By Mallory Doeckel
Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Eric Holamon spoke at the University of Houston 2017 Staff Focus event May 15, during which he shared information about Coogs on Alternative and Sustainable Transportation (COAST), the program’s early successes and some of the plans for the program going forward.
Holamon discussed the many benefits of COAST, one of which being the financial incentives for faculty, staff and students who join the program by taking METRO or participating in a carpool to campus. These incentives are significant and have encouraged many to use alternative transportation methods to get to campus.
COAST was able to gain almost 2,000 participants in the first year, which was well over the goal of 750. A majority of members utilize the METRO option, but even still there are more than 500 in the program that take part in 175 registered carpools. These high participation numbers mean that COAST has already offset the demand for 1,200 parking spaces on the UH campus.
With so many early successes, it is no surprise that the UH COAST program was recognized in April by the Texas Parking and Transportation Association as the best parking program in the state. However, UH Parking and Transportation isn’t slowing down the work to grow this program.
“We are thrilled about how well-received COAST has been on campus,” said Holamon. “We are always researching ways to expand the program and are currently developing new services to make alternative transportation more convenient for the campus community.”
Some of these new services will possibly include a ride-matching service to help people find other UH carpoolers in their area, as well as more lunch and learn events to speak directly with faculty and staff about how to best utilize this program from where they live.
Those interested in learning more or joining COAST should visit its website or go to the COAST office in the Stadium Parking Garage next to Taco Cabana. The full COAST presentation is available online for anyone who missed it. .