Rural Texans have long accepted that strips of their land might be acquired to build oil pipelines and highways. But the prospect of a high-speed rail line has sparked a whole different level of outrage.
A new report finds that, when transportation costs are factored in, Texas’s biggest metros aren’t the bargain they often claim to be.
The new rule uses geofencing technology to force vehicles on the college campus to slow down.
A new study suggests that there’s a new city topping the charts for getting stuck in traffic, and it’s in North Texas.
Transportation edged out electricity as the biggest source of carbon emissions last year in the United States.
As if people in airports needed more reason to stare at their phones.
SH 130, with its 85 MPH speed limit, may finally be working—but it took the long way to get there.
It’s the definition of a public service.
Some frequently asked questions, and even a handful of answers.
What the battle over who writes regulations for Uber and Lyft in Austin tells us about the future of ridesharing and how much votes cost.
The rise of Rise, a private air-service start-up.
It probably won’t do for a daily commute, but those looking to get between the Metroplex’s anchor cities are on the verge of a new option.
The future of transportation took another step from science fiction to science fact.
Sifting through the twists and turns of Austin's ridesharing battle.
Austin's music industry held a press conference in support of ridesharing, but it's worth considering why they believe it's City Council who needs to bend.
High speed rail advocates overcame a hurdle in the legislative session last Thursday, meaning that the bullet train between Dallas and Houston could become a reality. Not everyone’s too happy about that.
Houston, Dallas, and … Laredo?
The transportation company seeks a change in the way it’s regulated on a statewide basis, and it’s managed to mobilize a lot of supporters—both in and out of Texas. But does a statewide regulatory platform for Uber make sense?
It may be his most ambitious invention yet.
Uber comes to Lubbock.
Recent actions by state government have reinforced my belief that the state rarely does anything FOR the public; it only does things TO the public. The latest example is that Texas insurance commissioner Julia Rathgeber allowed the three largest home insurance companies to impose significant rate increases. Rathgeber could have…
Enjoy cruising freely, San Antonio.
Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and the rest of the quasi-legal services that allow everyday drivers to get paid for giving rides to strangers took a big step in Houston last week—and Dallas might be next.
The Dallas-based national bus line got its start in 1914 transporting iron ore miners in Minnesota.
Why Texas is stuck with its transportation policy.
Yep, pretty much every city in this state is awful for walkers.
Although representatives of San Antonio's taxi companies think that some of them are "barbaric."
Without the inefficiency of air travel and the impossibility of high-speed rail, business travelers might well be looking at a future of riding the bus between Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
The legal status of "disruptive" transportation apps like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar is in question. But as federal judges weigh in on the rules that keep them from operating at full capacity in Texas, the bigger question is whether or not these services meet a legitimate need.
Riding a bike in any Texas city is a dangerous proposition—and it's almost always because of human negligence.
The city will test a new pilot program that will close certain streets to automobile traffic, leaving them reserved for cyclists and pedestrians, during the month of April.
I mean, yeah, we've all wanted to magically zip through stalled traffic at 100mph, but that doesn't mean we'd actually do it.
Oregon is considering a "vehicle miles traveled" tax. Should Texas?
“Transparency” is a word that is frequently invoked in the Capitol. But it is honored more often in the breach than the observance. Take the current battle over transportation funding. The problem is that the state has chosen to finance transportation by issuing bonds. This is a clever way to…
Joe Straus' statement on the failure of the House to agree on a solution to the state's transportation needs is worth posting, because it lays bare the failure of the state's leaders to address the real problem.
Will voters support a constitutional amendment for more spending on roads, after seeing all the construction that is going on?
A proposal to expand funding for transportation may face some snarls in the Texas House.
UPDATE: REP. DARBY HAS PULLED DOWN HIS BILL, AND IN DOING SO SUGGESTED THAT IT WOULD BE TAKEN UP IN A SPECIAL SESSION. Michael Quinn Sullivan is at it again. Writing on the Empower Texans website, he assails the House leadership for scheduling a bill raising fees for…
Two questions for Ginger Goodin, of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
George H. W. Bush has given Texas the Republican convention—and little else.
Yes, the Texas Council of Engineering Companies has a self-interest in roadbuilding, needless to say, but so does everyone who drives on Texas roads. The point of the TCEC statement, as the headline says, is that there is a cost to doing nothing. TRANSPORTATION: THE COST OF DOING NOTHING No…
The following two paragraphs are the conclusion of an article that appeared in the Pasadena Citizen about an appearance by Kay Bailey Hutchison yesterday in which she discussed her transportation plan. The article appears on the Hutchison campaign web site: When asked about paying for transportation improvements, she was less…
The Hutchison campaign’s Joe Pounder criticized Perry yesterday for getting his facts mixed up over how much Texas gets from the feds from the federal gasoline tax money it sends to Washington. Here’s what Pounder wrote: Rick Perry and his campaign are confused. They are so eager to launch negative…
The Texas Public Policy Foundation testified before the House Transportation committee this week concerning the mammoth local option transportation funding bill that has passed the Senate. TPPF's Justin Keener expressed alarm about the rising cost of government (to no one's surprise): Between 2000 and 2008, the state’s total budget grew by 73.1 percent from $49.5 billion to $85.7 billion, while the sum of population plus inflation only increased by 41.3 percent over the same period. That means the cost of government per person has gone up during this decade. The discrepancy between spending and the population plus inflation measure is even more distinct at the local level. Keener's point is that government at all levels is growing faster than the index of population growth plus inflation. This index represents what TPPF, and conservatives generally, believe the state spending cap ought to be. The question I have is whether TPPF's measure of population growth plus inflation is the best gauge of how much spending the state can afford. I believe that the answer is no. Texas already has a spending cap on general revenue. This is Article 8, Section 22 of the state constitution, adopted in 1978: RESTRICTION ON APPROPRIATIONS. (a) In no biennium shall the rate of growth of appropriations from state tax revenues not dedicated by this constitution exceed the estimated rate of growth of the state's economy. The legislature shall provide by general law procedures to implement this subsection. [Section (b) authorizes the Legislature to suspend the cap by majority vote if it declares an emergency.] Economic growth is determined by the Legislative Budget Board--not the staff, but the elected officials who comprise the board. The LBB provides five scenarios for estimated economic growth, ranging from the most optimistic to the least, and the Board chooses one. In 2007, for example, it chose the least optimistic. I believe that using the measure of economic growth has served Texas well. It is a a realistic spending cap, whereas inflation plus population growth is an ideological one, designed to achieve a predetermined outcome of less spending. Economic growth measures the ability of the state to pay for state services: greater in good times, lesser in bad times.
I'm intrigued by SB 855, John Carona's local option tax legislation to fund transportation improvements in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso have also attached themselves to the bill. It would seem that such a bill--a tax increase! and new fees!--wouldn't have much of a chance in a Republican legislature, not to mention a Grover Norquist disciple in the governor's office--and indeed the Texas Public Policy Foundation opposes the bill. But the odds are that the bill will become law, and the reasons why explain a lot about how power works in the Texas Capitol. One of the ways power works in the Texas Capitol is that not all power originates in the Texas Capitol. This bill is sought by the business communities in Dallas and Fort Worth. The Dallas Morning News is doing the cheerleading against "job-killing" congestion. The real power in this state is the big-city business establishments. Always have has been, always will be. The Republican base will hate this bill, but they're no match for the money. First, let's hear from Senator Carona. This is his statement of intent in the bill analysis: The major urban areas in Texas face tremendous challenges with regard to funding of transportation and mobility infrastructure projects. Billions of dollars are needed to fund new, already identified highway and roadway projects, safety improvement projects, and bridges and mass transit systems such as passenger rail systems. New funding tools are needed to address these challenges, including tools for local government entities, which have transportation infrastructure obligations and responsibilities. One such tool would be the ability to raise funds through fee assessments or fee increases authorized by voter approval. However, under current law, counties, which would conduct the elections involving such measures, do not have the mechanism to call for a countywide election on the issue of fee increases. C.S.S.B. 855 provides for local options regarding mobility improvement projects in certain counties and municipalities. Here are the revenue sources contemplated by the bill:
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News this week, Gov. Rick Perry advocated an end to all diversions of gas tax money from the Highway Fund, which is used primarily to finance road construction. But two key senators believe the current budget estimates make that highly unlikely…
Pray now, fly later.