Campus & Community

Transportation Solutions celebrates DU’s green commitment

Marjike Swierstra, center, with Mark Rycroft, left, and Rich McClintock, right. Photo: Chase Squires

Marjike Swierstra, center, with Mark Rycroft, left, and Rich McClintock, right. Photo: Chase Squires

Using public transportation earned University of Denver staffer Marijke Swierstra a new method of private transportation.

Swierstra, an administrative assistant in DU’s advancement office, regularly takes advantage of her DU-issued Eco Pass, which grants free access to the Denver area’s RTD system of buses and light rail. So earlier this year she signed up for Transportation Solutions’ “Ride, Walk, Roll, Win” promotion, which encouraged the campus community to pledge to leave the car at home and commute to work by an alternate method at least once a week.

Her pledge to go green got her something red: a new Schwinn motor scooter. Swierstra won the grand prize drawing from Transportation Solutions, a public-private partnership dedicated to promoting alternative transportation in southeast Denver.

“The last time I rode a scooter I was 15 years old,” Swierstra says.

But she’ll be an expert in no time, says Mark Rycroft, whose business, Scooters on Broadway, partnered with Transportation Solutions for the promotion. Rycroft, a standout hockey player with the Pioneers from 1997–2000, went on to play in the National Hockey League before coming back to Denver to start a business. He says Denver, with a dry, moderate climate, is a perfect city for scooters. He sells both gas and electric models.

“By the sixth lap around the parking lot you’ll be a professional,” Rycroft says. “A scooter like this is so easy to ride; it’s easier than a bike. You don’t even have to pedal.”

Another feature Swierstra likes about her shiny red scooter: It gets 100 miles to the gallon and will be perfect for running errands in her neighborhood.

As for getting to work, Swierstra says she’ll still depend on RTD, which she usually rides 3–5 times a week.

“The Eco Pass is really a great benefit to staff and faculty,” she says. “More people should use it.”

Rich McClintock, executive director of Transportation Solutions, says as a result of his team’s efforts to get more DU community members to pledge to take alternate transportation to work at least once a week, some 1,000 faculty, staff and students signed up for the promotion between July and October.

“We had a very strong show of support across campus,” McClintock says. “It’s just one day a week, but it makes a difference. It’s a clear commitment by the DU community to find transportation solutions.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to work with DU, Transportation Solutions is conducting a survey about how people get to and from campus. The survey is online at In addition, the organization is working on a Denver “Complete Streets” program to make it easier for people to bike to work. Transportation solutions will be on the Driscoll Bridge from 10 a.m. to noon weekdays from Nov. 8–22 to collect input about biking routes, trouble spots and areas where bike routes would better serve the campus.

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