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Staff Bio

Jill Hough, Ph.D.
Program Director - SURTC
Advanced Research Fellow

Phone: (701)231-8082
Cell: (701)793-1364
Fax: (701)231-1945

Dr. Hough is the director of UGPTI's Small Urban & Rural Transit Center (SURTC), which focuses on research, education, and training for the public transportation industry. She has more than 20 years of transportation research experience and has published more than 45reports and journal articles in the areas of public transportation, low-volume roads, logistics, and economic development. Her primary research areas presently relate to workforce development, mobility of the elderly and disadvantaged, as well as transit planning and management. She is the instructor of the graduate level course on public transportation, TL786.

Dr. Hough served two three-year terms on the National Academies of Science Transit Cooperative Research Program Oversight Project Selection (TOPS) committee which identifies and prioritizes transit research needs in the United States. She is currently the vice-chair of the National Transit Institute Advisory Board at Rutgers New Jersey State University. NTI at identifies and prioritizes transit training needs in the United States. Dr. Hough currently serves as the Chair of the Transportation Research Board's 19th National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation. Hough chaired the Higher Education working group for the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Blue Ribbon Panel on Workforce Development and currently serves as the inaugural chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee for APTA.

In 2010 Dr. Hough testified on rural livability for the USDOT's Transportation Reauthorization Outreach Tour. In 2008, she testified before the U.S. Senate Budget Committee regarding the importance of infrastructure in rural areas, with a focus on the mobility of the elderly population.

During her career, Hough has worked on several projects in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 1998 she was interim director for the Federal Transit Administration's Transit Intelligent Vehicle Initiative in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Hough earned her Ph.D. degree in the transportation technology and policy program at the University of California - Davis. She also has earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in agricultural economics at North Dakota State University.

Research Interests

  • Public transportation in rural and small urban locations
  • Workforce Development
  • Mobility of the aging
  • Transportation planning and policy
  • Intelligent transportation systems

Recent Research Activities/Major Programs of Activity

  • Workforce Development in the Public Transit Industry
  • Travel Demand of Rural and Small Urban Elderly Women in North Dakota
  • Mobility for the Disadvantaged in North Dakota
  • Small Urban University Transit: A Case Study
  • Coordination of North Dakota Transit Services
  • North Dakota Mobility Plan


  • 2002-Present, Program Director, Small Urban & Rural Transit Center, NDSU
  • 2007-Present, Advanced Research Fellow, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • 1998, Interim Transit Intelligent Vehicle Initiative Platform Director, Federal Transit Administration, USDOT
  • 1990-Present, Associate Research Fellow, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • 1988-1989, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural Economics, NDSU


  • PhD, Transportation Technology and Policy, University of California - Davis, 2007
  • M.S., Agricultural Economics, North Dakota State University, 1991
  • B.S., Agricultural Economics, North Dakota State University, 1988

Professional Memberships/Affiliations

  • American Public Transit Association
  • Community Transportation Association of America
  • Dakota Transit Association
  • Montana Transit Association
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050