convenient location. Both charging stations are free to the public if the user already has a ChargePoint card.
To encourage faculty and staff members to live near campus, The Warhawk Real Estate Foundation ("Foundation") is an entity separate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater that owns a number of vacant lots within the City of Whitewater. The Foundation has created the Faculty and Staff Down Payment Assistance Program to help the university with its stated goal to "attract, retain and support sufficient numbers of faculty and staff who are committed to innovatively promoting student learning and fostering student success."