Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Transportation Planning & Management

Committee Chairperson

Gwendolyn C. Goodwin

Committee Member 1

Yi Qi

Committee Member 2

Carol A. Lewis

Committee Member 3

Roderick Holmes


• Congestion • Houston • Lower income • Toll Roads • Vulnerability Index


Congestion pricing is viewed as a resource that will charge drivers a fee for operating specific lanes of the roadway. This fee aids in decreasing traffic congestion by having drivers utilize additional roadway space. This resource of toll pricing can also address the importance of decreasing the carbon footprint from highway travel. Various transportation sources have reported traffic congestion on roadways will increase as the United States population will increase. This research will examine the relationship between toll rates and the income of regional populations within the Houston tolling system. The Sam Houston 288 Express Toll Road and The Westpark Toll Road will be studied to determine the average cost of a 15-mile trip for gasoline vehicles. Data presented in this research may reveal the cost burden if any is experienced by drivers who access the toll in Houston communities. The cost burden and the cost of transportation are two important key factors that will shape the concept of equity within this report. This research aims to provide a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of accessing toll roads within Houston and how this experience will shape the future of transportation for drivers.