Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Uses Technology to Innovate
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is focused on using multiple resources in addressing traffic congestion. There is a strong technological component to this vision as well. The Mobility Authority strives to implement innovative ideas to provide timely solutions for the traffic congestion which hinders travel, business activity, and generally makes everyone’s life miserable.
A good example of the use of technology by the Authority is the MoPac Express Lanes which are partially completed. It utilizes variable tolling to help manage traffic flow. This is very sophisticated technology which will help supply and demand to synchronize. It allows commuters to use the express lane which will be moving despite rush hour traffic levels. While technology can’t eliminate congestion altogether, it will be a significant improvement.
The strategic use of toll roads is also an important way to improve traffic flow and enhance travel among local communities. The 183A Toll Road in Cedar Park and Leander has been very helpful to the local community as it experiences steady growth. The U.S. 290 toll road between Austin and Manor is also a big hit as it has tripled the capacity of the previous road. They’ve also improved the lanes which weren’t toll roads which make commuting less onerous.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is not a private company but rather an agency established by the people of Travis and Williamson counties. They are therefore accountable to the citizens responsible for its creation.
One way the Authority is using innovation is by anticipating the arrival of smart roads. Fiber lines are being installed along the 183 South project between US 290 and the airport. This anticipates the day when vehicles will be able to communicate with road infrastructure. An example of this could be a warning that is sounded when a car goes the wrong way on an exit ramp.
There are two traffic-related apps which are useful in improving congestion. One is called Metropia and it is integrated with the traffic monitoring system and provides alternative routes for commuters. Carma is a carpooling app and could make a serious dent in congestion when empty seats are filled and fewer cars are on the road.
These are just a handful of strategies which are being implemented by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority under the leadership of Mike Heiligenstein. He is the executive director of the organization. He has had a long history of helping improve the infrastructure in Central Texas.