The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) was established in 2002 in order to deal with the traffic woes that plague the region. One of the main problems the area faces is that most of the growth in population is in the suburbs of Austin while the job growth is mainly in Austin. As most people are heading the same direction twice a day traffic is usually very heavy and slow. The CTRMA finds mobility solutions in order to get people where they’re going faster. This can be include building roads, variable toll rates, and other technological solutions.
The new MoPac Express Lanes make use of variable tolling which is designed to keep these lanes uncongested. The lanes can analyze supply and demand on the lanes which results in the cost driving in them to go up during heavy traffic in order to encourage people to stay out of the lanes unless they really need to be in them.
The CTRMA is also working to build “smart roads“. They are laying down fiber lines in the road between US 290 and the airport which will allow the next generation of cars to be able to “talk” to it. Drivers can be alerted to traffic problems ahead such as accidents. It will also notify the driver if they start going the wrong way on a freeway exit ramp.
Soon there will also be a traffic app that is being built in a partnership between the CTRMA and Metropia. This app will give commuters alternative routes to use. Another partnership with Carma is resulting in a carpooling app which will make it quick and easy to find other people to commute with.
The Executive Director of the CTRMA is Mike Heiligenstein. He was appointed to this position by the Governor of Texas when the CTRMA was established. He works with a 6 member board of directors which is made up of equal numbers of people appointed by Williamson and Travis counties. The agency itself has a small staff as it uses private contractors to perform each individual project.
As a nationally recognized expert on infrastructure and mobility issues, Mike Heiligenstein is often invited to speak to other groups around the nation that are facing the same issues as the CTRMA is. He attended the University of Texas and has two Master’s Degrees, one in Business Administration and the other in Government.
Check out CTRMA on LinkedIn.