Williamson County Growth Summit was an opportunity to structure the conversation around the transportation struggles. Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was one of the transportation authorities on the panel to discuss the challenges and offer solutions. Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director, spoke on the panel to voice the concerns and opinions of the CTRMA. The event was held at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and focused on how technology was changing the landscape of transportation.
Heiligenstein discussed how new technologies, like driverless cars and ridesharing apps, were changing how people were getting around. He felt like the way to build a strong infrastructure was to make sure to build smarter roads to sustain the growing trends in technology. He felt like roads needed to be built to sustain the growing population and the more demands on the roads. Ideas like the autonomous, driverless, vehicle sparked discussed about the demands it will place on the road and parking structures. Charging stations for newer cars, like electric and hybrid, need to be more readily available.
Other challenges like trying to decrease the volume of traffic, because the growth rate of the population called for the eventual need for 12 lanes on some highways. Other panelists discussed how rideshare apps can be beneficial and subsidies can be offered to help decrease traffic. Traffic has become increasingly more of an issue and simply encouraging or beefing up public transit is no longer a viable option. Williamson County needs to keep up with the current trend in transportation and find ways to decrease the volume of drivers on the road.
Central Texas Regional Mobile Authority is an independent agency that was created with the purpose in mind to improve transportation condition in Williamson and Travis County Texas. Their goal is to think of innovative ways to decrease traffic volume through the use of private and public transportation. The Mobile Authority has a Board of Directors and a small staff. They are created and operate under the state law Texas transportation code chapter 370. They can use funds and implement user fees and taxes to help fund operations.