Tammye Davis

Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Transportation Planning & Management

First Advisor

Carol A. Lewis


Through the implementation of a state of the art light rail system, Houston has relinquished its title as the largest city in the US without a fixed guide way transit system. METRORail has been designed with the intent to enhance environmental, social, and economic development. The call for these improvements is dictated in part by the fact that Houston is among the top ten worst cities in terms of traffic congestion. This is in some measure due to lower-density, vast residential and commercial development patterns that force people to drive more frequently and over longer distances. However, in recent times people have rediscovered that building in proximity to "good public transit connections" is an amenity that attracts the interest of renters, homebuyers and many businesses. This realization has been formed out of a 30-year debate of the light rail system. It has become apparent that a Transit Oriented Development (TaD) in Houston can work. 1 2 According to the Urban Land Institute (ULl), TOD is considered a major way to create more securely clustered, mixed use projects that are more pedestrian friendly that increase METRORail ridership. The purpose of this study is to investigate, analyze and evaluate the suggested and implemented successful principles of Transit Oriented Development system and relate the patterns to the Ambassador Way Transit Station. This thesis will be able to operate as a guide to communities, designers and developers who may not initially recognize the basic valuable principles that underlie any Transit Oriented Development project. This thesis will also be useful for transit organizations and other stakeholders engaged in Houston's new transit developments, to ensure that nearby growth will produce adequate numbers of riders to nourish transit and initiate a desire to optimize land use around the Ambassador Way Transit Station community.