The University of the Sunshine Coast is the largest provider of tertiary education on the Sunshine Coast. It is a significant traffic generator with over 6,000 trips a day into the Campus, rising to potentially double that number by 2015.
Due to its size, the University has also become an important regional hub for the bus network, with the campus currently served by six TransLink routes. Access to the campus currently takes place overwhelmingly by private vehicle, largely due to the dispersed nature of the student and staff population.
Seventy percent of staff and students live within 20km of the campus, and fifty percent within 10km of the campus, providing an opportunity to improve bicycle mode share. Significant gains could therefore be made, simply by improving cycle links for the high percentage of the University population residing within cycling distance, recognising that for those living further afield, and for whom cycling is not a realistic choice, motorised alternatives must continue to be catered for.
To advance sustainable parking and travel demand outcomes for the University, the 2012 Campus Master Plan, advocates a mode share of fifty-five percent for private vehicles, twenty percent for public transport, ten percent for cycling and fifteen percent for pedestrian travel.
This mode share is broadly based on the ultimate mode share target for walking and cycling of respectively fifteen and seven percent (or twenty-two percent combined), as stated in Sunshine Coast Council's Active Transport Plan 2011 – 2031, for the Sippy Downs, Palmview, Kawana and Caloundra South areas.
The Queensland State Government has also set an ultimate cycle mode share of eight percent, and ten percent for walking. This includes all commuting and recreational cycling and walking trip types. These targets will be reviewed as the region and University achieves the supporting infrastructure required for further reductions in private vehicle use.
The establishment of further student accommodation, within walking and cycling distance of the campus, is likely to be the most significant facilitator of more equitable mode share.