January 2016
January 2016 - In This Issue
Gulf Coast Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan
End-Of-Trip Facilities Guide Offers Tips for Companies to Make Biking Easier
Regional DWI Task Force
Memorial City Transportation Fair
Brown Bag Lunch Series
Houston Bike Plan
TCEQ Offers Grants for Natural Gas Vehicle Conversions and Purchases
ERIG Application Assistance Sessions
Area Emission Reduction Credit Organization
Houston: Gateway to the Americas Conference and Expo
Greenway Plaza Transportation Survey
Fueling METRO from the Freedom CNG Station
H-GAC Working to Bring Electric Delivery Trucks to Houston
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H-GAC In The News
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Clean Air Champion of the Month
Gulf Coast Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan

Starting in February 2016 the Gulf Coast Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan (RCTP) will have a Regional Community Transportation Suggestion Box available for public comments.

The plan addresses potential partnerships with stakeholders such as transportation providers, local governments, public agencies, and others to achieve the following objectives:
  • Improve the delivery of public transportation services
  • Generate efficiencies in operations that can lead to increased levels of service
  • Encourage cooperation and coordination among agencies
  • Improve customer service for the end users of the coordinated system
As part of the Public Outreach Kick-off for the update to the RCTP, H-GAC is hosting a community input forum to reach the younger and more tech-savvy residents of the region.

The online Community Transportation Suggestion Box provides an opportunity to receive information from students and others who may have some different transportation related needs or new ideas for improving our region's community transportation system. Community Transportation is defined here as alternatives to solo-driving. That information will be helpful for further community transportation planning activities.

Background information and a "Suggestion Box" are available on the project website at www.ridethegulfcoast.com. Comments can also be sent by email to publiccomments@h-gac.com.
End-Of-Trip Facilities Guide Offers Tips for Companies to Make Biking Easier

Although more places are connected to the region's growing bicycle network, cyclists may be unable to store their bikes, fix a flat tire, or freshen up once they reach their destination. H-GAC just released End-of-Trip Facilities: A Planning Guide for the Houston-Galveston Region, which identifies different types of end-of-trip facilities public and private entities can provide to make it easier for visitors and employees to arrive by bike.
 
The guide is organized into three sections which address bicycle parking (Lock Up), bicycle repair (Tune Up), and changing facilities for cyclists (Clean Up). Case studies from our region and beyond demonstrate how companies are successfully making end-of-trip facilities available for their employees and visitors.
Regional DWI Task Force
The Houston-Galveston Area Council announced that its Regional DWI Task Force, which consists of 16 law enforcement agencies throughout the Houston-Galveston area, was out in force during the holidays to cut down on driving while intoxicated (DWI). This is the third year for this Task Force, which is funded through a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant awarded by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). This initiative provides overtime funds for agencies to provide enhanced DWI enforcement during holiday weekends when there has traditionally been more alcohol-related traffic incidents.
 
Memorial City Transportation Fair
Commute Solutions Logo
H-GAC is working with Memorial City and area stakeholders to host the Memorial City Transportation Fair. The purpose of the event is to inform and encourage local commuters, employers, and the general public to try an alternative mode of commuting. Whether it's how to ride on the METRO bus or which bike path to take to work, attendees will walk away with strategies on how they can make their commute a less stressful, and cost effective experience.

Memorial City Transportation Fair
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Clock Tower, Memorial City Mall

For more information about Commute Solutions please click HERE.
Any questions surrounding the event, or future Commute Solutions events should be directed to chrese.jackson@h-gac.com
Brown Bag Lunch Series
JEFF TAEBEL You are invited to join us for the January Brown Bag Lunch Series presentation by Jeff Taebel, Director of Community and Environmental Planning at H-GAC.

Mr. Taebel's presentation will cover:
  • New online mapping tools to help communities identify the places which have the greatest potential for mobility alternatives to driving.
  • Examination of commuting patterns and custom analysis to see where the concentrations of people, jobs, and street patterns population are most conducive to walking, bicycling and transit use.
  • A live demonstration of these tools (does not require any Geographic Information System experience).
Brown Bag Lunch Series
Monday, January 25, 2016
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Houston-Galveston Area Council
3555 Timmons Lane
2nd Floor Conference Room B
Houston, TX 77027

This event is open to the public. Bring your lunch and join us. For more information contact Rosalind Hebert at 713-993-2471. Bring your lunch and join us!  (RSVPs not required)
Houston Bike Plan
The Houston Bike Plan team is working out the final details of the draft plan, which will be released in January. Once the draft plan is available, there will be activities online designed to collect public feedback on the plan recommendations. The Houston Bike Plan team will be at outreach events and meetings in communities across the city to ask for your feedback. 

Please visit www.houstonbikeplan.org to view the plan vision and goals and sign up for email updates to be notified when the draft Houston Bike Plan is available.
TCEQ Offers Grants for Natural Gas Vehicle Conversions and Purchases
TCEQ logo
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that applications are now being accepted for the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program to improve air quality. Grants are available in one or more of the counties listed under the Clean Transportation Triangle (CTT) program, to include non-attainment areas, affected counties, and other counties inside the triangle area.

These Texas Emissions Reduction Plan grants provide up to $37.8 million to entities that own and operate heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicles to replace vehicles with a natural gas vehicle or re-power the vehicles with a natural gas engine.

Applications will be accepted up to May 26, 2017, at 5:00 p.m., or until all funding has been awarded, whichever occurs earlier.

For more information click HERE.
 
ERIG Application Assistance Sessions Scheduled
Ready to help clear the air by upgrading or replacing your old vehicle or piece of equipment but need help completing the application forms? Attend one of the Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants Program (ERIG) application assistance sessions! Attendees should bring application forms and required attachments (e.g., vehicle title and registration, photos of the vehicle/equipment being replaced, and price quotes). Sessions are free and no registration is required.

  Application Assistance Session
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
Tracy Gee Community Center
Room AR-1
3599 Westcenter Drive
Houston, TX 77042
Area Emission Reduction Credit Organization
H-GAC's Clean Vehicles Program in conjunction with Area Emission Reduction Credit Organization (AERCO) has $200,000 to allocate toward the purchase and installation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified retrofit and idle reduction technologies. These Supplemental Environmental Project funds (SEPs) will be spent for technologies installed on school buses or publicly owned vehicles in Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Waller, Galveston, Liberty or Montgomery counties. For more information, please contact program staff by calling 713-993-2488 or via email at cleanvehicles@h-gac.com.
Houston: Gateway to the Americas Conference and Expo
H-GAC staff attended the Houston: Gateway to the Americas Conference and Expo hosted by the Colombia - Texas Chamber
of Commerce. The Conference served to strengthen the "connection" between Houston and the Americas, enhancing its position as the true gateway.

Air Quality Program Manager Robert Veazie was featured at the conference during a break out session. Mr. Veazie presented
H-GAC's Drayage Truck Program which provides loans to support the replacement of older, dirtier diesel trucks that operate in and around area ports. He also discussed the Clean Vehicles Program which provides grants to help lower emissions and support air quality efforts.
 
For more information about the Drayage Loan Program click HERE. For more information about the Clean Vehicles Program click HERE.
Greenway Plaza Transportation Survey
H-GAC is partnering with Cousins Properties to identify projects, policies, and programs that could make it easier to walk and bike around Greenway Plaza, one of Houston's largest employment centers. 

H-GAC is currently working with a team of experts and local stakeholders to develop recommendations on how public and private entities can work together to improve mobility for pedestrians and cyclists. Public meetings and other events will be held in late 2015 and early 2016, where those living, working, and playing in Greenway Plaza can share their ideas on how to improve the area.


Take a survey to tell us about your experiences traveling around Greenway Plaza.
 
Fueling METRO from the Freedom CNG Station
Freedom CNG is proud to announce the newest station which will be providing fuel to METRO's new CNG bus fleet for the years to come. The Freedom CNG station, the third in Houston, opened to the public in the fourth quarter of 2015. This station is located inside the Pinto Business Park in North Houston at I-45 & Beltway 8 in North Houston.

For more information on Freedom CNG stations click HERE.
H-GAC Working to Bring Electric Delivery Trucks to Houston
H-GAC is working to bring all-electric delivery vehicles to Houston's roads through a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This program has already resulted in a partnership with United Parcel Service (UPS) to provide assistance for 18 new delivery vehicles. This effort is part of an effort to accelerate the introduction and deployment of electric vehicles in the cargo transportation sector within the Houston region.

"Meeting today's complex sustainability challenges requires public-private partnerships," said Shelley Whitworth of H-GAC. "These zero-emission vehicles will help improve air quality in the Houston-Galveston area."

H-GAC is searching for additional fleets to assist adding medium duty electric vehicles. For more information, please contact Andrew DeCandis at or 832-681-2589.
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