By Jessica Mize
In an effort to better serve UH’s ever-growing campus and community, Parking and Transportation Services has recently launched COAST (Coogs on Alternative and Sustainable Transportation), a new program that offers eligible UH students, faculty and staff, discounts and incentives for carpooling to campus, utilizing Zipcar or riding METRO.
The program, which is a revamped and expanded version of the department’s Commuter Club, helps individuals better understand and take advantage of the alternative transportation options available to them through the University. Depending on which component of the program they’ll be using, participants will receive Zipcar driving credits, a discounted parking permit or reduced METRO fares.
It’s important to note, though, that not every part of the program is available to everyone, so interested individuals should double check the eligibility page to see if they qualify.
In addition to the perks COAST offers individuals, the program also 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 simultaneously decreasing Houston’s carbon footprint by reducing traffic congestion.
“By joining COAST, individuals are not only helping themselves, they are also helping the University and the environment,” said Eric Holamon, assistant director of customer relations for UH’s Parking and Transportation Services department and interim program manager for COAST. “We’re hoping to recruit enough members this first year to free up more than 500 parking spaces, which is roughly the size of lot 20C, located across from the Recreation and Wellness Center.”
Currently, an online form is available for individuals to begin the registration process; however, starting Monday, June 6, interested students, faculty and staff will also have the option to initiate the process in person in the Parking and Transportation Services office, located next to Taco Cabana in the Stadium Parking Garage. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Potential participants should note that COAST memberships are not official or complete until they meet with a Parking and Transportation representative. During this meeting, individuals will be asked to sign a commuter pledge that states that members of COAST agree to not purchase a parking permit or participate in any other UH Parking and Transportation Services subsidized programs.
For additional questions and more information, visit www.uh.edu/coast, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832-842-1097.