Joint Center Partners

University of Texas at Austin

Texas Transportation Institute

Texas A&M at Galveston

Lamar University 

Houston Advanced Research Center


The Joint Center for Transportation and Air Quality is a multi-year, multi-organization program utilizing applied and field research to better understand and solve air quality problems, particularly those associated with transportation in key Texas urban centers such as Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.

The Center includes an applied transportation/air quality program - Transportation and Air Quality Forum - and research activities and projects addressing transportation and air quality issues.  The Center has been supported by a multi-year from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through agreements with HARC and the University of Houston.


In 2003, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and the University of Texas at Austin (UT) formed the core team for this collaborative effort, which came to include the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M, Lamar University, and Texas A&M at Galveston. The Center has provided a focused and flexible means through which various federally funded air quality projects could be implemented.


A nine-member Advisory Committee comprised of transportation and air research scientists, plus other organizational members, such as the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, guided the Joint Center and its early research activities. The Committee established the research process to achieve the Center's objectives. Importantly, committee members provide needed liaisons and close coordination with other key air research activities and advisory groups. These included the Texas Environmental Research Consortium, the Science Synthesis Committee, the Texas Air Research Center, and various other committees.

Goals and Objectives

The overall goal of the Joint Center has been to further the understanding of air quality phenomena affecting Texas urban areas, with a particular emphasis on transportation issues and options, through focused field studies and through the analysis of applied promising solutions.

Toward this goal, the Center had the following objectives:People getting onto the METRO Rail in Houston

  • To identify candidate transportation practices, technologies, and control measures
  • To develop and apply methods and criteria for determining the regional fit of transportation options
  • To assess the effects of selected transportation options on air quality
  • To test or demonstrate promising transportation options
  • To communicate results to researchers and policymakers

Houston Advanced Research Center
Sustainable Transportation Programs

Joint Center for Transportation & Air Quality
4800 Research Forrest Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381

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