Home Skip to main content

Staff Bio

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

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). The Center focuses on increasing the mobility of small urban and rural residents throughout the United States and abroad through innovative research, education, and outreach. Hough has more than 25 years of experience in transportation. Currently, her primary research areas relate to shared-use mobility, mobility of the elderly and disadvantaged, livability, intelligent transportation systems, 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. Previously, she served the instructor of the graduate level course on public transportation, TL786 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 has served in many leadership positions within the transportation industry. Currently Dr. Hough serves as chair of the academic committee for the Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UITP), which is the international organization focusing on public transportation and mobility. Dr. Hough served six years on the executive committee of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) holding the officer positions of treasurer, secretary, vice-president, president, and past-president. 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 held the vice-chair position of the National Transit Institute Advisory Board at Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Hough served 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 chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee for APTA. Dr. Hough has testified on rural livability for the USDOT's Transportation Reauthorization Outreach Tour and she has 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
  • Shared-use mobility
  • Workforce development
  • Mobility of the aging
  • Transportation planning and policy
  • Intelligent transportation systems

Recent Research Activities/Major Programs of Activity

  • Identifying and Satisfying the Mobility Needs of North Dakota's Transit System
  • Public Opinion on Dock-less Bike Sharing


  • 2020-Present, Program Director, Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility, North Dakota State University (NDSU)
  • 2015-2019, Associate Professor of Transportation and Logistics, NDSU
  • 2007-Present, Advanced Research Fellow, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • 2002-2019, Program Director, Small Urban and Rural Transit Center, 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