Transportation Commission

The Transportation Commission regular monthly meeting are held at 10 a.m. on the last Thursday of each month.

 

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 1,100 NEW RESIDENTS every day help make Texas an economic powerhouse. Most bring their cars and trucks but all leave their roads behind. The Texas population of 29 million has increased 70% since 1990.


 

 

 

 

Rebuilding Interstates Requires More Funding

The Interstate Highway System is now 64 years old. Many sections have passed their useful life and must be rebuilt. TxDOT has been at the task for the past 25 years but much still must be done. TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit, has issued a report that looks at the interstate system's use, condition and benefits plus the findings of a 2019 federal report prepared by the Transportation Research Board. Among the findings is that vehicle miles traveled on Texas interstate highways has increased 45% in less than two decades. At the same time there is a persistent backlog of unfunded construction projects. [Read More]

 

Boyer Now Chairing TAoT

Vic Boyer, president and CEO of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition, is the new board chairman of the Transportation Advocates of Texas. He replaces the late Gary Bushell who found it necessary to resign because of health challenges. Drew Campbell of Dallas is TAoT's chair-elect and chair of the Legislative Relations Committee. [Read More]

 

 

 

Nichols Traces History of Texas Highway Funding

In the 25 years from 1950 to 1975 Texas built an average of 2,000 miles of new highway every year. Today that number is less than 100 miles a year. By 2003 funding was so low that Texas was not even keeping up with highway system preservation. Those are just some of the nuggets from a fascinating review of Texas highway funding presented by Texas Senator Robert Nichols, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and a former member of the Texas Transportation Commission, during the 2020 Texas Transportation Forum. [Read More + Video Link]

 

Thinking Beyond the Gas Tax

New vehicle propulsion systems will eventually reduce the number of vehicles burning gasoline or diesel. It is important that Texas decision-makers begin to think beyond the gas tax to build and maintain our highway system. Mike Heiligenstein, former executive director of the Central Texas Mobility Authority, penned some observations on where we go from here. He says relying on the gas tax to fund new roadways — and cover the costs of maintaining existing roadways — is not a viable option. [Read More]

 

More States Put Road Fees on Electric Vehicles

Twenty states now impose road use fees on electric vehicle owners in an attempt to have them pay their fair share of road construction and maintenance costs. Those fees range from $50 to $200 per year in addition to traditional vehicle registration fees. Ohio, Alabama, Kansas and Hawaii join the list of states charging the fee in 2020. While electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles comprise less than 2% of new vehicles sales, automotive manufacturers are gearing up to build many more in the coming years. As they hit the road the result will be continued reduction in gas and diesel tax revenues. While proposals have been introduced in the Legislature, Texas has not yet considered legislation to pass additional fees for electric vehicles. [Read More]

 

States Raise Gas Taxes

Four more states raised their gasoline and diesel tax rates this year bringing to 31 the number of states that have approved increases in the past decade. Ohio, Illinois, Arkansas and Alabama are the latest. Texas faces major challenges including aging highways and bridges, inflation, greater fuel efficiency and shaky funding from a federal Highway Trust Fund described as near insolvency.  Texas’ motor fuels tax rates have not been increased since 1991 and fail to produce the revenue needed to meet these growing challenges. [Read More]

 

Texas Still Has a Major Highway Funding Gap

Hundreds of identified major highway projects across Texas have been identified but simply cannot be considered with currently available funding. Statewide the list of needed but unfunded projects in the 10-year planning horizon exceeds $60 billion. TAoT members have been highlighting this warning in a series of newspaper op-ed pieces. Texas has become a magnet for growth and whether they are from South Carolina or South Asia, new Texans don't bring roads with them. Despite all the orange barrels we see, highway improvements are not keeping up. [Read More]

 

Texas Pushing to End Status as Only Donor State

Texas only receives 95 cents in federal transportation funding for every dollar Texans pay directly into the federal Highway Trust Fund. The result is the loss of about $940 million a year. Members of the congressional delegation from Texas, led by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas, are pushing fellow lawmakers to address this longstanding inequity in the share of federal transportation funding Texans receive compared to what the state contributes. Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas has been denied a fair return on federal fuel taxes for far too long. [Read More]

 

 

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