The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducts biennial commuter surveys to better understand the commuting behavior of employees and students. Since 1997, a random sample of employees and students are invited by email to complete the survey. The information gained from these surveys helps the University plan future multimodal mobility options, programs, and incentives for the campus community.

In 1997, the University commissioned its first study of campus commuting patterns. The purpose of the study was to survey both students and employees about the various travel modes they used to commute to campus, as well as their origins and destinations. The data gathered was used to help the UNC Department of Transportation and Parking and the Town of Chapel Hill plan for University and Town transportation needs. This study was repeated in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2009, and 2011, 2013, 2015, and is now completed every other year.

In 2017, the University again surveyed the campus community to determine how campus commuting patterns have changed over the last two years. This new study provides comprehensive information about the current state of campus commuter behavior and characteristics, makes comparisons to the 1997-2015 studies where possible and relevant, and offers analysis of trends and the implications of these trends for on and off-campus decision makers.

The report is divided into several sections: a brief explanation of the study’s methodology, a chapter detailing employee commuting patterns, a chapter detailing student commuting patterns, and finally a discussion of major findings. A complete summary of survey responses, as well as the web-based survey instruments, are included in the appendix.