A transformational leader in the Texas transportation industry for more than 45 years, Barry Goodman was inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor at a reception at the Omni Houston Hotel on September 28. He was recognized for his decades-long career of building effective partnerships to develop, fund and implement innovative transit systems throughout urban and rural Texas.
Former Houston Mayor Fred Hofheinz recruited Goodman in the mid-1970s to significantly upgrade transit services in the city. As head of Houston’s Office of Public Transportation, Goodman was instrumental in leading a coalition of Texas cities to draft legislation that established the Texas Public Transit Trust Fund. He was a key founder of Houston METRO and served as its first executive director. Goodman was also instrumental in developing Houston’s first regional mobility plan. He began his transit career as a senior legal counsel with the Urban Mass Transit Administration, predecessor of today’s Federal Transit Administration.
Goodman’s groundbreaking efforts in Houston and surrounding communities—as well as through The Goodman Corporation, the engineering and planning consulting firm he founded in 1980—have resulted in billions of dollars in transportation-related capital improvements throughout the state, benefiting the Texas transit industry. He has assisted cities in Texas and around the United States in providing creative mobility solutions, which have enhanced public transit and air quality and created economic development. His life’s work has been “connecting capital to communities” for the betterment of all.
About 100 guests were welcomed to the event by Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Agency Director Greg Winfree. Speakers at the ceremony who enumerated Goodman’s career accomplishments were Thomas Lambert, president and CEO, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO); Douglas Matthews, assistant vice president of government relations, The University of Texas Medical Branch; Robert Heineman, former vice president of planning and design, The Woodlands Development Company; Robert Eury, former president and CEO, Central Houston, Inc. (CHI); and Jim Webb, CEO, The Goodman Corporation. A tribute letter from Former City of Houston Mayor Fred Hofheinz was read by Andy Icken, chief development officer for the City of Houston.
“Barry has been a trailblazer, understanding METRO’s vision and mission and working collaboratively with every level of government to move people in this region,” said Lambert. “Because of Barry and others that worked closely with him, we enjoy all the benefits that public transit brings to a community, including less congestion, an improved economy, better air quality and time saved to spend with our families.”
“Going through the era with the people who were instrumental in transforming Houston from a mobility standpoint has been a thrill,” Goodman said. “I appreciate everything that everyone in this room has done to contribute to my body of work and the recognition that I am receiving tonight.”
Overseen by a five-member board comprised of senior transportation professionals, the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor, located at TTI, provides the opportunity to annually recognize exceptional transportation leaders and their significant contributions to the state. Each individual is recognized by a plaque on permanent display in the Hall of Honor at TTI’s Headquarters in Bryan, Texas.