Carol Abel Lewis, Ph.D. is a Professor in Transportation Studies and Director of the Center for Transportation Training and Research at Texas Southern University. She is responsible for educating students in fundamentals of transportation and urban transportation issues, as well as conducting operational and policy related transportation research. Since joining TSU in 1992, Lewis has conducted research for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regarding Regionalizing Public Transit, Smart Growth, Land Use and Development, Strategic Planning, and Land Value Effects of Elevated and Depressed Freeways. Her current research projects with TxDOT are on public involvement and the concept of the Texas megaregion. Since March 2008, Lewis has served as principal investigator for Texas Southern University’s designation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Petrochemical Transportation Security Center of Excellence. This multidisciplinary initiative conducts research to reduce the nation’s vulnerability against potential terrorists’ attacks in selected components of the surface transportation system. She is also the principal TSU researcher in the DHS Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure, and Emergency Management Center (Coastal Hazards) focusing on evacuation modeling.
Lewis was the research supervisor for the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Noise Compatible Land Use Brochure and workshop series on this topic. Her funded research also includes corridor feasibility studies for major Houston area freeway corridors, analysis of options to better manage freeway lanes, and bus system analyses, and an assessment of the external influences on transit-oriented development. Prior to joining Texas Southern University, Lewis spent 15 years as manager and director of planning at the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County.
Lewis belongs to a number of professional organizations including the Red Cross Transportation Advisory Committee and has served for more than 10 years on the Transportation Technical Advisory Committee of the local metropolitan planning organization (HGAC). Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker appointed Lewis to the Gulf Coast Rail District Board in June 2010 and in 2012 asked Lewis to review the proposal to expand international air service from the city’s Hobby Airport. From 2004 to 2009, she served as transportation advisor to Houston Mayor Bill White and as Chair of the City’s Planning Commission. She was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Governor’s Task Force on Emergency Evacuation following the 2005 hurricane season. Lewis served two years on the board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority as an appointee of, then, Houston Mayor Lee Brown and six years as the national academic advisor for the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. Lewis holds a Ph.D. from the University of Houston in Political Science and M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Iowa.