Transportation

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT News.

From Texas Standard.

With more options for transportation, could it be time to ditch the personal car completely?

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have created a new tool to help people make that call. It’s called Ride or Drive, and it calculates the cost of car ownership versus relying on transportation networking companies like your Lyfts and Ubers.

Dr. Todd Davidson, a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute and the co-creator of the Ride or Drive web tool, says they built the online calculator so people could evaluate their own personal situations.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Bobak Tehrany and I meet in the parking garage at the Chase Building downtown. He works with the engineering consulting company Stantec, whose clients include the Texas Department of Transportation. It’s been a long day, and he’s ready to make the commute home.

“You know, it’s funny because you hear people calling it SlowPac all the time,” he says.

Photo via Flickr/jaredzimmerman (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

 From the Texas Standard.

Improvements and enforcement aren't coming fast enough.

If you live near the Eagle Ford Shale you may have heard an ad from the Texas Department of Transportation warning drivers in the area to be extra cautious on the roadways.

It’s part of a campaign called "Be Safe, Drive Smart." Roadways aren’t like they used to be. Before the shale oil boom, the 26 counties that make up the Eagle Ford were small, bucolic places – country roads, few cars.

Now, not so much.

Liang Shi for KUT

It's that time of the biennium.

The 84th Texas Legislature is just a few short months away, and state lawmakers are already filing their bills for the first Rick Perry-less session this side of the millennium. So far, the bills include legislative pet projects like texting and driving bans, open carry initiatives and tax cuts. Other proposals target tougher statewide issues like transportation funding and state budgeting.

You can find a roundup of issues that state lawmakers are considering below.

Update: The constitutional amendment to take some oil and gas tax revenues and direct them towards road project funding passed by a wide margin – 79.78 percent for to 20.21 percent against.

"Passing Proposition 1 was just the first step in addressing the transportation funding shortfall in Texas," said Scott Haywood, President of Move Texas Forward, which pushed for the measure. "We look forward to continue working with our coalition partners as we fight for the additional funding for transportation that will move Texas forward.”

Original Story (Nov. 4, 12:21 p.m.): So much digital ink and airtime has been spilled over Austin's rail and roads proposition (commonly known as Austin's Prop 1), which would add a billion dollars in city debt to build a starter light rail line and improve state roads. But that isn't the only transportation item on the ballot this year. There's also a statewide proposition (also commonly known as statewide Prop 1) that could have an impact on Texas roads. 

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