As of October 1, 2016, the SWUTC concluded its 28 years of operation and is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived SWUTC website remains available here.


SWUTC Research Project Description

Exploring Sustainable Transportation for Texas Southern University

University:  Texas Southern University

Principal Investigator:
Gwen Goodwin
Center for Transportation Training and Research
(713) 313-7283

Project Monitor:
Vincent Sanders
Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority
(713) 739-3867

Funding Source:  USDOT and State of Texas General Revenue Funds

Total Project Cost: $99,375

Project Number:  600451-00042

Date Started: 5/1/12

Estimated Completion Date:  8/31/13

Project Summary

Project Abstract:
Texas Southern University is a commuter campus with students, faculty, and staff traveling from the Greater Houston area to the university. Over the past few years, the TSU campus has made marked improvements to move towards a “greener” more sustainable campus with less impervious coverage. Despite this commitment, the campus still has not addressed how the university will decrease its carbon footprint and change the way people arrive at the campus. Adopting a multi-facetted approach to commuting were everyone had the option to rideshare, ride transit, drive, and bicycle would be a preferred alternative which is a strategy already working at other campuses.

Project Objectives:
Prior to examining commuting patterns of the university staff, faculty and students, staff will conduct a focused discussion to gain interest in university officials to adding an emphasis on sustainable transportation. Graduate students will assist the PI in finding a venue, inviting faculty & staff to the meeting, and serving as recorders. The PI hopes to determine the following:

  • To determine overall feeling regarding sustainable transportation.
  • To understand what the university gains from implementing sustainable transportation policies.
  • To identify the potential negative impacts from implementing sustainable transportation policies
  • <span >To discuss what techniques or strategies should be supported.

Task Descriptions:
Task 1: Review Literatures on Sustainable transportation
The PIO and Graduate assistants will review the current literature regarding sustainable transportation. CTTR has a list of campuses that university officials consider our peers. Included in this review is an examination of these campuses and their policies regarding sustainable transportation.

Task 2: Develop and prepare for a Focused Discussion Group meeting
This tasks involves coordination of meeting logistics, which includes determining who should attend the meeting, developing themes for discussion, and determining the best time to hold the meeting. Additional tasks include gathering materials need for the meeting: background literature and other meeting essentials. Graduate assistants will assist the researcher with determining these details.

Task 3: Facilitate Focused Discussion Group meeting
The task aims to determine how university officials (administration, faculty/staff, and student representatives) feel about sustainable transportation. The best method for obtaining information will be decided. At this stage, thematic topics will be finalized and needed materials, i.e. maps, literature, other needed materials will be gathered for participants. The group facilitation will be the primary responsibility of the PI. Graduate assistants will serve as recorders.

Task 4: Document findings from Focused Discussion Group meeting
This task includes gathering comments made from the Focused Discussion Group meeting. These comments will be captured by theme and used to determine the feasibility of pursuing sustainable transportation for the TSU campus.

Implementation of Research Outcomes:
This research reviewed alternative transportation solutions for Texas Southern University to decrease its carbon footprint by changing the way faculty, staff and students arrive at the campus.  General findings support the possibility of carpool/vanpool by university employees.  And ZipCar service for students.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation:
Results from this research could improve traffic and parking issues on the Texas Southern University campus.  By utilizing environmentally friendly transportation options, such as carpools/vanpools or rideshare programs, users would see economic savings in gas, time, car maintenance and repair.

Web Links:
Final Report