The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) is an independent government agency that is tasked with improving transportation systems in Williamson and Travis Counties. While most people know the authority has built toll roads in the region, most aren’t aware of a number of things about the CTRMA.
First, most people don’t know that it is an independent government agency. It was created in 2002 as an agency with no taxing authority. It raises money by selling investment bonds on the market and then repays the debt through money generated from tolling.
Another relatively unknown fact is that CTRMA has a free roadside assistance program as well as travel apps they have released called Metropia. Stranded motorists are helped by employees of the authority who get broken down cars off the road and keep traffic flowing. The app helps people by encouraging users to make their trips at off-peak times in order to further help keep traffic moving.
CTRMA has also created the MoPac Improvement Project which has helped to alleviate traffic on North MoPac Boulevard which is a major thoroughfare. The project is adding a toll lane in both directions on the road and should be completed by November. The project cost $200 million and comprises 11 miles of road.
Mike Heiligenstein was appointed the Executive Director of CTRMA by Texas’ Governor when it was first established in 2002. He leads a small staff which has 6 other board members; three from Travis county and three from Williamson that are assigned by each counties County Commissioners Courts.
Its responsibility is the entire transportation network which includes roads, seaports, mass transit services, and airports. The transportation projects it builds are designed to alleviate congestion that will lead to stronger communities and economic vitality.
Many citizens in the region think that technology will provide solutions to the gridlock often faced in the region. According to Crunchbase, while Mike Heiligenstein agrees technology definitely plays a role, he thinks that often the solution is more roads with greater capacity.
The region is quickly growing and this growth is outpacing the road system in the two-county area. However, he has also said that his task is to increase mobility solutions which sometimes means building a road and sometimes doesn’t. He’s looking at all solutions to come up with answers to traffic. He is also investing in smart roads so that newer vehicles will be able to talk to the road and avoid trouble.
Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeheiligenstein