In the opinion piece published in the American-Statesman by Heiligenstein, the executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority discusses vital and needed innovation to address major traffic and infrastructure issues. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, per their website, is an independent government agency formed through legislation in 2002 to improve transportation in all forms in Williams and Travis counties.
Currently, they are continuing work on MoPac Express Lanes. These lanes will use variable tolling that will use new and sophisticated technology to manage the flow of traffic. Using a supply vs demand system, they will moderate traffic entering the road with the variable tolls at peak times to keep traffic moving smoothly. Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: http://www.mobilityauthority.com/about/executive-director.php
The agency has partnered with Metropia and Carma to create apps integrated with their own system to provide alternative routes and carpooling opportunities to reduce the amount of traffic further. One day, they hope to use the integrated fiber lines in their roads to communicate with cars, with anticipation that smart technology will continue its expansion into vehicles.
Another critical issue in the area, and in the US in general, is stop and go traffic caused by minor breakdowns. CTRMA is on the case with Highway Emergency Response Operator program (HERO), together with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
This program will assist drivers with minor vehicle issues on roads they patrol, free of charge. The agency also aims to encourage more biking and walking by residents by building shared use lanes.
The Executive Director of CTRMA, Mike Heiligenstein, has spent 30 years as a public official in Central Texas. He began his career as a Round Rock City Council Member, then as County Commissioner in Williamson, and has always held a special passion for infrastructure.
Mike graduated from the University of Texas with degrees in Government and Masters in both Business Administration and Government. He has turned the Mobility Authority from an inefficient, aimless agency when he assumed the role, into the now booming and profitable agency.
The agency has an expected revenue stream of $136.5 million by 2020. He has been nationally recognized by his peers with honors, and has been asked to speak and problem solve infrastructure issues nationwide.