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LEED v2009
Core & Shell
Sustainable Sites
Alternative Transportation—Public Transportation Access

LEED CREDIT

CS-2009 SSc4.1: Alternative transportation - public transportation access 6 points

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Credit language

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Requirements

Option 1: Rail station, bus rapid transit station & ferry terminal proximity
Locate the project within 1/2-mile (800 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of an existing or planned and funded commuter rail, light rail, subway station bus rapid transit1 station or commuter ferry terminal.

OR

Option 2: Bus stop proximity
Locate the project within 1/4-mile (400 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more public, campus, or private bus lines usable by building occupants.

OR

Option 3. Rideshare proximity
Projects outside the U.S. may locate the project within 1/4-mile (400 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more existing rideshare options2 that that meet the definition of public transportation3 and are authorized by the local transit authority if one exists.

1 Bus rapid transit is an enhanced bus system that operates on exclusive bus lanes or other transit rights-of-way; it is designed to combine the flexibility of uses with the efficiency of rail.

2 Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders. Rideshare options must hold 4 or more passengers, except for human-powered conveyances which must hold 2 or more passengers.

3Public transportation consists of bus, rail, or other transit services for the general public that operate on a regular, continual basis.

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Achievement of this credit can be documented via a LEED ND v2009 submittal. For more information check out this article.
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Frequently asked questions

What are the requirements for shuttle buses?

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A bus has multiple stops within my 1/4-mile radius. Can I count each of those?

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Addenda

7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add Option 3: "OPTION 3. Rideshare ProximityProjects outside the U.S. may locate the project within 1/4-mile (400-meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more existing rideshare options2 that that meet the definition of public transportation3 and are authorized by the local transit authority if one exists."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Add the following sentence to the end of the second paragraph, "Shuttle buses should provide direct access to transit facilities within 2 miles of the project site, approximately a 5-10 minute drive, and must be available to all project occupants."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "attendance boundary" with "The attendance boundary is the limit used by school districts to determine what school students attend based on where they live."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following footnotes:1. Bus rapid transit is an enhanced bus system that operates on exclusive bus lanes or other transit rights-of-way; it is designed to combine the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail.2. Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders. Rideshare options must hold 4 or more passengers, except for human-powered conveyances which must hold 2 or more passengers. 3. Public transportation consists of bus, rail, or other transit services for the general public that operate on a regular, continual basis.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Revise the Option 1 to read: "OPTION 1. Rail Station, Bus Rapid Transit Station & Ferry Terminal ProximityLocate the project within 1/2-mile (800-meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of an existing or planned and funded commuter rail, light rail, or subway station, bus rapid transit1 station or commuter ferry terminal."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In Figure 2, remove the 1/4 mile circle from the figure and add a scale at the bottom so that it is clear that the bus stops are within 1/4 mile walking distance of the project's main entrance.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the Alternative Compliance Path for Projects Outside the U.S.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
2/4/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

EQUIVALENCY CREDITS FOR LEED ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION INTRODUCTION The Alternative Transportation credits of the LEED Green Building Rating System are intended to reduce pollution and land development impacts associated with automobile use. In many suburban parts of the country, this intent is best met with the identified approaches currently included in the LEED Rating System, such as alternative fuel or car-pool parking. In major urban areas, like New York City, these LEED approaches are not as viable for building owners to implement for obvious reasons. The Hearst Project team (Hearst) has included significant improvements in the project to the adjacent mass transportation subway station. These improvements will encourage increased ridership, in general, and will provide specific benefits for both the physically challenged and elderly riders. Hearst\'s commitment to make improvements to the Columbus Circle Station is clearly aligned with the intention of the Alternative Transportation credit and warrants recognition as equivalency credits for LEED Sustainable Site Credits 4.2-4.4. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) suggested, in prior correspondence, that Hearst quantify the increased ridership due to the planned improvements in support of this equivalency proposal. From the data available from New York City Transit (NYCT) the operating Agency, we are able to qualify the significance of this station where the improvements are planned, and to make a reasonable assertion that the ridership will increase and be better served from such improvements. Columbus Circle Station (CCS) Data - NYCT ranks CCS 14th of 424 stations in ridership volume - NYCT reports that over 16 Million riders entered CCS in 2000. - NYCT counted over 187,000 Physically Challenged or Elderly Users entering CCS in 2000 (conservatively low estimate due to counting method). - NYCT projects 4% annual system increase in ridership. - Transfers between subway lines not accounted in ridership estimates. - Over 3 Million SF of Commercial Real Estate planned in the vicinity of CCS It is evident that the Columbus Circle Station is a significant station in the NYCT subway system. Because of Hearst\'s planned improvements, the CCS station will be more accessible to a broad ridership, including the physically challenged and elderly ridership, whether they are area residents, schoolchildren, commuters to work or visitors to the city. The current station is not Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessible, but upon completion of the improvements, the station will be fully ADA accessible. Hearst proposes that the request for Equivalency Credits be assessed in light of the extent of and benefits from the planned improvements for Columbus Circle Station. These improvements will result in increased ridership by both general public and special needs public, reducing pollution and land development associated with automobile use. INTENT Reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use. REQUIREMENT For projects adjacent to significant mass transportation systems, including subway and commuter rail stations where 5 or more lines stop, make improvements to the station that will enhance the opportunity building occupants, adjacent building occupants, area residents, general public, special needs public. Achieve those objectives by taking the following steps to use mass-transit services for the following public categories: - Enhance access to the station from or through the project site (1pt) - Relieve congestion and improve traffic flow through the station (1pt) - Provide ADA elevators for access and/or transit systems transfers (1pt) DESIGN APPROACH Identify obstacles, deficiencies, and/or poorly maintained access to mass transit stops that are a hindrance to those who use and/or desire to use mass transit systems. Assess whether or not there is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access to adjacent mass transit stops. Once these hindrances have been identified, design improvements to remedy them and provide ADA access if not available to adjacent mass transit stops. DOCUMENTATION Provide a narrative that describes improvements made to access adjacent mass transit stops. Provide pre-construction and post-construction drawings that identify improvements made to adjacent mass transit stops. Provide pre-construction and post-construction photographs that highlight improvements made to access of mass transit stops. PROJECT ACTION In conjunction with the New York City MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) and NYCT, the design team identified several obstacles and deficiencies that hinder access to the Columbus Circle Station (CCS) is immediately adjacent to the project site. Over time, system entrances have become dilapidated, increased public use has exacerbated congestion at mezzanine and platform level choke points, and the lack of ADA access has discouraged those who are physically-challenged or elderly from using the station. The Hearst Corporation is planning to significantly improve these conditions and further reduce the environmental impacts associated with automobile use by making substantial improvements to the Columbus Circle Station as part of The Hearst Building Project (Project). The improvements will have direct benefit for the ridership by: - Enhancing access to the station from the Project site, - Relieving congestion to access platforms and improving traffic flow through the station, - Providing ADA elevators for transit systems transfers The Hearst Project team requests that the USGBC recognize the planned improvements to the Columbus Circle Station with three Equivalency Credits because these actions represent an equivalent response to the LEED Site Credit 4: Alternative Transportation. Detailed explanations of the subway station improvements are as follows: Enhancing Access to the Station from the Project Site The current Hearst Magazine Building is integrated into the existing subway system with one access point at street level. The planned station improvements will expand access to include an additional entrance to the Columbus Circle Station as part of Project. Enhance Site Entrances (57th Street and Eighth Avenue) The scope of work consists of the construction of a new street to mezzanine entrance stairway along the street face of the proposed building. This stairway will be constructed to a finished width of 8\'\'-6" and tie into the existing lower run of NYCT stairs leading into the southern end of the station\'s mezzanine. The existing stair will also be replaced with a new, wider stair. These new entrances will have enhanced lighting and finishes that are complimentary of the new Project design and consistent with NYCT current design guidelines. Relieving Congestion and Improving Traffic Flow Relieving Congestion The Columbus Circle Station is one of the New York City Transit\'s (NYCT) most traveled stations. The station is a crossroad for several transit lines including the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Lines #1 and #2 and the Independent (IND) Lines A, B, C and D. The station was constructed over several decades in several stages. With increased ridership over the years and NYCT\'s incremental approach to improvements, the public has had to deal with increased congestion to the mezzanine and platforms areas. Bottlenecks and circuitous travel paths between the southbound IRT and southbound IND lines are a prime example. A similar condition exists with the northbound lines. Specific improvements to address these and similar conditions include the following: Relocate 2 End-of-Platform Stairs P-1 & P-3 (between lower mezzanine and downtown IND platforms) This element of work will include the demolition of existing platform to mezzanine stairs (P-1 & P-3) and the construction of new stairs (P-1 & P-3), located to the north of its existing location. This includes all structural modifications to the existing station elements necessary for this construction. Construct a New Stair P-14 (between upper mezzanine IRT downtown platform and IND downtown platform) The element of work will include the demolition of existing mezzanine slab, the re-framing of the mezzanine floor system and the construction of a new stair from the mezzanine to the platform level below. This new stair shall be a steel stringer stair with perforated metal risers and all structural modifications required for the installation. Widen Stair P-6 (between lower mezzanine and uptown IND platform) This element of work will include the demolition of existing mezzanine to platform stair P-6 and the construction of a new, wider stair P-6 in the approximate same location. This new stair shall be a steel stringer stair with perforated metal risers. This includes structural modifications required for the installation of this stair. Improving Traffic Flow: Several improvements to optimize traffic flow though the station were identified. Specifically, the design team plans to install a new stair, relocate the south fare array, reverse a stair, and slab over abandoned stairs. Descriptions of these improvements follow: Construct a New Stair P-15 (between uptown IRT platform and uptown IND platform) The element of work will include the demolition of existing mezzanine slab, the re-framing of the mezzanine floor system and the construction of a new stair from the mezzanine to the platform level below. This new stair shall be a steel stringer stair with perforated metal risers and all structural modifications required for the installation. Relocate Fare Array and Token Booth (mezzanine level) The element of work will include the removal and relocation of the existing turnstile array (all existing elements) and Token Booth N06051 several column bays to the north. This relocation shall be performed in conjunction with the northerly relocation of platform to mezzanine stairs P-1 and P-3. All labor necessary for electrical and communication work for this relocation is included. Reverse and Relocate a Stair P-4 (between mezzanine and IND platform levels) This element of work will include the demolition of existing platform to mezzanine stair P-4 and the relocation, reversal and construction of a new stair P-4, located to the north of its existing location. All structural modifications to the existing station elements necessary for this construction are included. Any portion of the existing stairwell opening not required for the new stair construction shall be slabbed over. Remove and Slab over Abandoned Stairwells P-1, P-2, P-3 and P-5 (between mezzanine and platform levels) This element of work will include the removal of the above listed existing stair and the slabbing over of the remaining stairwell openings. Repairs at the platform level following the removal of the stairs shall be made as required to restore the concrete platform finish. All structural modifications to the existing station elements necessary for this construction are included. Providing ADA Access The current Columbus Circle Station configuration has no elevators between the mezzanine and platform levels. The design team\'s proposal includes 3 ADA elevators that would provide access for physically challenged and elderly ridership to all platforms and mezzanines within the station. These elevators and their related components will be designed to current NYCT guidelines and specifications. Related components consist of electrical, communication and plumbing work. Currently, the New York MTA estimates that 187,000 physically challenged or elderly persons enter the Columbus Circle subway station annually. This figure is conservatively low given that NYCT can only track those riders that have sought out and use a special transit card that permits tracking when they enter the system at Columbus Circle Station. This does not account for the large ridership that utilize the station for the intra-system transfers. Construct a 3-stop ADA Elevator (connect IND mezzanine level, downtown IND platform & downtown IRT platform) This element of work will include the installation of one 3 stop elevator and its related machine room, as well as all ancillary components required for the operation of the elevator. All structural work necessary to modify the existing station to accept this elevator and machine room as well as the above described general electrical, communication and plumbing work shall be included in this item. Construct two 2-stop ADA elevators (connect IND mezzanine level to uptown IND platform) This element of work will include the installation of two 2-stop elevators and its related machine rooms, as well as all ancillary components required for the operation of these elevators. All structural work necessary to modify the existing station to accept this elevator and machine room as well as the above described general electrical, communication and plumbing work are included in this item. These elevators and their related components will be design and installed in accordance with current NYCT specifications and guidelines.

Ruling:

The Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group (LEED subcommittee) has determined that while the data provided does "qualify the significance of this station" as an element of a larger system, it falls short in providing quantifiable data to support the NYCT projection of a 4% annual system increase in ridership due to the improvements at the Columbus Circle Station. Similarly, the language of this CIR (and the previous CIR 0307-IDc10-062102) leaves out specific information regarding the physical and aesthetic improvements that will be made to lower barriers to ridership; this information is critical to determining the applicability of these improvements to the project\'s LEED Application. The USGBC encourages the applicant project to outline the specific improvements that have been made to he Columbus Circle Station that have lowered barriers to ridership, and to demonstrate (through peer-reviewed studies of such improvements in other mass transit stations or through ridership counts of the applicant building\'s staff and visitors) that these improvements have definitely affected the transportation habits of the applicant building\'s occupants. The applicant would also strengthen its case by summarizing the location of other ADA compliant stations in the area. Furthermore, the USGBC encourages the project to apply for an Innovation Credit, instead of equivalency for SS Alternative Transportation credits.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/27/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is located in a medium/maximum security fenced facility that provides male offenders, between ages 12-20, academic education and prevocational training while serving their juvenile sentencing. The campus has a fully fenced perimeter and is approximately 2,000\' by 1,400\'. Our proposed building entrance is approximately 1,200 ft form the secured main entrance. The secured campus facility restricts vehicular access through a sally port next to the main entrance for maintenance vehicles, emergency vehicles, Contractor, and police vehicles. All visitors and employees must park outside the security fencing in their respective parking lots next to the campus entrance and enter through the main security gates into the Visitor Center. Due to security concerns, the facility does not allow bicycles beyond the provided secured bicycle racks at the main entrance.Can we use the campus entrance of the secured facility as our "project entrance\' as the center of the 1/2 mile radius for services (SSc2), in measuring the 1/4 mile distance to the bus stop (SSc4.1) and the 200 ft distance to the secure bicycle racks (SSc4.1)?We have previously received permission to use the campus entrance as our "project entrance" for all applicable credits for a project under LEED NCv2.2 CIR 8/27/07 and are now seeking the same ruling. We feel that defining our project entrance as the campus entrance is reasonable and consistent as all employees and visitors must walk to and from the secured campus entrance to and from any building on campus.

Ruling:

The project team is asking whether for a project located in a medium/maximum security fenced facility, the secure campus entrance can be assumed to be the project building entrance for purposes of measuring the one half mile radius for services (SSc2) and the one quarter mile distance to the bus stop (SSc4.1) and the 200 feet distance to secure bike racks (SSc4.2). Yes, given that the campus entrance is the first entrance where all vehicular employee or visitor entry/exits are restricted (except for maintenance, emergency and police vehicles), and therefore is mode neutral, this approach is acceptable. This question was previously addressed in LEED Interpretation #5065 for LEED v2.2 projects. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
9/2/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of this point is to reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use. We have a residential project that is located just outside the service area of the local public transportation system. Our project is a destination/resort type building, and as such, visitors will frequently want to visit the various destinations served by the local public transportation system. To accommodate this without requiring that visitors rent and use a car, we plan to establish a "dial a ride" system, in which residents can call a shuttle service that will pick them up at our building, and take them to a variety of destinations, including the transit center in Park City. From this transit center, users can access 5 separate public bus lines. The dial a ride system will most likely use vans, which will transport modest group sizes, or multiple parties of small groups, but we do not anticipate the need for full size buses, or regular schedules to serve the residents. The use of full size buses on a regular schedule would likely result in the generation of more traffic and pollution than necessary. In addition to the dial a ride system, we are providing a ski lift immediately adjacent to our building to connect the building occupants with nearby Deer Valley, thereby eliminating the need to drive to the base of the ski area for a day of skiing or biking. Does this dial a ride program coupled with the local ski lift meet the intent of credit SS4.1?

Ruling:

The proposed actions are not sufficient for LEED credit, but there is opportunity to create an acceptable solution. As a destination/resort type building, it is expected that staff will be present, yet there is no mention of mass transit available for these workers. According to SS Credit 4.1 CIR submitted 1/8/2003 (2/4/2003 ruling), LEED will accept the establishment of a permanent private shuttle service to connect the buildings(s) and the bus routes to achieve this credit. If a shuttle is used, provide information on the distance to bus routes and to building(s), schedule and frequency of operation, and shuttle capacity. Schedule and frequency must be adequate to service employee ridership during standard commuting times for all shifts, as well as periodic service at other times that can certainly be fulfilled via the "dial-a-ride" service you are establishing for the guests. Also reference the credit ruling dated 9/20/2002.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project, a fire station, is in the design phase. SS credit 4.1 Alternative Transportation - Public Transportation Access, Option 2: Bus Stop Proximity requires the project site to be located within 1/4 mile walking distance of one or more stops for two or more bus lines usable by building occupants. Our project is situated within 1/4 mile walking distance from one currently operational bus line. The county has indicated that a second bus line is scheduled to be included within this 1/4 mile zone. The construction of this fire station is critical to the implementation of Montgomery County\'s master plan, which is in the early stages of implementation. This plan seeks to further develop the town into a mass transit and pedestrian oriented community. A subsequent increase in population density will necessitate this additional bus line.Please advise on the following:1. Does the inclusion of a second planned and funded bus line as described above satisfy the SS4.1 credit requirement?2. The owner indicated that the Department of Transportation will sign a letter which confirms this commitment to a second bus line. Is this level of credit documentation sufficient? If not, please describe any additional documentation that may be required to successfully achieve this credit.

Ruling:

The project team is inquiring whether the requirements of SSc4.1 Option 2 can be satisfied by a planned and funded bus line, as confirmed by the jurisdiction\'s Department of Transportation. Planned, sited or funded, but not yet operational, bus lines do not meet credit requirements.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is located 1250ft from a commuter ferry terminal operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). During the project\'s regular weekday operating hours, ferry boats arrive and depart 18 times daily, carrying commuters between our Hingham site and Rowe\'s Wharf in downtown Boston. The terminal at Rowe\'s Wharf is within 1/2 mile of three MBTA subway stations where commuters may board three different subway lines or a number of commuter rail lines.We believe the commuter ferry may be considered an acceptable form of alternative transportation for achieving this credit\'s intent of reducing the pollution and land development impacts of automobile use.

Ruling:

The project is seeking clarification if a commuter ferry is an acceptable form of alternative transportation for achievement of SSc4.1 Alternative Transportation, Public Transportation Access. The situation described does not meet the intent of the credit. In order for the ferry to serve as a shuttle to connect building occupants to a larger public transportation network, the ferry must provide direct service and operate at a frequency and capacity to serve the occupants of the building, including evening and weekend service, and is reasonably coordinated with the subway and rail service schedule. Additionally, the cumulative walking distance must meet the credit requirements.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
2/4/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We are requesting guidance on four credits within the Sustainable Sites category: SS Credit 4.1, SS Credit 4.2, SS Credit 5.1 and SS Credit 5.2. At issue is the application of these credits in the context of a large site with multiple buildings. While the following inquiries are specific to a single project, the site issues encountered are common to many of our larger projects and your response will also provide valuable assistance for future applications. The questions are being submitted jointly because of the interrelatedness of the issues. Our client, Harley-Davidson is planning an office expansion of its existing Product Development Center on a 49 acre site in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The new building will be a stand-alone facility located adjacent to the original PDC but connected via a second story pedestrian bridge. The project brings the total number of buildings on this site to three with eventual plans for a fourth. SS Credit 4.1: Alternative Transportation, public transportation access. As with many product manufacturers, security concerns over industrial espionage have led to a site with limited access and secured perimeters. The size of Harley-Davidson\'s facility makes strict compliance with this credit impossible although the manufacturer has tried to address the mass transit issue. The site, occupied by Harley since the 1950s, is located in an urban setting surrounded by light manufacturing and commercial development. Capitol Drive, which borders the southern edge of the 49 acre site, serves two bus routes and is the only truly accessible public thoroughfare. The site is bordered on the east by a super highway and on the west by a service road. Another industrial site abuts the property to the north. A curbside bus shelter sits just 100 feet from the site\'s main employee entrance gate. The distance from the bus stop to the new building, however, is approximately 1800 feet and thus exceeds the + mile limitation prescribed by LEED. It would be unrealistic for Harley-Davidson, just as it would be for many of our large pharmaceutical clients who maintain large contiguous sites, to compromise operational security by allowing public transit free access through their campus. It would likewise be unrealistic, given the scale of many of our clients\' operations and the number of facilities they maintain on site, to require every building to meet the + mile limit. Is there any means within the current language of LEED for Harley-Davidson to demonstrate compliance with this credit? SS Credit 4.4: Alternative Transportation, parking capacity. There are1128 existing automobile and 276 motorcycle parking stalls on the current Harley-Davidson site serving the two existing buildings. The PDC expansion will provide an additional 125 automobile and 13 motorcycle stalls. City of Wauwatosa Ordinance 22.44.090 requires 1 stall per 350 GSF of building area. At 75,958 GSF the new PDC would have required 218 new stalls. However the design team was able to demonstrate to the City that sufficient parking capacity could be maintained with fewer stalls by recognizing the diversity in peak hours of occupancy between the 3 buildings. In terms of parking numbers Harley-Davidson meets the first half of this credit\'s requirements. While Harley-Davidson has no van pooling policy they do have a disproportionately high motorcycle ridership natural consequence of their business that they encourage and have capitalized on in their site parking. With 276 existing bike parking stalls and 13 new bike stalls planned, the smaller stall size (4\'-6" x 10\'-0") does reduce the site parking footprint. It should be noted that these stalls are accounted for as part of the required City parking numbers and not as additional parking. While motorcycles can neither substitute for the pollution abatement benefits of bicycle riding (Credit 4.2) nor qualify as an alternatively fueled vehicle (Credit 4.3), its associated smaller footprint can reduce parking surface area which seems to be the root intent of this credit (Credit 4.4). According to the LEED Reference Guide\'s calculation methodology this credit is achievable by providing 7 carpool spaces (5% x 276 FTE

Ruling:

Your CIR submission contains three distinct credit inquiries, which is not permissible. The ruling below addresses the inquiry pertaining to SS credit 4.1. Please submit the other inquiries separately, under credits 4.4 and 5.1. SS credit 4.1: The building(s) must be located within 1/4 mile of at least two bus routes, or within 1/2 mile of commuter rail, to qualify for this credit. If the distance between the bus route and the building(s) is greater than 1/4 mile, an alternate strategy must be proposed to achieve credit equivalency with the intent of the credit. Previous projects have implemented a company operated shuttle to connect the buildings(s) and the bus routes to achieve this credit. If a shuttle is used, provide information on the distance to bus routes and to building(s), schedule and frequency of operation, and shuttle capacity. If the new building(s) are farther than 1/4 mile from bus routes and no shuttle or other equivalent is provided, then this credit would not be achieved. Other methods which connect the bus shelter outside the complex to the building entrance inside the complex which encourage year-round bus riding per the intent of this credit could also help demonstrate equivalency. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
9/2/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Houston\'s mass transit system does not currently include "commuter rail, light rail, or subway stations." However, it is based on a large and established network of Park & Ride locations which function just like commuter rail (not like a regular bus stop). People can walk, drive, or get dropped off at a Park & Ride near their home, then take the Metro line directly to various other Park & Rides or Transit Centers and then connect to regular bus service throughout the city. Like rail, the Park & Rides are arranged along the various transit corridors throughout the city (N, NW, W, etc.), and there is regularly scheduled service throughout the day. Park & Ride buses drive in designated lanes on the freeways, only stopping at other Park & Ride locations and Transit Centers (not at typical bus stops), so they really do function like a rail line with tires. We have found Park & Rides to be functionally equivalent to a commuter rail station in this city, and believe they are consistent with the intent of the credit. Does a project located within 1/2 mile of a Park & Ride meet credit equivalency of SS4.1?

Ruling:

Park & Ride locations for buses are not equivalent to commuter rail stations. Although bus mass transit as described in the inquiry "function like a rail line with tires", LEED recognizes that the environmental impacts of these two different transportation modes differ significantly. One quantifiable measure of this difference is illustrated in the Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 22, published by the U.S Department of Energy and prepared by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which can be referenced at http://www-cta.ornl.gov/cta/data/Index.html. According to 2000 data from this reference, transit buses in the U.S. consumed an average of 4,775 btus per passenger mile, while commuter rail consumed 2,759. There is still opportunity for the project to achieve this credit by providing a shuttle bus to a place where there is direct access to rail or two or more bus lines. According to SS Credit 4.1 CIR submitted 1/8/2003 (2/4/2003 ruling), LEED will accept the establishment of a permanent private shuttle service "to connect the buildings(s) and the bus routes to achieve this credit. If a shuttle is used, provide information on the distance to bus routes and to building(s), schedule and frequency of operation, and shuttle capacity." Schedule and frequency must be adequate to service employee ridership during standard commuting times for all shifts, as well as periodic service at other times. Also reference the credit ruling dated 9/20/2002. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

1) Can a bus line be counted if there are no proper stops, but anyone can board by hailing the bus?2) Can private mini-buses count as a form of public transit?

Ruling:

1) Yes, document that the bus travels an established route at regular times, and that the hailing system is the established means for boarding the bus at the given location. 2) Yes, a private mini-bus may be counted towards credit compliance if it is available to the public, travels a regular route and observes a regular time schedule. If the mini-bus behaves more like a group taxi, in that the route and timetable is determined by the occupants, then it is not eligible to be counted towards credit compliance. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project is a newly constructed office building in a new development. We would like to approach this credit via Option 2 Bus Stop Proximity which requires 1 or more stops for 2 or more public, campus or private bus lines within ¼ mile walking distance by building occupants. We have two questions:

  1. Is it acceptable to include a bus route which is nearby (but not within ¼) that can be rerouted on an as-needed basis if building occupants call in to the bus control station requesting a pickup? We have confirmed that the city bus lines are available for temporary rerouting in these situations.
  2. Is it acceptable to include a bus route that is sited and planned within a ¼ mile at the time the project is completed, similar to the allowance for light rail or subway as noted in paragraph three under section 4. Implementation of the LEED 2009 reference guide?
Ruling:

The project team is inquiring whether it is acceptable to meet the requirements of SSc4.1 Option 2 by using a bus route that can be rerouted on an on-call basis or by using a bus route that is sited and planned—but not yet operational--within one-fourth-mile at the time of project completion.

A bus route that is more than one-fourth mile from the project building’s main entrance, but that can be re-routed on an on-call basis to be within one-fourth mile of the project building is not acceptable for credit compliance since it would not provide a consistent level of service to truly serve as an alternative transportation option. Bus lines that are planned/sited, but not yet operational, do not meet credit requirements. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
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Requirements

Option 1: Rail station, bus rapid transit station & ferry terminal proximity
Locate the project within 1/2-mile (800 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of an existing or planned and funded commuter rail, light rail, subway station bus rapid transit1 station or commuter ferry terminal.

OR

Option 2: Bus stop proximity
Locate the project within 1/4-mile (400 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more public, campus, or private bus lines usable by building occupants.

OR

Option 3. Rideshare proximity
Projects outside the U.S. may locate the project within 1/4-mile (400 meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more existing rideshare options2 that that meet the definition of public transportation3 and are authorized by the local transit authority if one exists.

1 Bus rapid transit is an enhanced bus system that operates on exclusive bus lanes or other transit rights-of-way; it is designed to combine the flexibility of uses with the efficiency of rail.

2 Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders. Rideshare options must hold 4 or more passengers, except for human-powered conveyances which must hold 2 or more passengers.

3Public transportation consists of bus, rail, or other transit services for the general public that operate on a regular, continual basis.

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7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add Option 3: "OPTION 3. Rideshare ProximityProjects outside the U.S. may locate the project within 1/4-mile (400-meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of 1 or more stops for 2 or more existing rideshare options2 that that meet the definition of public transportation3 and are authorized by the local transit authority if one exists."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Add the following sentence to the end of the second paragraph, "Shuttle buses should provide direct access to transit facilities within 2 miles of the project site, approximately a 5-10 minute drive, and must be available to all project occupants."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "attendance boundary" with "The attendance boundary is the limit used by school districts to determine what school students attend based on where they live."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following footnotes:1. Bus rapid transit is an enhanced bus system that operates on exclusive bus lanes or other transit rights-of-way; it is designed to combine the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail.2. Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders. Rideshare options must hold 4 or more passengers, except for human-powered conveyances which must hold 2 or more passengers. 3. Public transportation consists of bus, rail, or other transit services for the general public that operate on a regular, continual basis.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Revise the Option 1 to read: "OPTION 1. Rail Station, Bus Rapid Transit Station & Ferry Terminal ProximityLocate the project within 1/2-mile (800-meter) walking distance (measured from a main building entrance) of an existing or planned and funded commuter rail, light rail, or subway station, bus rapid transit1 station or commuter ferry terminal."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In Figure 2, remove the 1/4 mile circle from the figure and add a scale at the bottom so that it is clear that the bus stops are within 1/4 mile walking distance of the project's main entrance.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the Alternative Compliance Path for Projects Outside the U.S.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
2/4/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

EQUIVALENCY CREDITS FOR LEED ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION INTRODUCTION The Alternative Transportation credits of the LEED Green Building Rating System are intended to reduce pollution and land development impacts associated with automobile use. In many suburban parts of the country, this intent is best met with the identified approaches currently included in the LEED Rating System, such as alternative fuel or car-pool parking. In major urban areas, like New York City, these LEED approaches are not as viable for building owners to implement for obvious reasons. The Hearst Project team (Hearst) has included significant improvements in the project to the adjacent mass transportation subway station. These improvements will encourage increased ridership, in general, and will provide specific benefits for both the physically challenged and elderly riders. Hearst\'s commitment to make improvements to the Columbus Circle Station is clearly aligned with the intention of the Alternative Transportation credit and warrants recognition as equivalency credits for LEED Sustainable Site Credits 4.2-4.4. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) suggested, in prior correspondence, that Hearst quantify the increased ridership due to the planned improvements in support of this equivalency proposal. From the data available from New York City Transit (NYCT) the operating Agency, we are able to qualify the significance of this station where the improvements are planned, and to make a reasonable assertion that the ridership will increase and be better served from such improvements. Columbus Circle Station (CCS) Data - NYCT ranks CCS 14th of 424 stations in ridership volume - NYCT reports that over 16 Million riders entered CCS in 2000. - NYCT counted over 187,000 Physically Challenged or Elderly Users entering CCS in 2000 (conservatively low estimate due to counting method). - NYCT projects 4% annual system increase in ridership. - Transfers between subway lines not accounted in ridership estimates. - Over 3 Million SF of Commercial Real Estate planned in the vicinity of CCS It is evident that the Columbus Circle Station is a significant station in the NYCT subway system. Because of Hearst\'s planned improvements, the CCS station will be more accessible to a broad ridership, including the physically challenged and elderly ridership, whether they are area residents, schoolchildren, commuters to work or visitors to the city. The current station is not Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessible, but upon completion of the improvements, the station will be fully ADA accessible. Hearst proposes that the request for Equivalency Credits be assessed in light of the extent of and benefits from the planned improvements for Columbus Circle Station. These improvements will result in increased ridership by both general public and special needs public, reducing pollution and land development associated with automobile use. INTENT Reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use. REQUIREMENT For projects adjacent to significant mass transportation systems, including subway and commuter rail stations where 5 or more lines stop, make improvements to the station that will enhance the opportunity building occupants, adjacent building occupants, area residents, general public, special needs public. Achieve those objectives by taking the following steps to use mass-transit services for the following public categories: - Enhance access to the station from or through the project site (1pt) - Relieve congestion and improve traffic flow through the station (1pt) - Provide ADA elevators for access and/or transit systems transfers (1pt) DESIGN APPROACH Identify obstacles, deficiencies, and/or poorly maintained access to mass transit stops that are a hindrance to those who use and/or desire to use mass transit systems. Assess whether or not there is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access to adjacent mass transit stops. Once these hindrances have been identified, design improvements to remedy them and provide ADA access if not available to adjacent mass transit stops. DOCUMENTATION Provide a narrative that describes improvements made to access adjacent mass transit stops. Provide pre-construction and post-construction drawings that identify improvements made to adjacent mass transit stops. Provide pre-construction and post-construction photographs that highlight improvements made to access of mass transit stops. PROJECT ACTION In conjunction with the New York City MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) and NYCT, the design team identified several obstacles and deficiencies that hinder access to the Columbus Circle Station (CCS) is immediately adjacent to the project site. Over time, system entrances have become dilapidated, increased public use has exacerbated congestion at mezzanine and platform level choke points, and the lack of ADA access has discouraged those who are physically-challenged or elderly from using the station. The Hearst Corporation is planning to significantly improve these conditions and further reduce the environmental impacts associated with automobile use by making substantial improvements to the Columbus Circle Station as part of The Hearst Building Project (Project). The improvements will have direct benefit for the ridership by: - Enhancing access to the station from the Project site, - Relieving congestion to access platforms and improving traffic flow through the station, - Providing ADA elevators for transit systems transfers The Hearst Project team requests that the USGBC recognize the planned improvements to the Columbus Circle Station with three Equivalency Credits because these actions represent an equivalent response to the LEED Site Credit 4: Alternative Transportation. Detailed explanations of the subway station improvements are as follows: Enhancing Access to the Station from the Project Site The current Hearst Magazine Building is integrated into the existing subway system with one access point at street level. The planned station improvements will expand access to include an additional entrance to the Columbus Circle Station as part of Project. Enhance Site Entrances (57th Street and Eighth Avenue) The scope of work consists of the construction of a new street to mezzanine entrance stairway along the street face of the proposed building. This stairway will be constructed to a finished width of 8\'\'-6" and tie into the existing lower run of NYCT stairs leading into the southern end of the station\'s mezzanine. The existing stair will also be replaced with a new, wider stair. These new entrances will have enhanced lighting and finishes that are complimentary of the new Project design and consistent with NYCT current design guidelines. Relieving Congestion and Improving Traffic Flow Relieving Congestion The Columbus Circle Station is one of the New York City Transit\'s (NYCT) most traveled stations. The station is a crossroad for several transit lines including the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Lines #1 and #2 and the Independent (IND) Lines A, B, C and D. The station was constructed over several decades in several stages. With increased ridership over the years and NYCT\'s incremental approach to improvements, the public has had to deal with increased congestion to the mezzanine and platforms areas. Bottlenecks and circuitous travel paths between the southbound IRT and southbound IND lines are a prime example. A similar condition exists with the northbound lines. Specific improvements to address these and similar conditions include the following: Relocate 2 End-of-Platform Stairs P-1 & P-3 (between lower mezzanine and downtown IND platforms) This element of work will include the demolition of existing platform to mezzanine stairs (P-1 & P-3) and the construction of new stairs (P-1 & P-3), located to the north of its existing location. This includes all structural modifications to the existing station elements necessary for this construction. Construct a New Stair P-14 (between upper mezzanine IRT downtown platform and IND downtown platform) The element of work will include the demolition of existing mezzanine slab, the re-framing of the mezzanine floor system and the construction of a new stair from the mezzanine to the platform level below. This new stair shall be a steel stringer stair with perforated metal risers and all structural modifications required for the installation. Widen Stair P-6 (between lower mezzanine and uptown IND platform) This element of work will include the demolition of existing mezzanine to platform stair P-6 and the construction of a new, wider stair P-6 in the approximate same location. This new stair shall be a steel stringer stair with perforated metal risers. This includes structural modifications required for the installation of this stair. Improving Traffic Flow: Several improvements to optimize traffic flow though the station were identified. Specifically, the design team plans to install a new stair, relocate the south fare array, reverse a stair, and slab over abandoned stairs. Descriptions of these improvements follow: Construct a New Stair P-15 (between uptown IRT platform and uptown IND platform) The element of work will include the demolition of existing mezzanine slab, the re-framing of the mezzanine floor system and the construction of a new stair from the mezzanine to the platform level below. This new stair shall be a steel stringer stair with perforated metal risers and all structural modifications required for the installation. Relocate Fare Array and Token Booth (mezzanine level) The element of work will include the removal and relocation of the existing turnstile array (all existing elements) and Token Booth N06051 several column bays to the north. This relocation shall be performed in conjunction with the northerly relocation of platform to mezzanine stairs P-1 and P-3. All labor necessary for electrical and communication work for this relocation is included. Reverse and Relocate a Stair P-4 (between mezzanine and IND platform levels) This element of work will include the demolition of existing platform to mezzanine stair P-4 and the relocation, reversal and construction of a new stair P-4, located to the north of its existing location. All structural modifications to the existing station elements necessary for this construction are included. Any portion of the existing stairwell opening not required for the new stair construction shall be slabbed over. Remove and Slab over Abandoned Stairwells P-1, P-2, P-3 and P-5 (between mezzanine and platform levels) This element of work will include the removal of the above listed existing stair and the slabbing over of the remaining stairwell openings. Repairs at the platform level following the removal of the stairs shall be made as required to restore the concrete platform finish. All structural modifications to the existing station elements necessary for this construction are included. Providing ADA Access The current Columbus Circle Station configuration has no elevators between the mezzanine and platform levels. The design team\'s proposal includes 3 ADA elevators that would provide access for physically challenged and elderly ridership to all platforms and mezzanines within the station. These elevators and their related components will be designed to current NYCT guidelines and specifications. Related components consist of electrical, communication and plumbing work. Currently, the New York MTA estimates that 187,000 physically challenged or elderly persons enter the Columbus Circle subway station annually. This figure is conservatively low given that NYCT can only track those riders that have sought out and use a special transit card that permits tracking when they enter the system at Columbus Circle Station. This does not account for the large ridership that utilize the station for the intra-system transfers. Construct a 3-stop ADA Elevator (connect IND mezzanine level, downtown IND platform & downtown IRT platform) This element of work will include the installation of one 3 stop elevator and its related machine room, as well as all ancillary components required for the operation of the elevator. All structural work necessary to modify the existing station to accept this elevator and machine room as well as the above described general electrical, communication and plumbing work shall be included in this item. Construct two 2-stop ADA elevators (connect IND mezzanine level to uptown IND platform) This element of work will include the installation of two 2-stop elevators and its related machine rooms, as well as all ancillary components required for the operation of these elevators. All structural work necessary to modify the existing station to accept this elevator and machine room as well as the above described general electrical, communication and plumbing work are included in this item. These elevators and their related components will be design and installed in accordance with current NYCT specifications and guidelines.

Ruling:

The Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group (LEED subcommittee) has determined that while the data provided does "qualify the significance of this station" as an element of a larger system, it falls short in providing quantifiable data to support the NYCT projection of a 4% annual system increase in ridership due to the improvements at the Columbus Circle Station. Similarly, the language of this CIR (and the previous CIR 0307-IDc10-062102) leaves out specific information regarding the physical and aesthetic improvements that will be made to lower barriers to ridership; this information is critical to determining the applicability of these improvements to the project\'s LEED Application. The USGBC encourages the applicant project to outline the specific improvements that have been made to he Columbus Circle Station that have lowered barriers to ridership, and to demonstrate (through peer-reviewed studies of such improvements in other mass transit stations or through ridership counts of the applicant building\'s staff and visitors) that these improvements have definitely affected the transportation habits of the applicant building\'s occupants. The applicant would also strengthen its case by summarizing the location of other ADA compliant stations in the area. Furthermore, the USGBC encourages the project to apply for an Innovation Credit, instead of equivalency for SS Alternative Transportation credits.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/27/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is located in a medium/maximum security fenced facility that provides male offenders, between ages 12-20, academic education and prevocational training while serving their juvenile sentencing. The campus has a fully fenced perimeter and is approximately 2,000\' by 1,400\'. Our proposed building entrance is approximately 1,200 ft form the secured main entrance. The secured campus facility restricts vehicular access through a sally port next to the main entrance for maintenance vehicles, emergency vehicles, Contractor, and police vehicles. All visitors and employees must park outside the security fencing in their respective parking lots next to the campus entrance and enter through the main security gates into the Visitor Center. Due to security concerns, the facility does not allow bicycles beyond the provided secured bicycle racks at the main entrance.Can we use the campus entrance of the secured facility as our "project entrance\' as the center of the 1/2 mile radius for services (SSc2), in measuring the 1/4 mile distance to the bus stop (SSc4.1) and the 200 ft distance to the secure bicycle racks (SSc4.1)?We have previously received permission to use the campus entrance as our "project entrance" for all applicable credits for a project under LEED NCv2.2 CIR 8/27/07 and are now seeking the same ruling. We feel that defining our project entrance as the campus entrance is reasonable and consistent as all employees and visitors must walk to and from the secured campus entrance to and from any building on campus.

Ruling:

The project team is asking whether for a project located in a medium/maximum security fenced facility, the secure campus entrance can be assumed to be the project building entrance for purposes of measuring the one half mile radius for services (SSc2) and the one quarter mile distance to the bus stop (SSc4.1) and the 200 feet distance to secure bike racks (SSc4.2). Yes, given that the campus entrance is the first entrance where all vehicular employee or visitor entry/exits are restricted (except for maintenance, emergency and police vehicles), and therefore is mode neutral, this approach is acceptable. This question was previously addressed in LEED Interpretation #5065 for LEED v2.2 projects. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
9/2/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of this point is to reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use. We have a residential project that is located just outside the service area of the local public transportation system. Our project is a destination/resort type building, and as such, visitors will frequently want to visit the various destinations served by the local public transportation system. To accommodate this without requiring that visitors rent and use a car, we plan to establish a "dial a ride" system, in which residents can call a shuttle service that will pick them up at our building, and take them to a variety of destinations, including the transit center in Park City. From this transit center, users can access 5 separate public bus lines. The dial a ride system will most likely use vans, which will transport modest group sizes, or multiple parties of small groups, but we do not anticipate the need for full size buses, or regular schedules to serve the residents. The use of full size buses on a regular schedule would likely result in the generation of more traffic and pollution than necessary. In addition to the dial a ride system, we are providing a ski lift immediately adjacent to our building to connect the building occupants with nearby Deer Valley, thereby eliminating the need to drive to the base of the ski area for a day of skiing or biking. Does this dial a ride program coupled with the local ski lift meet the intent of credit SS4.1?

Ruling:

The proposed actions are not sufficient for LEED credit, but there is opportunity to create an acceptable solution. As a destination/resort type building, it is expected that staff will be present, yet there is no mention of mass transit available for these workers. According to SS Credit 4.1 CIR submitted 1/8/2003 (2/4/2003 ruling), LEED will accept the establishment of a permanent private shuttle service to connect the buildings(s) and the bus routes to achieve this credit. If a shuttle is used, provide information on the distance to bus routes and to building(s), schedule and frequency of operation, and shuttle capacity. Schedule and frequency must be adequate to service employee ridership during standard commuting times for all shifts, as well as periodic service at other times that can certainly be fulfilled via the "dial-a-ride" service you are establishing for the guests. Also reference the credit ruling dated 9/20/2002.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project, a fire station, is in the design phase. SS credit 4.1 Alternative Transportation - Public Transportation Access, Option 2: Bus Stop Proximity requires the project site to be located within 1/4 mile walking distance of one or more stops for two or more bus lines usable by building occupants. Our project is situated within 1/4 mile walking distance from one currently operational bus line. The county has indicated that a second bus line is scheduled to be included within this 1/4 mile zone. The construction of this fire station is critical to the implementation of Montgomery County\'s master plan, which is in the early stages of implementation. This plan seeks to further develop the town into a mass transit and pedestrian oriented community. A subsequent increase in population density will necessitate this additional bus line.Please advise on the following:1. Does the inclusion of a second planned and funded bus line as described above satisfy the SS4.1 credit requirement?2. The owner indicated that the Department of Transportation will sign a letter which confirms this commitment to a second bus line. Is this level of credit documentation sufficient? If not, please describe any additional documentation that may be required to successfully achieve this credit.

Ruling:

The project team is inquiring whether the requirements of SSc4.1 Option 2 can be satisfied by a planned and funded bus line, as confirmed by the jurisdiction\'s Department of Transportation. Planned, sited or funded, but not yet operational, bus lines do not meet credit requirements.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is located 1250ft from a commuter ferry terminal operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). During the project\'s regular weekday operating hours, ferry boats arrive and depart 18 times daily, carrying commuters between our Hingham site and Rowe\'s Wharf in downtown Boston. The terminal at Rowe\'s Wharf is within 1/2 mile of three MBTA subway stations where commuters may board three different subway lines or a number of commuter rail lines.We believe the commuter ferry may be considered an acceptable form of alternative transportation for achieving this credit\'s intent of reducing the pollution and land development impacts of automobile use.

Ruling:

The project is seeking clarification if a commuter ferry is an acceptable form of alternative transportation for achievement of SSc4.1 Alternative Transportation, Public Transportation Access. The situation described does not meet the intent of the credit. In order for the ferry to serve as a shuttle to connect building occupants to a larger public transportation network, the ferry must provide direct service and operate at a frequency and capacity to serve the occupants of the building, including evening and weekend service, and is reasonably coordinated with the subway and rail service schedule. Additionally, the cumulative walking distance must meet the credit requirements.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
2/4/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We are requesting guidance on four credits within the Sustainable Sites category: SS Credit 4.1, SS Credit 4.2, SS Credit 5.1 and SS Credit 5.2. At issue is the application of these credits in the context of a large site with multiple buildings. While the following inquiries are specific to a single project, the site issues encountered are common to many of our larger projects and your response will also provide valuable assistance for future applications. The questions are being submitted jointly because of the interrelatedness of the issues. Our client, Harley-Davidson is planning an office expansion of its existing Product Development Center on a 49 acre site in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The new building will be a stand-alone facility located adjacent to the original PDC but connected via a second story pedestrian bridge. The project brings the total number of buildings on this site to three with eventual plans for a fourth. SS Credit 4.1: Alternative Transportation, public transportation access. As with many product manufacturers, security concerns over industrial espionage have led to a site with limited access and secured perimeters. The size of Harley-Davidson\'s facility makes strict compliance with this credit impossible although the manufacturer has tried to address the mass transit issue. The site, occupied by Harley since the 1950s, is located in an urban setting surrounded by light manufacturing and commercial development. Capitol Drive, which borders the southern edge of the 49 acre site, serves two bus routes and is the only truly accessible public thoroughfare. The site is bordered on the east by a super highway and on the west by a service road. Another industrial site abuts the property to the north. A curbside bus shelter sits just 100 feet from the site\'s main employee entrance gate. The distance from the bus stop to the new building, however, is approximately 1800 feet and thus exceeds the + mile limitation prescribed by LEED. It would be unrealistic for Harley-Davidson, just as it would be for many of our large pharmaceutical clients who maintain large contiguous sites, to compromise operational security by allowing public transit free access through their campus. It would likewise be unrealistic, given the scale of many of our clients\' operations and the number of facilities they maintain on site, to require every building to meet the + mile limit. Is there any means within the current language of LEED for Harley-Davidson to demonstrate compliance with this credit? SS Credit 4.4: Alternative Transportation, parking capacity. There are1128 existing automobile and 276 motorcycle parking stalls on the current Harley-Davidson site serving the two existing buildings. The PDC expansion will provide an additional 125 automobile and 13 motorcycle stalls. City of Wauwatosa Ordinance 22.44.090 requires 1 stall per 350 GSF of building area. At 75,958 GSF the new PDC would have required 218 new stalls. However the design team was able to demonstrate to the City that sufficient parking capacity could be maintained with fewer stalls by recognizing the diversity in peak hours of occupancy between the 3 buildings. In terms of parking numbers Harley-Davidson meets the first half of this credit\'s requirements. While Harley-Davidson has no van pooling policy they do have a disproportionately high motorcycle ridership natural consequence of their business that they encourage and have capitalized on in their site parking. With 276 existing bike parking stalls and 13 new bike stalls planned, the smaller stall size (4\'-6" x 10\'-0") does reduce the site parking footprint. It should be noted that these stalls are accounted for as part of the required City parking numbers and not as additional parking. While motorcycles can neither substitute for the pollution abatement benefits of bicycle riding (Credit 4.2) nor qualify as an alternatively fueled vehicle (Credit 4.3), its associated smaller footprint can reduce parking surface area which seems to be the root intent of this credit (Credit 4.4). According to the LEED Reference Guide\'s calculation methodology this credit is achievable by providing 7 carpool spaces (5% x 276 FTE

Ruling:

Your CIR submission contains three distinct credit inquiries, which is not permissible. The ruling below addresses the inquiry pertaining to SS credit 4.1. Please submit the other inquiries separately, under credits 4.4 and 5.1. SS credit 4.1: The building(s) must be located within 1/4 mile of at least two bus routes, or within 1/2 mile of commuter rail, to qualify for this credit. If the distance between the bus route and the building(s) is greater than 1/4 mile, an alternate strategy must be proposed to achieve credit equivalency with the intent of the credit. Previous projects have implemented a company operated shuttle to connect the buildings(s) and the bus routes to achieve this credit. If a shuttle is used, provide information on the distance to bus routes and to building(s), schedule and frequency of operation, and shuttle capacity. If the new building(s) are farther than 1/4 mile from bus routes and no shuttle or other equivalent is provided, then this credit would not be achieved. Other methods which connect the bus shelter outside the complex to the building entrance inside the complex which encourage year-round bus riding per the intent of this credit could also help demonstrate equivalency. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
9/2/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Houston\'s mass transit system does not currently include "commuter rail, light rail, or subway stations." However, it is based on a large and established network of Park & Ride locations which function just like commuter rail (not like a regular bus stop). People can walk, drive, or get dropped off at a Park & Ride near their home, then take the Metro line directly to various other Park & Rides or Transit Centers and then connect to regular bus service throughout the city. Like rail, the Park & Rides are arranged along the various transit corridors throughout the city (N, NW, W, etc.), and there is regularly scheduled service throughout the day. Park & Ride buses drive in designated lanes on the freeways, only stopping at other Park & Ride locations and Transit Centers (not at typical bus stops), so they really do function like a rail line with tires. We have found Park & Rides to be functionally equivalent to a commuter rail station in this city, and believe they are consistent with the intent of the credit. Does a project located within 1/2 mile of a Park & Ride meet credit equivalency of SS4.1?

Ruling:

Park & Ride locations for buses are not equivalent to commuter rail stations. Although bus mass transit as described in the inquiry "function like a rail line with tires", LEED recognizes that the environmental impacts of these two different transportation modes differ significantly. One quantifiable measure of this difference is illustrated in the Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 22, published by the U.S Department of Energy and prepared by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which can be referenced at http://www-cta.ornl.gov/cta/data/Index.html. According to 2000 data from this reference, transit buses in the U.S. consumed an average of 4,775 btus per passenger mile, while commuter rail consumed 2,759. There is still opportunity for the project to achieve this credit by providing a shuttle bus to a place where there is direct access to rail or two or more bus lines. According to SS Credit 4.1 CIR submitted 1/8/2003 (2/4/2003 ruling), LEED will accept the establishment of a permanent private shuttle service "to connect the buildings(s) and the bus routes to achieve this credit. If a shuttle is used, provide information on the distance to bus routes and to building(s), schedule and frequency of operation, and shuttle capacity." Schedule and frequency must be adequate to service employee ridership during standard commuting times for all shifts, as well as periodic service at other times. Also reference the credit ruling dated 9/20/2002. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

1) Can a bus line be counted if there are no proper stops, but anyone can board by hailing the bus?2) Can private mini-buses count as a form of public transit?

Ruling:

1) Yes, document that the bus travels an established route at regular times, and that the hailing system is the established means for boarding the bus at the given location. 2) Yes, a private mini-bus may be counted towards credit compliance if it is available to the public, travels a regular route and observes a regular time schedule. If the mini-bus behaves more like a group taxi, in that the route and timetable is determined by the occupants, then it is not eligible to be counted towards credit compliance. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project is a newly constructed office building in a new development. We would like to approach this credit via Option 2 Bus Stop Proximity which requires 1 or more stops for 2 or more public, campus or private bus lines within ¼ mile walking distance by building occupants. We have two questions:

  1. Is it acceptable to include a bus route which is nearby (but not within ¼) that can be rerouted on an as-needed basis if building occupants call in to the bus control station requesting a pickup? We have confirmed that the city bus lines are available for temporary rerouting in these situations.
  2. Is it acceptable to include a bus route that is sited and planned within a ¼ mile at the time the project is completed, similar to the allowance for light rail or subway as noted in paragraph three under section 4. Implementation of the LEED 2009 reference guide?
Ruling:

The project team is inquiring whether it is acceptable to meet the requirements of SSc4.1 Option 2 by using a bus route that can be rerouted on an on-call basis or by using a bus route that is sited and planned—but not yet operational--within one-fourth-mile at the time of project completion.

A bus route that is more than one-fourth mile from the project building’s main entrance, but that can be re-routed on an on-call basis to be within one-fourth mile of the project building is not acceptable for credit compliance since it would not provide a consistent level of service to truly serve as an alternative transportation option. Bus lines that are planned/sited, but not yet operational, do not meet credit requirements. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Marilyn Specht

Integral group
Principal, US Sustainability Consulting Lead

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