H-GAC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization responsible for transportation planning in the Houston-Galveston region. The agency conducts qualitative and quantitative research to assess and predict travel behaviors to identify short- and long-term investment priorities. H-GAC conducts household travel surveys to understand travel purpose, choice of travel mode, and route, and regularly monitors and analyzes data on traffic volumes, congestion, and crashes. This data is a key input into H-GAC’s regional Travel Demand model that predicts the future travel patterns and mode choices expected from anticipated growth in the region.
Specialized transportation modeling projects under development include: a Freight Cargo Model and a Tour-Based Truck Model to predict the amount of cargo and volume of trucks expected on the region’s roadways; tools for estimating the cost-benefit of proposed transportation investments; and Eco-Logical, an online mapping tool to assess potential environmental impacts of transportation projects.
Equity in Transportation Planning
H-GAC conducts research and analysis to assess the outcomes of transportation policy decisions on disadvantaged populations. Environmental Justice: H-GAC’s Strategy for the Fair Treatment and Meaningful Involvement of All People (2017) summarizes this research, assessing environmental justice in the regional transportation system, including how it links all people to their daily destinations and broader opportunity. Key measures evaluated include the distribution of transportation investments, accessibility to public amenities and vital services, the state of transportation safety, and public involvement.