Senate committee will look at natural gas fueling infrastructure. This Honda Civic Natural Gas is "America's Greenest Car" according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Fleet operators with fueling stations can best utilize such vehicles.

Senate Will Look at Debt Issue During Interim

January 13, 2012


The Texas Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee will be at work on interim charges including taking a hard look at transportation project debt the state has been racking up.


The committee has been instructed to study and make recommendations on the methods of financing for building new capacity in the highway system. They are to consider the long-term impact of the accumulation of debt for transportation projects as well as the total cost of vehicle ownership as a result of varying levels of congestion and road maintenance.


Additionally they are to examine ways to prevent further wear on roadways and reduce traffic congestion. At the same time they are charged with educating and informing the public about the seriousness of the transportation challenges facing the state and suggest ways of engaging the public in devising a funding solution.


Like the House committee they are to look at the anticipated impacts of the Panama Canal on the state's cargo and shipping industry, intermodal facilities, roads and ports.


The Senate will also look at the plans drawn by local Metropolitan Planning Organizations and evaluate the impact of those plans on mitigating the state's celebrated 100 most congested roadway segments.


The committee will look at current statutes and rules regulating oversize and overweight vehicles. They are to evaluate the public safety benefit of enforcing these regulations and the ffectiven3ess of those rules in preventing highway damage associated with overweight loads.


Additional items include:


> Review and make recommendations regarding best practices for traffic-flow management to meet future statewide transportation needs. This study should consider a full range of options including implementing employee flex time at all state agencies, park & ride, telecommuting and rail.

> Examine the ned for additional natural gas fueling infrastructure to efficiently utilize Texas' vast domestic reserves. They will also examine the future requirements for public and private electric vehicle charging station and assess the impact of electric vehicles on the state's electric grid.