Christof Spieler | An Island Press Author

Christof Spieler

Christof Spieler, PE, LEED AP, is a Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars and a Senior Lecturer at Rice University. He was a member of the board of directors of Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) from 2010 to 2018. As the chair of METRO's Strategic Planning committee, he initiated the Transit System Reimagining process, a blank sheet re-design of the entire bus system. Since Mayor Annise Parker appointed him to the board in 2010, METRO has successfully obtained $900 million in federal funding for light rail, increased transparency, put Houston on firm financial footing, and initiated a new BRT project in a major job center. He was reappointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner in 2016. At Huitt-Zollars, he has done land use and transportation plans in a variety of settings, including a mixed-use district plan in Downtown Houston, citywide land use policy in Sugar Land, TX, a multimodal medical center access plan in El Paso, a transit-oriented development master plan in Seattle, a Livable Centers Plan in Rosenberg, a new bike plan for Houston, and transit planning in St. Paul. His recent work includes park planning for the Houston Parks Board and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and project management of a consortium of researchers addressing flooding in Houston. Christof has written and spoken extensively on transit and urban planning. He teaches courses in Architecture and Civil Engineering at Rice University. As a member of the American Public Transit Association's Sustainability and Urban Design Working Group, he has helped draft national standards on transit and urban design. He is also a contributor to NACTO's Transit Street Design Guide and a board member at TransitCenter in New York. Christof holds a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Rice University. He lives in Downtown Houston and relies on transit and walking for most of his daily trips.

Trains, Buses, People

An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit

What are the best transit cities in the US? The best Bus Rapid Transit lines? The most useless rail transit lines? The missed opportunities? In the US, the 25 largest metropolitan areas and many smaller cities have fixed guideway transit—...