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Staff Bio

Jill Hough, Ph.D.
Program Director - SURCOM
Phone: (701)231-8082
Cell: (701)793-1364
Email: jill.hough@ndsu.edu
ORCID: 0000-0001-7032-9221

Dr. Jill Hough is the director of UGPTI's Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility (SURCOM), formerly known as the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC). Hough has more than 25 years of experience in transportation research and academic administration. Her primary research areas relate to shared-use mobility, mobility of the elderly and disadvantaged, livability, intelligent transportation systems, access to food, as well as transit planning and management. Hough has authored or co-authored numerous research reports and journal articles. She has given many presentations at the regional, national, and international level. She served as the instructor of a graduate-level course on public transportation and chair of the National Transit Curriculum Committee. She developed an academic course on "Leadership, Ethics and Academic Conduct." Hough is a certified John Maxwell speaker, trainer, and coach.

Hough serves as chair of the Transportation Research Board's Rural, Intercity Bus, and Specialized Transportation Standing Committee. She recently completed a term as chair of the Academic Committee, which transitioned to the Research in Mobility Committee (RiM) for the Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UITP), the international organization focusing on public transportation and mobility. Hough was on the executive committee of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) for six years, serving as treasurer, secretary, vice-president, president, and past president. She served two three-year terms on the National Academies of Science Transit Cooperative Research Program Oversight Project Selection (TOPS) Committee which identifies and prioritizes U.S. transit research needs. She was vice-chair of the National Transit Institute Advisory Board at Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey. Hough served as the Chair of the Transportation Research Board's 19th National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation. She chaired the Higher Education working group for the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Blue Ribbon Panel on Workforce Development and served as the chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee for APTA. Hough has testified on rural livability for the USDOT's Transportation Reauthorization Outreach Tour, and 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.

She 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.

Research Interests

  • Public transportation in rural and small urban locations
  • Shared-use mobility
  • Workforce development
  • Mobility of the aging
  • Transportation planning and policy
  • Intelligent transportation systems

Recent Research Activities/Major Programs of Activity

  • Transportation's Role in Providing Access to Food
  • Identifying and Satisfying the Mobility Needs of North Dakota's Transit System


  • 2002-Present, Program Director, Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility (SURCOM), North Dakota State University (NDSU) — Prior to 2020, this program was the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC)
  • 2015-Present, Associate Professor of Transportation, NDSU
  • 2007-Present, Advanced Research Fellow, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • 1990-2006, Associate Research Fellow, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • 1988-1989, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural Economics, NDSU


  • Ph.D., 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

  • Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UITP)
  • Transportation Research Board (TRB)
  • American Public Transit Association (APTA)
  • Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)
  • Dakota Transit Association (DTA)
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050