About Transportation Solutions

Transportation Solutions

The San Jose State University Transportation Solutions (TS) is a $1.3 Million a year transportation demand management (TDM) program. It was established in 2000 as part of an overall effort to alleviate traffic congestion and reduce the high demand for limited campus parking facilities.

This department’s persistent efforts to reduce automobile trips to the University and downtown San Jose area have been very effective. Since 2000, TS has been able to more than double the overall alternative transportation usage among the University population (Source: SJSU students' commute profile).

In November 2017, TS sent its annual commute survey to the entire student population (34,721 Regular and Open University students). The survey response rate was 11.3% (3,920). The results show 42.8% (14,854) of the population utilized an alternative form of transportation (County & regional transit, carpool, bike). the drive-alone rate was 41.3% (14,347). 14.7% (5,104) walked, skateboard or scooter to campus on average 4 days a week.

The employees make up about 5,500 faculty, staff and admin including auxiliary organizations. The University has a total of 6,409 parking spaces.

TS is dedicated to serve the commute needs of the students and employees of SJSU. Its region-wide operation emphasizes alternatives to driving alone. These alternatives are primarily made of carpools and vanpools, public and private transit including buses and shuttles, local and regional rail, and non-motorized travel, including bicycling and walking.

Transportation Solutions' mission is to alleviate automobile traffic to SJSU and reduce its impact on the University’s parking facilities. The core strategies for accomplishing the TS mission are:

  • Program development and implementation
  • Communication, marketing, and outreach
  • Corridor - mobility mapping and analysis
  • Program evaluation and measurement
  • Linking TDM to broader initiatives and service improvements
  • Funding opportunities and grants

TS further the University’s and the Associated Students’ missions by improving the students’ educational experience and quality of life. TS also hopes to prepare students to attain a higher level of awareness and comfort in utilizing alternative transportation; so that they can make a greater positive impact on the environment in which they may settle after leaving the University.

TS's organizational culture and entrepreneurial sense are entirely in line with the SJSU Student Affairs Division's strategic direction. TS employs student talent from various disciplines in the University on a continuing basis. It has created a flexible work environment that is open to innovative ideas and encourages learning. With a small amount of training, the student staff members are able to apply their academic knowledge to practical use and carry out important tasks and implement the bulk of the TS projects. By: Eyedin Zonobi, Founder and Manager



Transportation Solutions operates under the auxiliary organization Associated Students (AS). TS receives funding from the following sources:

  1. Part of the campus miscellaneous fees for Associated Students
  2. Annual grant ($95K) from UPD Parking Services’ Alternative Transportation Funds
  3. $140K Grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA). To date, TS has received $1.97 million in grant funds from TFCA since 2001.
Awards and Recognitions
  • Bicycle Friendly University presented by the League of Bicycle Friendly America, September 2015
  • The Clean Air Award presented by Breathe California, April 2009
  • University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges Sustainable Transportation Award, June 2006
  • The Bay Area’s Best Workplaces for Commuters Award, November 2002, June 2003, October 2005, June 2006, and January 2018
  • Environmental Protection Agency Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative Award, February 2003
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Transportation Solutions Center

Transportation Solutions Center

Located in the East Wing of Student Union building on 9th Street Plaza, TS Center is a popular site in the University for acquiring the VTA SmartPass Clipper card, discounted regional transit passes, transportation information, maps, schedules and more.

Customer Service

The TS customer service is divided into two areas:

The Information Center - In this center TS Commute Coordinators provide one-on-one commute consulting to students and employees. The Coordinators are able to help build an individualized and thorough trip plan that specifies detailed information on the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), regional transit (Caltrain, BART, Highway 17 Express, Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) train, Amtrak Capitol Corridor and Monterey-Salinas Transit), carpooling and bicycle connectivity options to and from campus. All the alternative transportation collateral such as brochures, transit schedules, maps, etc are displayed in the information center. This center also provides customer service for carpool matching and the Commuter Benefit program.

The AS General Services cashiering counter - Next to TS Information Center, the 4-window cashiering counter is staffed by student employees. The VTA Eco Pass and discounted regional transit passes are sold from this counter. The Cashiering counter also signs out access keys to Bicycle Enclosures.

VTA SmartPass (Formerly Eco Pass) program

Since 1994, the Associated Students has been in contract with VTA to provide a deeply discounted transit program for the entire student and employee populations. The Eco Pass sticker affixed to the SJSU Tower Card ID provided a pass to unlimited rides on VTA buses and light rail lines 24/7, 365 days a year.

In August 2015, VTA transitioned the Eco Pass sticker to Eco Pass Clipper card, and in January 2018 to the SmartPass Clipper Card. The SmartPass paired with the SJSU Tower Card provide access to the same services.

TS administers the VTA’s contract and distributes thousands of SmartPass Clipper Cards to the SJSU community including individual dispensing and replacement of lost or stolen cards.

Discounts on regional transit

TS offers discounts on the following regional transit lines:

Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) - 50% discount on 20-Ride and Monthly passes
Highway 17 Express - Discounted 15-Ride and 31-Day passes
Also, students can get 15% discount on Amtrak.

Carpool matching

TS fully utilizes 511.org, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Rideshare program. This system has proven to be easy to use, efficient and effective. Every semester, the TS Commute Coordinators sign in many students and employees from Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties into the 511.org rideshare matching service to find their carpool partners.

Bicycle Enclosures facilities

TS operates six bike Enclosures located throughout campus. Five of the bike cages started operation in 1999 and the sixth cage opened in 2010. The total storage capacity for all the six cages is 417. The usage of the Bike Enclosures is free. There is a $10 deposit for the access key which is refunded to the user after returning it to TS center. Currently 1,300 students and employees have signed out access keys.

Commuter Benefit Program

In partnership with UPD Parking Services, TS administers the Commuter Benefit Program at SJSU. Employees use pre-tax dollars from their payroll to purchase transit passes. TS provides customer service, consulting, registration and sale of transit passes for this program. Currently about 50 employees are actively enrolled in this program.

Management of transportation website

TS maintains a comprehensive website providing information for all the Bay Area’s transportation including the local and regional transit to/from SJSU.  In addition to information and links to other alternative transportation providers, the website provides online carpool registration and trip plan request. Over 60,000 visits to TS website are recorded annually. 
Outreach activities
Marketing and Outreach activities

TS launches massive campaigns to promote alternative transportation before the start of every semester. This includes creation and distribution of marketing material, advertisements and email campaigns. Nearly every SJSU student receives alternative commute materials. TS attracts hundreds of new carpoolers and transit riders by either staging or participating in fifty outreach events such as orientations, fairs, special events and workshops throughout the year.

Geographic Information System (GIS)/Cartography

Sponsored by the SJSU Geography Department, TS utilizes GIS technology to geocode the student population on electronic maps every semester and conduct a relational analysis of students’ addresses with transit routes. TS then promotes specific routes to students living near them through email communication. These analyses are also shared with VTA to improve its transit service. Implementation of Express routes: Bus 168 from Gilroy, 181 from Fremont BART Station and the Limited-Stop Bus 323 from Cupertino to SJSU are examples of this collaboration.

Commute research and analysis

Every November, TS administers a transportation survey to collect data on various transportation modes to SJSU and measure the changes in the students’ commute behavior. TS started surveying in classrooms in 2001, 02, then continued surveying online by zoomerang.com and SurveyMonkey since 2003. The survey is sent to the entire student population by email. The response rate is about 12% (4,000). To encourage participation, many of the local businesses sponsor prizes which are raffled off among survey takers. The complete archive of TS survey results can be accessed in this website.

Internal and external relations

SJSU academic departments

TS works with various academic departments to recruit students in different disciplines. These departments include Geography, Urban & Regional Planning, Management Information Systems, Environmental Studies, Marketing/Decision Sciences and Art/Design and Graphics.
Student Affairs Systems

The SJSU Student Affairs Systems provides student information needed to build specific databases in GIS. These databases are used for mass mailing of transit passes and to carry out communications and marketing campaigns for local and regional transit, ridesharing and biking to campus.
Parking, Traffic and Transit Advisory Committee

TS is a member of the Parking, Traffic and Transit Advisory Committee (PTTAC) at SJSU. PTTAC is an official group who reviews various transportation issues, practices and policies on parking, traffic, transit and bicycle matters within the University's jurisdiction and provides advice and information to the Office of the President.
University Police Department Parking Services

TS works closely with the University's Parking Services department to help alleviate traffic congestion. This department provides partial funding for the AS Eco Pass program.
Mass media

TS advertises on internal university publications and external news media including Spartan Daily, SJSU This Week, San Jose Metro and others to promote TS and related events.
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

By maintaining a business relationship with VTA Eco Pass program, TS is able to offer low cost access to public transportation to all students and employees of the University.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)

TS receives grant funding from BAAQMD Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA) to fund its operation.

511 provides an online carpool matching system for SJSU students and employees. 511 develops and maintains the technical infrastructure for the RideMatch. It also provides region-wide travel information for traffic, transit, bicycling, parking and more.