Coalition Advocating Transportation Solutions (CATS)
CATS is working to reduce the transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions from Lewis and Clark Law students. We strive to accomplish that goal by promoting cycling, bus riding, and carpooling among students such that, together, they become more common than those who commute to campus via single occupancy vehicles. Additionally, we aim to increase bike awareness, safety and advocacy, both on and off campus. Our key focus is to work cooperatively with the administration, other student groups, as well as the rest of the Portland community to increase environmentally sensible and sustainable modes of travel for the betterment of our planet’s climate, and therefore the people and animals dependent on it.
When to Contact CATS
We want to be a resource to you - as an incoming student or graduating 3L, faculty, staff, community member, partner, etc. We’re available by phone, email, and in-person to talk to you about where you live (or want to live) and what your transportation options are.
- To get a commuter locker
- To be on the CATS listserv (for important updates about cemetery closure, events, lunches, and group rides)
- With any commuting questions
- To attend or schedule a transportation-related event
- To get information about routes to/from school from all over the Portland region.
- To get signed up for the Bike Commute Challenge!
CATS has been an active student group on the law school campus for well over a decade. The club was founded around the time the college proposed a parking garage to remedy its transportation problems. Some of the founders actually sued the college over it because they found the “solution” inadequate to address the real issues - that is, too many cars coming to campus every day. While their lawsuit proved unsuccessful in court, it did motivate the college to strike a compromise: parking pass fees would be instituted to pay for a shuttle program and the parking garage would not be built.
The shuttle program survives to this day, although the budget crisis in 2008 resulted in significant service cuts. CATS and its members played an active role in the 2008-2009 school year and fought hard against shuttle cuts. We raised awareness on the law school and undergrad campuses, met with administrators, attended neighborhood meetings, signed petitions and presented to the Board of Trustees, but we were ultimately unsuccessful. An entire shuttle route was eliminated and service on the mid-day Pioneer Express was canceled. However, CATS didn’t give up. We forged strong relationships with student government and lobbied the law school’s budget chair heavily. We held meetings on campus and continued to keep students informed. In the 2009-2010 school year the law school responded and now provides mid-day shuttle service to students can travel to and from the law school and downtown clinics where they provide pro bono legal services to the community. In the 2012-2013 school year, CATS became very active in promoting and expanding the use of shuttles and carpooling. We have worked with the undergraduate administration to ensure shuttle service to the law school is not cut and have pushed for an expansion of the current services. We are also strongly encouraging all students (but especially 1Ls because you have the same schedules) to car pool as often as possible. Carpooling benefits the environment and your wallet by saving money on gas and parking fees.
The MISSION of CATS is to raise awareness and use of sensible, alternative, and sustainable modes of transportation.
More people on bikes! More people on busses and shuttles! No cuts to bus or shuttle service! More carpools! More support for carpool parking on campus! Fewer single occupancy vehicle travels! Be good neighbors and encourage our friends to do the same!
The CATS agenda for 2014-2015 includes: Implementing an Alternative Transportation Incentive Program. Get more people out than ever for September’s Bike Commute Challenge. Create opportunities for L&C students to experience the joy of bicycling together. Ensure no new cuts to shuttle service. Bike to PIELC. Continue to work with faculty, staff, the SBA, and other students to develop a long-term solution to our congested parking lots and commute sheds. Help create and foster sustainable transportation solutions for the entire community. Respond to the community’s needs and wants, help advocate for change and stand up for sensible transportation options. Serve as a resource for new and seasoned students, faculty, staff, and community members for transportation advice, recommendations, and ideas.