Greener UC Berkeley Fleet

Project Lead: Lauren Bennett; Dominique Meroux

Sponsor: Parking and Transportation Department

TGIF Grant: $14,410

Project Theme: Transportation and Urban Development 

Project Location: 

2015 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: Greener UC Berkeley Fleet will establish a pilot carsharing program for campus fleet vehicles within Residential and Student Service Programs (RSSP). Results of this pilot initiative will be used to evaluate potential for more widespread implementation of carsharing technology in U.C. Berkeley’s vehicle fleet. Additionally, two electric bicycles will allow employees (including student employees) to take short trips to campus by bicycle rather than with a fleet vehicle.

Goals: Carsharing and electric bicycles will reduce the number of fleet vehicles needed for operations and increase utilization of remaining vehicles. This will have a land use benefit with fleet vehicles consequently take up fewer parking spaces. In addition, higher use of a smaller number of vehicles will result in a fleet that will have newer model vehicles which achieve better fuel economy and meet the most current emissions standards. A longer term benefit will be that higher mileage driven per vehicle increases financial viability of hybrid and alternative fuel powertrains for integration in UC Berkeley’s fleet as future new vehicle purchases.

Timeline Progress: The fleet share project has been pushed out by roughly six months, with an update expected in January 2016 when Local Motion by Zipcar is formally announced and project gets a sense of pricing, features, and potential installation dates for UC Berkeley’s fleet. Project is currently scheduling a meeting with Zipcar staff to touch base. 

Task Expected/Actual Completion Date
Outreach plan development 12/21/2015
Contract negation & procurement 1/15/2016
Determine & assign pilot vehicles & participants 1/15/2016
Install hardware in vehicles, setup software 2/1/2016
Car sharing trainings 2/15/2016
Program Launch 3/1/2016
Quarterly report 6/30/2016
Quarterly report 10/30/2016
Quarterly report 2/28/2017
Pilot programs end 2/28/2017
Data analysis 3/31/2017
Final Report issued & recommendations 4/30/2017
All TGIF funding exhausted 5/31/2017

  • E-bikes: 2 fully outfitted electric bikes have been operational in an outfitted secure bike room at 2850 Telegraph since program launch on August 31, 2015. We successfully launched the electric bike program on August 31, 2015. In a building of 250 employees, 66 employees attended a training to use the bicycles. To-date, nine total trainings have been held. Since Project Update 1, one training was held and six employees were trained. Also, data collection monitoring project progress has been further refined, and several maintenance issues were handled smoothly.
  • Fleet Carshare: Project confirmed with Zipcar that Local Motion technology will once again become available, with product release in January 2016 and first installations beginning March 2016 (Berkeley fleet vehicle installations wouldn’t necessarily begin then). The key here is that an improved version of Local Motion technology that Berkeley liked but was only able to use briefly will be available, and it will be backed by the larger more stable Zipcar and its parent company Avis, a car rental firm with 30,000 employees and over 10,000 rental locations in 175 countries. Furthermore, Zipcar is using the former Local Motion office in San Mateo, and Zipcar has a large network of staff in place including in the Berkeley area. As a backup plan, project is in communication with a competitor, OpenFleet, in case the Zipcar-Local Motion product faces any substantial setbacks. 
  • E-bikes: Project can already see that demand for the bike exceeds supply. Many employees have written to notify project of this situation. Project has implemented an additional survey to gauge how many bikes are necessary to support demand at the 2850 Telegraph office. Once project determines the base number of bikes needed to support employees trips, it can propose to the departments or Parking & Transportation to purchase some or all of the additional bikes. GPS location and history for e-bikes is a longer-term goal because this would allow for an additional layer of security and the ability to understand how e-bikes are being used with a degree of precision that the current survey method does not (and users would no longer need to fill out weekly surveys, thus improving user experience).
  • Fleet Carshare: The big unknown variables are 1) cost of the new Local Motion by Zipcar product compared with the old Local Motion product that was originally planned for implementation in the UC Berkeley fleet and 2) whether any changes the Zipcar team could have made improve the product for UC Berkeley’s needs or make it less desireable. To address these uncertainties project has been in touch with competitor OpenFleet and will continue to evaluate the market and potential solutions. Project looks forward to the Local Motion by Zipcar official product announcement in January 2016 (and communication with their team). To address cost, there are several potential solutions including cost-sharing among involved departments and piggybacking off of a larger UC systemwide or other large public bid for volume pricing. These options will continue to be evaluated as we learn more about the product and its pricing.
  • One of the project leaders, Lauren Bennett, has left the university. Until a permanent solution is found to take her place, project has setup a temporary solution. An employee from Parking & Transportation (Aimee Chang) is taking over some duties in order to maintain the program for the time being. 
Budget Update/Expenditures to Date: 
  • Project anticipates major budget challenges due to issues described for fleet carshare. At this time, project cannot put a number on the increased dollar amount it expects. As of 1/1/16 project has spent $3,996.13 on materials and $307.51 on labor.
Qualitative and/or Quantitative Metrics:
Metric Planned (Event, Campaign, Education, etc.) Description Impact Status
Trainings provided to employees 1 hour long trainings to teach people how to use bikes, how to ride safely 9 on going
Employees that have attended trainings   66  
Number of reservations   205 Project Start - 9/30/15
Number of hours bikes have been used   364 Project Start - 9/30/15
Number of unique reservations Number of individuals who have made one or more reservations 36 Project Start - 9/30/15
Number of uses by same individuals   171 Project Start - 9/30/15

Estimated Project Savings      
  Input (Enter estimated savings here in kWh, gallons, and/or pounds) Calculated cost savings ($) Calculated GHG reductions (kg Co2e)
Estimated electricity savings (kWh) 0 $0.00 0
Estimated water savings (gallons) 0 $0.00 0
Estimate gasoline savings (gallons) 39 $136.50 342.42
Estimated waste reduction (pounds) 0 $0.00 0


Education and Outreach: 
  • Here's a link to the project website
  • Project uses this website to communicate with participants and interested departments.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.