Greening UH on the Commute

On the road to a greener and healthier lifestyle.

Greening UH on the Commute

2016 was the Year of Sustainable Transportation in our region. We leveraged existing internal and external resources and partnerships to have a positive net impact on the effects of transportation produced through the daily business of the organization, including employee commuting, fleet composition and patient and visitor access. The extent to which our health system can support and encourage active forms of transportation, such as walking, biking, ride sharing, and taking public transit, more positively impacts our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change and its effects on public health. While many past efforts in this area were focused on University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center due to the urban density of the University and Greater University Circle areas, as well as multiple opportunities to leverage partnership building in the surrounding neighborhoods and business district, 2016 brought additional community conversations and partnerships to the forefront:

  • UH became the title sponsor of Cuyahoga County’s first public bike-share system, UHBikes, to support healthy transportation in the community.
  • Successful completion of our first comprehensive employee commuter survey at our largest campus (10,000 employees), with a 22.4 percent response rate, that will serve as a baseline for transportation emissions related to employee commute modes going forward.
  • Collaboration with the City of Cleveland Energy Manager, University Circle Inc. and our parking shuttle provider, sp+, to join MidWest Drives, a Department of Energy-funded program that will evaluate our shared shuttle fleet for improved efficiencies, and the potential for conversion to alternative fuel vehicles.
  • With our local Clean Cities program, UH tracked and analyzed electric vehicle (EV) charging station utilization on our UH Cleveland Medical Center campus; mapped the stations on public, online EV parking sites and apps; and eliminated charging fees to promote public use and access.
  • UH Sustainability and Green Team members volunteered at an alternative fueled vehicle “Ride and Drive,” and participated in the Sustainable Transportation Summit in September 2016 and a University Circle “Walkable Destinations” local business fair.
  • A community Bike Fair and five Employee Wellness/Community Bike Rides - led by Slow Roll Cleveland through the University Circle, Glenville, Hough and East Cleveland neighborhoods - were held throughout the summer of 2016, connecting people with places through people-powered mobility.
  • Healthy Transportation Working Group, a multidisciplinary group reflecting stakeholder groups (patients, employees, visitors and community members), convened to provide related feedback on transportation goals.
  • UH Cleveland Medical Center earned an NOACA Commuter Choice Award, Gold, for encouraging sustainable and healthy transportation options for employee commuting (Silver earned in 2015).
  • Support for the Greater Circle Living Initiative, which incentivizes University Circle employees with monetary support to buy or rent homes in the University Circle neighborhood, encouraging a sustainable and walkable lifestyle and building community strength.
Slow Roll, May 2016

Location feature: Cleveland Community


UHBikes is Cleveland’s bike share program
UH became the title sponsor to the comprehensive public bike share system in Cleveland, known as UHBikes, as a commitment to promoting health and wellness in the community. UHBikes encourages physical activity and offers an alternative mode of transport that has a far less harmful impact on air quality in our community and on climate change than motorized travel.

Officially launched in September 2016, 250 red bicycles at 25 stations were established in several Cleveland neighborhoods including Downtown, University Circle, Central, Ohio City, Tremont, and the Campus District. The public bike share system is owned by Cuyahoga County and operated by Cycle Hop. Signup options include pay as you go, or a monthly membership. For more information visit:

Transportation Connectivity Plans encompassing UH facilities

In 2016, University Hospitals representatives participated in the Northfield-Warrensville Multi-modal Connectivity Plan Steering Committee to develop a transportation connectivity study; the study focused on the geographic area around our suburban medical center, UH Ahuja Medical Center, and several medical office and administrative buildings, including the corporate headquarters of University Hospitals, as well as other large institutions’ suburban locations. This area is being newly developed and the Steering Committee attempted to bring key stakeholders to the “planning” table for smart, multi-modal transportation design.

UH also participated in the Van Aken District Connections Plan; this multi-modal plan focused on a 2018 development area adjacent to the UH corporate headquarters in Shaker Heights, and the transit-friendly hub at its center. A multi-modal path is planned along the frontage of the UH corporate building, aside a new parking lot with intensive stormwater run-off green and gray infrastructure. A bike share station, additional covered bike parking and other multi-modal incentives were also proposed.

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