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
OP-18: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.80 / 2.00 Melissa Halstead
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution provide secure bicycle storage (not including office space), shower facilities, and lockers for bicycle commuters?:

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

We offer showers and lockers to all members of the Campus Recreation Center. There are no current facilities for storage, but a project to renovate a portion of a garage for secure bike storage is underway. All students are members of the Rec Center, which is included in their student fees. Faculty and staff can also purchase memberships.

Does the institution provide short-term bicycle parking for all occupied buildings and makes long-term bicycle storage available for students who live on-site (if applicable)?:

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

Bike racks are near every building on campus, but the distance from the building isn't confirmed. No long term bicycle storage is currently available on campus.

Does the institution have a bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy (or adhere to a local community plan/policy) that sets standards and practices for campus streets to enable safe access for all users?:

A brief description of the bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy:

Does the institution have a bicycle-sharing program or participate in a local bicycle-sharing program?:

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:

University of Houston has signed a contract with the bicycle-sharing company, Houston B-Cycle in 2017. Currently pending 6 stations to be implemented on campus in 2018.

Does the institution offer free or reduced price transit passes and/or operate a free campus shuttle for commuters?:

A brief description of the mass transit programs:

Students receive free Metro fares if they are part of the COAST program, all other students do receive a discounted rate. All campus members can utilize the free campus shuttles.

Does the institution offer a guaranteed return trip program to regular users of alternative modes of transportation?:

A brief description of the guaranteed return trip program:

If a student/faculty/staff that is a Commuter Club Member lives within 25 miles of the UH campus Parking Transportation and Safety will pay for a taxi to take them home. If they live more than 25 miles from the UH Campus, PTS will provide a car share vehicle for one day at no cost.

Does the institution participate in a car/vanpool or ride sharing program and/or offer reduced parking fees or preferential parking for car/vanpoolers?:

A brief description of the carpool/vanpool program:

For carpooling, COAST keeps a registry of carpoolers on campus for others to take part in. Additionally, a ride matching service is being developed. Vanpooling is also available and managed by the COAST program, 2 routes are currently available: http://www.uh.edu/af-university-services/parking/transportation-options/carpools-vanpools/.

Does the institution participate in a car sharing program, such as a commercial car-sharing program, one administered by the institution, or one administered by a regional organization?:

A brief description of the car sharing program:

The University of Houston has a partnership with Zipcar, Inc., the world's leading car sharing network, to offer a car sharing program on campus. The convenient transportation option is available at an affordable rate 24 hours a day, seven days a week for students, faculty and staff ages 18 and older, as well as members of the local community ages 21 and over.

The University offers four vehicles, with one each located at Cougar Place, Bayou Oaks, Calhoun Lofts and Cougar Village I. Zipcars are available on-demand and can be easily reserved and accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This year, University Houston members can join for $25, with rates for Zipcar vehicles on campus starting as low as $6.50 per hour and $69 per day. After the first year, members will pay an annual membership fee of $35. Gas, insurance, a reserved parking spot and up to 180 miles of driving per day are included in Zipcar rates, and cars can be reserved for as little as an hour or for multiple days. University of Houston students, faculty and staff can join Zipcar at www.zipcar.com/uh.

Does the institution have one or more Level 2 or Level 3 electric vehicle recharging stations that are accessible to student and employee commuters?:

A brief description of the electric vehicle recharging stations:

Does the institution offer a telecommuting program for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:

A brief description of the telecommuting program:

An employee whose work lends itself to flexibility of location may telecommute. The employee must be under no disciplinary action and have been employed by the department for at least one year. Details of the telecommuting arrangement must be agreed to in writing and approved by department leadership.

Does the institution offer a condensed work week option that reduces employee commuting (as a matter of policy or standard practice)?:

A brief description of the condensed work week option:

In the interest of efficiency, traffic, public safety or work preferences of employees, a department may choose to allow flextime. These schedules must be approved by department management and may also be subject to HR review. The 40 hour per week work standard must be enforced, even in a compressed workweek option.

Does the institution have incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus?:

A brief description of the incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus:

In an effort to better serve UH’s ever-growing campus and community, Parking and Transportation Services offers faculty, staff and students the opportunity to join COAST (Coogs on Alternative and Sustainable Transportation), a new incentive program launched in 2016, for individuals who carpool or utilize alternative and sustainable options, such as METRO to get to campus.

COAST aligns with a critical goal of the University's long-term growth plan that aims to minimize the number of vehicles traveling to and parking on campus, while also reducing Houston’s carbon footprint by relieving traffic congestion and improving the region’s air quality.

Part of the new COAST program, this incentive is open to all faculty, staff and full-time students who carpool at least three days a week. Participants sign an agreement and receive discounts on parking permits if carpooling and free and/or discounted METRO rail rides from Monday through Friday.

The COAST program won an award by the Texas Parking and Transportation Association for outstanding parking program. http://www.texasparking.org/annual-awards-competition/

Does the institution employ other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting (e.g. preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, cash-out of parking programs)?:

A brief description of other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting:

Bike paths are expanding on both on UH and the surrounding community to connect both the city, Bayou, and neighboring universities. More information: https://www.click2houston.com/news/mayor-turner-local-officials-announce-street-improvements-in-tsu-uh-area

Bike repair stations are also available and located near residence halls. On Football game days anyone attending the game rides the METRO free of charge. More information: http://www.uh.edu/af-university-services/parking/news/articles/2016/September/09222016METRORail-free.php

Throughout the year COAST partners with department and community members to educate and promote the COAST program.

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.