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Finance & Administration Manager
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Fort Bend County
12550 Emily Court, Ste. 400
University of Houston at Sugar Land
Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs/Chief Operating Officer
New Park and Ride at the University of Houston – Sugar Land
14000 University Boulevard Sugar Land, TX 77479
Fort Bend County is one of the most diverse and fastest-growing counties in the Houston region. As the 10th- largest county in Texas, its 17 cities and large unincorporated areas are home to more than 700,000 residents. By 2040, growth of 70 percent, to approximately 1.3 million people is expected. To provide transportation options to county residents, Fort Bend County Transit (FBCT) services over 380,000 passenger trips annually. FBCT’s Commuter services are critical to providing Fort Bend County’s residents with reliable and affordable access to major employment centers in Houston. Currently, commuter service is provided from three locations (the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds in Rosenberg, the University of Houston (UH) Sugar Land, and the First Colony AMC Theatre, near the US 59 / SH 6 interchange to the Texas Medical Center, Galleria, Greenway Plaza, and other areas of Houston.
These services are successful, with ridership of approximately 1,000 boardings per day—a figure that has grown by about 15 percent per year during the past 10 years. However, of FBCT’s three Park & Rides, only the Fairgrounds Park & Ride is a permanent facility. At the other facilities, FBCT provides customer parking through shared arrangements with UH Sugar Land and the First Colony AMC Theatre. Both locations lack basic passenger amenities and demand for parking has already exceeded supply with FBCT recently leasing an additional 375 spaces at the First Colony AMC lot for a total of 735 spaces. At UH Sugar Land, the number of parking spots for commuters and students (500) is no longer adequate now that the university has expanded its class schedules and ridership is growing.
Houston METRO’s nearby West Bellfort Park and Ride lot is also at capacity. Surveys of vehicles there indicate that a significant number of riders are Fort Bend County residents, demonstrating a strong demand for additional park and ride facilities.
With the anticipated growth in Fort Bend County particularly centered along the US 59 / I-69 corridor, together with the addition of new commuter bus service planned to carry residents to downtown Houston employers, FBCT has a need for a new Park & Ride facility that can serve as a central hub and transit center for the entire county, luring new riders and providing optimized service to existing riders.
The 2017 Fort Bend County Transit Long Range Plan studied existing and forecast ridership figures, as well as demographic and employment trends and forecasts for the county, and determined that continued ridership growth will soon outstrip the capacity of the temporary Park & Ride lots. The Plan therefore calls for a new, permanent Park & Ride located at the UH Sugar Land campus, designed to meet the needs of FBCT and its riders.
The new lot would allow FBCT to consolidate its various commuter services that now operate out of two nearby facilities, into one—saving annual operating expenses and improving access to riders.
This project would develop a structured parking garage of 2,500 spaces with bus and passenger accommodations for a permanent Park & Ride. The facility would include dedicated bus bays with passenger platforms, passenger waiting shelters, and transit information systems. The location of the facility will be at 14000 University Blvd, in Sugar Land, on currently vacant land owned by the University of Houston (UH) – Sugar Land. It is located less than a half mile from US 59, near Crown Festival Park and Brazos River Park in Sugar Land, approximately 24 miles from downtown Houston. The site enjoys convenient access to a network of bicycle and pedestrian trails that connect to Brazos River Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The new facility would support more than 280,000 passenger trips per year to FBCT’s various commuter destinations. Planned commuter service to Downtown Houston is expected to generate an additional 131,000 trips in its first year of operations, growing to 217,000 annual trips by year four. In addition to these trips, the facility will be used to support the UH campus shuttle, which provides service between UH Sugar Land and the main University of Houston campus in Houston.
Fort Bend County has a strong and enduring partnership with UH Sugar Land, as the University currently accommodates commuter parking on a temporary basis on its surface parking lot. The land on which the proposed permanent Park & Ride will be constructed, will be leased to FBCT at no cost to the county. The project is proposed in two phases. The first phase includes planning, environmental, engineering and design for an amount of $2.3 million (in 2018 dollars). The second phase includes estimated construction cost of the Park & Ride facility of $35.4 million (in 2018 dollars), which includes a 10 percent contingency and 4 percent for construction management. The estimated value of this lease ($592,416 per year) over the 40-year useful life of a structured parking facility has been discounted by 7 percent to arrive at a present value of $7.8 million, which will be used in lieu of local cash match.
A structured parking garage is planned, rather than an expanded surface lot for the following reasons:
1. A 2,500-space surface lot would require more land than preferred by the UH Sugar Land campus. By constructing a structured parking facility, FBCT can offer the same number of parking spots on half the amount of land as would otherwise be required.
2. Land at UH Sugar Land is valuable, and plans for the campus include the development of a number of university and mixed-use facilities. A large surface parking lot is considered incompatible with the overall land use goals of the university campus.
Planning and environmental work is planned to commence in late 2022, with construction of the facility beginning mid-year 2025, and completed by March 2027.
A new Park & Ride facility is required for FBCT to continue to meet ridership demand and provide the passenger amenities and operational efficiencies that will support the success of its existing and planned transit services. This regionally-significant project would achieve the following primary outcomes:
1. It would allow FBCT to accommodate the forecast growth in riders – not only on existing routes, but also on future routes such as the planned Fort Bend to downtown Houston route. As described in the previous responses, the stretch of US 59 / I-69 where the proposed facility is planned is in the heart of one of the fastest-growing corridors in the region. FBCT’s existing, temporary Park & Rides in Sugar Land have reached capacity and accommodations handle future growth are needed.
2. The Park & Ride facility would be immediately adjacent to US 59 / I-69, providing easy access for commuters and operational efficiencies to FBCT vehicles. With the overall site’s corner location, it can be accessed from I-69 feeder roads, as well as from University Boulevard. There are existing pedestrian and bike paths that connect as well. By consolidating the parking facilities that FBCT has in Sugar Land (at the First Colony AMC and at the UH Sugar Land site), the new facility would offer riders a streamlined transit experience, whereby transfers to commuter routes and future services would be effortless.
3. FBCT will also be able save in annual operating costs by consolidating the commuter services into one facility.
4. The Park & Ride facility will offer not just parking spaces for commuters, but dedicated bus bays and enhanced passenger facilities such as shelters and commuter transit information. The facility will essentially serve as a regional transit center for all of Fort Bend County, helping to facilitate transit connections and ultimately lure more riders to the system.
5. The strong relationship that FBCT has with UH Sugar Land will provide for a cost-effective and efficient project development process.
Less than $100 million
(Expand) Transit Passenger Facilities
View Uploaded File: Funding Commitment Letter.pdf
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
View Uploaded File: Pre-Application_06_Other Agency Infrastructure.pdf
View Uploaded File: 3 Project Development Timeline - FBCT ParkRide.pdf
A prudent schedule has been developed for the planning, environmental, design and construction of the Park & Ride facility.
Property and Right of Way acquisition is not required as the facility will be constructed on a parcel owned by UH Sugar Land. Fort Bend County has a strong and enduring partnership with UH Sugar Land, as the university currently accommodates commuter parking on a surface parking lot in which Fort Bend County and the University of Houston – Sugar Land also partnered on. The university is donating the land lease value for the project for a 40-year lease.
Environmental activities are proposed to begin in October 2022. All indications are that it will be eligible for a Categorical Exclusion (CE). Engineering and design of the facility will follow the environmental activities and procurements will culminate by September 2024. Pre-construction activities are expected to begin in summer 2025, with construction anticipated to be complete by March 2027.
Preliminary construction cost estimates for the facility are drawn from the Fort Bend County Facilities Management and Planning Department, based on recent similar projects. The construction costs outlined in this application have been escalated to the year 2018, per H-GAC guidance. Design and utility relocation costs are also based on Fort Bend County estimates.
View Uploaded File: Pre-Application_09_Additional Project Development-Readiness Attachment.pdf
View Uploaded File: FBCT - Park & Ride Project Maps.zip
View Uploaded File: FBCT - project-budget-worksheet-template_parkandride.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Fort Bend County - BCA-Transit-Active-Transportation-Safety-Benefits-Template_Park&Ride.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Fort Bend County - BCA-delay-benefits-template_ParkandRide.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Fort Bend County - BCA - New-Transit-Vehicle-Purchase-Emissions-Benefits_Park&Ride.xlsx
View Uploaded File: BCA Documentation - TTI report & H-GAC data.pdf
View Uploaded File: BCA Documentation - FBCT Downtown Service Plan.xlsx
BCA Methodology & Inputs
Inputs to the Safety and Delays BCA templates were drawn from data provided by H-GAC and an estimate of the useful life of the Park & Ride facility (40 years) provided by the Fort Bend County Facilities Department.
2018 ADT figures (200,812) were drawn from the TxDOT traffic count database at the location on I-69 closest to the proposed Fort Bend Park & Ride. The data is available for review at the following web link: https://gis-txdot.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/4480ddc1608a4ca1a6ca4da25f9fbf1b_0?geometry=-95.669%2C29.582%2C-95.597%2C29.595
Roadway capacity and volume figures for future years were provided by H-GAC. These figures and the email correspondence with H-GAC is provided in the “Additional BCA Documentation” page.
Because none of the H-GAC Emissions BCA templates were designed specifically for Park & Ride facilities, H-GAC provided guidance to use the New Transit Vehicle Purchase Emissions template and calculate benefits based on the new service originating from the facility. The transit ridership figures inputted to this template were drawn from the detailed service plan developed by TTI and the attached to the “Additional BCA Documentation” page. Transit ridership per trip figures were derived by dividing total forecast daily riders by the number of trips per day (113). Ridership beyond year 4, which is the final year of the TTI ridership forecast is derived by growing annual ridership at 5%. Given that Fort Bend County Transit has observed annual growth in ridership of 15% per year, a 5% annual growth rate in ridership is considered conservative. At year 10, ridership per trip is limited to 40 riders, due to the passenger capacity constraints of the transit vehicles that FBCT is proposing to purchase.
The Emissions BCA template only captures forecast riders of the Downtown Houston service. However, by consolidating FBCT service at the UH Sugar Land Park & Ride facility, it is expected that all FBCT services will see an increase in ridership, so therefore the results of this BCA should be considered a conservative estimate of transit emissions benefits.
The results of the benefit-cost analysis, for each benefit category, and total, is presented on the following table.
BCA Category Benefits Results (2018$, ‘000s)
Safety Benefits: $14,416
Delay Benefits: $106,609
Emissions Benefits (NOx + VOC): $6,924
Total Benefits $127,949
View Uploaded File: Maintenance attachment.pdf
Seamless Regional Transit from Fort Bend County to Downtown Houston - FINAL REPORT; Fort Bend County Transit Long Range Plan; and Fort Bend County Transit Long Range Plan
View Uploaded File: Ridership Attachments.pdf
The University of Houston operates a campus shuttle that provides service between UH Sugar Land and the main University of Houston campus.
Houston-Galveston Area Council