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.


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MORE THAN 1,000 NEW RESIDENTS EVERY DAY help make Texas an economic powerhouse but these new Texans don't bring any roads with them.


Abbott Plan Would Add $4 Billion to Road Funding

A month after being elected to serve as the next Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott stepped forward December 8 to stand firm on his campaign plan to make additional funding for highways a top priority. He indicated he will press the Legislature to advance proposals that would add as much as $4 billion more a year to highway funding through a combination of sources including oil and gas production fees authorized by Prop 1, dedicating an estimated $2 billion a year from vehicle sales taxes, and ending the practice of using fuel tax revenues for purposes other than highway construction, maintenance and policing. [Read More]


Abbott Backing More Money for Highways

Texas Governor-Elect Greg Abbott made investing more revenue in transportation projects a major theme of his successful bid to lead Texas. He stressed that Texas needs a permanent source of additional transportation funding and that better transportation infrastructure is critical to the state's economy. He campaigned in favor of dedicating a substantial portion of the state's motor vehicle sales tax revenues to highway funding and signaled to lawmakers that he would back them in advancing this major changing in funding. [Read More]


Constitutional Amendment A Big First Step

Much more needs to be done to fill the highway funding gap in Texas even after voters gave 80% support to the Prop 1 constitutional amendment. The Transportation Advocates of Texas offer a special thanks to Sen. Robert Nichols and Rep. Joe Pickett for their tireless work on behalf of the amendment and to all Texans for passing the ballot measure. TAoT and its member organizations will be asking state lawmakers in the upcoming session to approve additional new, long-term, sustainable funding sources to fill the remaining funding gap faced by the state as Texas tries to keep up with continuing growth and aging roads and bridges. [Read More]


Texas Editorial Boards Say "Yes" to Prop 1

Newspaper editorial boards across Texas are urging the state's voters to vote for the highway funding constitutional amendment of the November 4th General Election Ballot. Proposition 1 is the only proposition on this year's statewide ballot. In some counties the item is listed as "Proposition 1" and in others it is simply "Proposed Constitutional Amendment." One newspaper called Prop 1 a critical step in meeting the state highway funding gap. Another recommended voters to support Prop 1 without hesitation. Several papers called on members of the Legislature to find the rest of the funding that is needed to keep up with population and industrial growth, increased freight traffic and aging roads and bridges. [Read More]


Weber Sees Big Needs in the Texas Oil Patch

The new head of the Texas Department of Transportation says that the state is falling further and further behind in the Permian Basin and South Texas counties where oil and gas drilling is intense. Lt. Gen. Joe Weber (Ret.) met with members of the Transportation Advocates of Texas in September. He said energy companies are telling him that the current shale oil and gas revolution could last for decades. He said TxDOT is trying to figure out what the policy should be on maintaining and rebuilding roads never intended for the pounding they are now taking. He said that as far as he is concerned the policy will not be gravel roads. [Read More]


Most Congested Roadway Rankings Expanded

The list of Most Congested Roadways in Texas for 2014 is out and this year it has been expanded to include more than just "Big City" congestion. There are really no surprises on the Big City list -- not much has changed on those sometimes gridlocked freeways that kill time and waste fuel. What originally began as the list of Texas’ 100 Most Congested Roadways now provides a variety of congestion measures on 1,783 roadway sections spread over 25 urban regions. The expanded annual ranking gives Texans in smaller cities a look at problem roadways in their areas, regardless of how they compare to Big-City bottlenecks. [Read More]


East Texas Leaders Sound Road Funding Alarm

State Senator Kevin Eltife says members of the Legislature should stop running up debt and find the new revenue that is needed to build and preserve the state's highway system. He was on a panel with Transportation Commission Member Jeff Austin III and Move Texas Forward's Scott Haywood. The Longview News-Journal reports on Eltife's straightforward comments that fundamental challenges created by booming growth are going unmet. [Read More]


TAB: Texas Needs More Money for Highways

The Texas Association of Business takes the Texas highway funding crisis seriously. They have offered their take on the problem and the impact of Proposition 1 on the funding shortfall of more than $5 billion a year. Read the TAB commentary here. [Read More]


Congress Hits Trust Fund Snooze Button Again

Congress has approved another short-term fix for the Highway Trust Fund for the fifth time in the past eight years. The $11 billion package sets aside only enough money to finance transportation projects until May. Revenues from federal fuel taxes have not kept up with projects costs for more than a decade, forcing Congress to come up with funding from other sources. Federal fuel taxes per gallon are fixed and have not been raised since 1993. Proposals to raise additional federal transportation revenue from transportation users continue to lack lawmaker support. [Read More]


Pickett: Gasoline Tax a Mystery to Public

Rep. Joe Pickett, chairman of the House Select Transportation Committee, met with members of the Transportation Advocates of Texas in July and talked about what he has learned while crisscrossing the state talking to groups of Texans. He finds that most people who have no background in highway funding assume that the tax on gasoline is a moving number that goes up and down with the price of fuel instead of being fixed at 20 cents per gallon as it has been since 1991. Pickett said transportation finance has become so complex and convoluted that even local officials who need to understand and make decisions find it too hard to make sense of. [Read More]


Delisi: Passing Proposition 1 Is Not Enough

Former Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Deirdre Delisi provides her perspective on federal and state highway funding. She writes that simply passing Proposition 1 is not enough to address our transportation challenges. She urges the Legislature to give TxDOT clear goals and the resources and authority to meet them. Read her whole piece here. [Read More]


Speaker Straus: Let's End Highway Fund Diversions

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus met with members of the Transportation Advocates of Texas and pledged to help chip away at the growing shortfall in funding for Texas highways. Straus said he thinks it is essential to end diversions from the State Highway Fund that go to non-road building. Getting that off the table will allow the Legislature to address the much larger transportation funding needs that are the result of our success in economic growth and population growth in recent years. He also joined TAoT in backing the Proposition 1 Highway Funding Amendment that will go to the voters in November. He repeated an earlier warning about the wisdom of relying too much on volatile energy prices for long-term transportation funding. [Read More]


TTI Updates Texas Gas Tax Facts

Rep. Pickett factsA few years ago State Rep. Joe Pickett of El Paso, one of the most articulate advocates of Texas highways and former chairman of the House Transportation Committee, decided to take on the job of designing a simple fact sheet explaining the gasoline tax in Texas. With information provided by the authoritative Texas A&M Transportation Institute he has produced a 2014 version that explains how the tax impacts families and how the static 20-cent per gallon fee is failing to meet the state's growing needs. We'll show you all the elements of what is popularly known as Pickett's Placemat. [See or Download Fact Sheet]


Committees Will Assess Funding Crisis

House Speaker Joe Straus has named the nine members of the House Select Transportation Committee and named Rep. Joe Pickett as chairman. A similar select committee has been appointed in the Senate and is chaired by Senator Robert Nichols. The committees will report back to the Legislature later this year with an assessment of existing highway funding and recommendations on how the state should deal with a serious shortfall. [Read More]


More on the Shift to Local Funding of Highways

Shifting the burden of paying part of the cost of state highway projects to local governments has been underway for at least a decade. Events are converging to speed this "devolution" of responsibility. The Austin American-Stateman's Ben Wear helps track the history of how we arrived at this place. [Read More]


Most Texans Would Pay More for Better Highways

Another poll has confirmed that Texans are willing to pay additional taxes and fees to have highways and roads that are well maintained and help them get to their destination safely, without undue delay and with minimal frustration. The poll found that 64% said they are willing to pay more to repair and improve highways and bridges and 57% said they are willing to pay more to add needed highway capacity. On the other hand Texans like the highways they depend on -- only 15% said they were unsatisfied with the quality of our highways and roads. [Read More]


Cost of Doing Nothing Higher Than You Think

Underfunding highways costs Texans more, not less. Texans are paying with their time, safety and pocketbooks. There are large, real hidden costs that don't get talked about enough. They are absorbed by everyone. They are the cost of doing nothing about transportation funding. A&M's Texas Transportation Institute says motorists in urban Texas are spending on average 37 hours extra in traffic delays every year. The Cost of Doing Nothing is high. Texas community leaders and businesses are uniting to send a message to members of the Legislature that it is time to invest in highways again. [Read More]