Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.81
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Jan. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Houston
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Melissa Halstead
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
COAST program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Minimizing the number of vehicles traveling to and parking on campus, while also reducing Houston’s carbon footprint and improving the region’s air quality is a critical goal of the University of Houston.

In June 2016, in an effort to align with that goal and better serve an ever-increasing campus community of more than 43,000 students and 8,155 faculty and staff, the school's Parking and Transportation Services team launched COAST, an alternative transportation incentive program.

An initiative to counter growing parking demands, COAST was necessary, but for a school situated in a city where multi-lane freeways and commuting alone were the norm, the team knew they would face some obstacles in their quest for success.

Through working with partners like the local transit authority, they developed a program that offers incentives to individuals opting to carpool or use public transportation instead of purchasing a campus parking permit.

Thanks in part to appealing discounts, a robust marketing and communications campaign and a partnership with the UH Office of Sustainability, the program has been successful. A first-year goal to recruit 815 participants was surpassed in just four months and COAST’s current 1,869 members translates to 1,725 fewer vehicles commuting through the area.

From strategies and struggles to future opportunities, presenters will share their takeaways from this experience and how others might be able to start a similar initiative at their institution.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Wellbeing & Work

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.