Transportation Commission

The Transportation Commission regular monthly meeting is scheduled to be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 16th in Austin.

Upcoming Events

The draft Unified Transportation Program to be considered by the Transportation Commission in December is available on the TxDOT website at this LINK.

A public hearing on the November 2017 quarterly revisions to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) will be held at 10 a.m., Nov. 27th at 200E Riverside (2B-1) in Austin. The TIP reflects federally funded projects in MPOs, outside MPOs and projects in air non-attainment areas.

 

THE CHALLENGE FACING TEXAS - Funding the Diverse Transportation Needs of a Vast and Rapidly Growing State Transportation Advocates of Texas is a statewide coalition that brings together cities, counties, established community and regional organizations and business interests to support additional funding to address the challenging highway transportation demands facing the state. We support funding solutions for infrastructure improvements that reduce congestion, enhance safety, move commerce, create jobs and improve the quality of life in Texas.

 

New Texans Don't Bring
Any Roads With Them

MORE THAN 1,200 NEW RESIDENTS every day help make Texas an economic powerhouse. Most bring their cars and trucks but all leave their roads behind. From 2014 to 2015 total registered vehicles in Texas grew by 260,000 and the number of licensed Texas drivers grew by 1.5 million. The Texas population has increased 55% since 1990 while the state's roadway miles have increased only 7%.

DOWNLOAD TAoT CDA Fact Sheet - 4/10/17

DOWNLOAD TAoT Budget Fact Sheet - 4/3/17

DOWNLOAD TAoT Funding Fact Sheet - 3/21/17

DOWNLOAD TAoT Update - 1/21/17


Informative Reports Available

Our LIBRARY includes some very valuable information about Texas transportation. They are here for you to download.

 

Be An Advocate

To learn more about TAoT and the value of participating as a member organization download our informational folder:

Advocate Folder (for email) DOWNLOAD

 

 

Statewide Trends

Here are some recent stories indicating the trends in Texas transportation policymaking:

 

Houston Chronicle: Areas Leaders Say Time to Push Transportation Improvements Beyond Adding and Widening Freeways 12.23.16

 

Houston Chronicle: The Start Date for the Massive Set of Projects That Will Eventually Relocate I-45 Around Downtown Houston Has Just Been Moved Up By Years. Read Dug Begley's story here from 2.24.17

 

 

 

 

Texas Completes Revised Freight Mobility Plan

Freight traffic on Texas highways is expected to double over the next 25 years. The newly adopted 2017 Texas Freight Mobility Plan was developed over the past two years. A wide range of stakeholders helped identify needs and challenges by assessing existing conditions and projecting future needs based on forecasts of freight movement through the year 2045. The plan identifies more than 2,500 multimodal projects to address freight needs. It also concludes that almost all of those project are unfunded with a shortfall of about $60 billion. It predicts that congestion levels in rural and urban areas will continue to grow based on the state's population and business activity growth rates. [Read More]

 

DOTs Urge Congress to Fix Highway Trust Fund

The executive directors of Texas and other state highway departments joined with industry groups in urging Congress to make a permanent fix to the federal Highway Trust Fund as part of any tax overhaul legislation. The 52-member board of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) voted at a recent annual meeting to endorse the policy position, joining with the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and the Associated General Contractors of America. [Read More]

 

Hyperloop Would Add Speed to Texas Transport

A route connecting the DFW Metroplex and Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and Houston was named one of 10 winners of the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. Texas has a lot of the right ingredients to make such a system practical including large growing cities, mostly flat geography and high inter-regional movement of goods and people. The conceptual plan would connect five of the eight fastest growing cities in America. Hyperloop on this 640-mile corridor could start with moving critical freight and then add passenger travel as the system is proven out. The hyperlink vehicles would move at speeds up to 700 mph and cut inter-city travel times to minutes. [Read More]

 

Morris: North Texans Want Solutions "Yesterday"

"Transportation Lessons from ... Yogi Berra" -- that's the subject of an insightful and hopeful piece by Michael Morris, Director of Transportation for the DFW regional MPO. Morris reports that transportation finance innovation continues despite a pullback by state lawmakers. In the case of DFW, Morris writes that the goal is moving people through a region "whose residents and businesses want solutions to transportation challenges, yesterday." [Read More]

 

State Highway Funds Will Likely Serve as Match
In Upcoming Federal Infrastructure Program

$Indications are that the Trump Administration's evolving $1 trillion infrastructure program will provide Texas and other states a broad set of options for matching $200 billion in federal funds. Earlier versions of the program stressed public-private partnerships and tolling for highway projects, a plan that would have limited participation by Texas. It appears the latest version would allow any state funds, including voter approved Proposition 1 and Proposition 7 funding, to serve as an 80% state match. [Read More]

 

Lawmakers Keep Promise to Fund Texas Highways

Members of the Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott came through on the highway funding promises made to Texas voters in recent years. In the final week of the 2017 Regular Session lawmakers approved a state budget that kept all of the voter approved Proposition 1 and Proposition 7 funding going to the state highway system. Members kept that commitment in the face of a challenging budget year. The result is that Texas will be investing approximately $2.5 billion a year in projects that are essential to congestion relief and inter-regional connectivity. [Read More]

 

More States Raising Gasoline & Diesel Tax Rates

Texas is one of only seven states that have not increased gasoline and diesel tax levels in the past 25 years.  The state’s 20 cent tax per gallon on gasoline and diesel has remained the same since 1991. With highway construction cost rising every year and greater vehicle fuel efficiency depressing fuel tax revenues, states from coast to coast have reluctantly taken steps to deal with transportation funding shortfalls.  In the past year Indiana, Montana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and California have all approved rate increases. [Read More]

 

Vote Deals Blow to Valuable Funding Tool

The Texas House voted 79 to 52 on May 5 to defeat HB 2861 which would have continued to provide TxDOT and RMAs authority to use Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs) to finance and build certain specified large projects. CDAs have been an important tool in getting major projects built in Texas over the past decade. While not appropriate for most highway contracting, CDAs have been an important tool in the toolbox of transportation finance and project development. They have been used for such projects as the Grand Parkway, the DFW Connector and the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge Replacement. As a result of private sector investment through CDAs more than $8 billion in major projects have been delivered with only $1.4 billion in state and local funds. [Read More]

 

Every Cent of Highway Funding Approved by

Voters Should Go to New Road Projects

For more than two decades it has been obvious to everyone that Texas has been under investing in our aging highway system. Even as the buying power of traditional transportation funding sources dwindles, the political will to consider new revenue sources has been insufficient.  The 2013 and 2015 legislatures recognized the problem and asked Texas voters if they wanted to use existing revenues to begin addressing the growing highway funding gap.  Texans said YES loud and clear.  That was a promise made and it should be a promise kept.  We have a chart that shows how much funding is at risk. [Read More]

 

VIDEO: The Facts About the Funding Promise

One of the Texas transportation advocates has produced a video that explains the highway funding promises made to Texas voters over the past few years. The facts are pretty simple. The Legislature set out to fill much of a $5 billion a year funding gap. The proposals promising to deal with the problem went to the voters twice and Texans backed highway funding LOUD and CLEAR both times. You'll see what we mean when you view the 3 minute video produced by Texas Infrastructure Now. (HERE)

 

TAOT Urges Full Funding of Prop 1 & 7

The Transportation Advocates of Texas legislative program for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature calls for full appropriation of Prop 1 and Prop 7 funding for transportation projects in the coming biennium.  Gov. Greg Abbott's proposed budget alls full Prop 7 funding a promise to invest in infrastructure made to voters. The TAOT legislative program also supports continued use of financing tools available to move projects forward including tolling, managed lanes and public private partnerships. [Read More]

 

Texas Has Added Three "Austins" Since 2010

While many Texans live in regions where there is only modest growth, the state continues to add more than 1,100 new people every day. In the six years since the 2010 Census the state's population has ballooned by 2.7 million. That is equal to adding the residents of a city the size of Austin to the state every two years. Texas added the most population during the period of any state (California - 2.0 million, Florida - 1.8 million). All those new Texans are filling up the capacity on our highways and streets. [Read More]

 

Prop 1 & 7 Will Accelerate Congestion Relief

The state's urban traffic congestion relief initiative ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott has been energized by highway funding approved by voters in Proposition 1 and Proposition 7. In an op-ed piece, Transportation Commission Member Bruce Bugg talks about progress being made under the Texas Clear Lanes program which targets the five major metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million -- Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin. They are home to 97 of the state's 100 most congested roadways. Drivers in those metro areas lose millions of hours of family time annually while stuck in traffic. [Read Commissioner Bugg's Op-Ed]

 

Highway Trust Fund Needs Long-Term Solvency

The nation's highway agency top executives want to impress on the leadership of the Trump Administration that the Highway Trust Fund will soon be back in crisis mode unless the federal government provides a long-term funding stream to make it solvent. The current highway funding authorization (the FAST Act) expires in 2021. It is being funded in part from general revenues rather than dedicated user fees, primarily the fuels tax. At that point there will be significant revenue shortfalls and disruption of highway programs unless there is a long-term fix. [Read More]

 

Transportation Finance: Big Economic Impact

While road construction costs have risen rapidly in recent years, this growth has slowed dramatically since the Great Recession ended, particularly in the all-important category of borrowing costs. As the national economy continues to recover, however, prices will rise. Any further delays in transportation improvements may compromise the state's budget and make future decisions more expensive and more painful. That is the key conclusion of the second installment of an analysis of Texas transportation finance issues by Comptroller Glenn Hegar. The report in Fiscal Notes points to the oversized economic impacts of efficient transportation. [Read More]

 

Strain on Aging Highways Unprecedented

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar points to aging infrastructure and a "never-ending flow" of new Texans as the root cause of the considerable challenge Texas faces in ensuring safe and efficient highways. This month Fiscal Notes, a publication of the Comptroller's Office, takes a swing at explaining how the Texas highways are financed and the failure of traditional funding sources to keep up with the significant funding gap Texas leaders have been working to deal with. [Read More]

 

MORE PREVIOUS UPDATES