Transportation

Lone Star Rail District

The plan to build a commuter rail between San Antonio and Austin is not dead, even though Union Pacific terminated its Memorandum of Understanding earlier this year.

Around the world, subway projects are booming. New metros have sprung up or are in the works in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and India, and China announced several years ago that it would build 25 new subway systems. But in the United States, investment in new subways has lagged.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Fred Salvucci, senior lecturer in civil and environmental engineering at MIT and former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, about what state and local governments should be doing about transportation for the future.

Ryan E. Poppe

State Highway 130 boasts miles of high-speed, uncongested road. Sadly for the public-private partnership that built the road for the Texas Department of Transportation and now manages the toll road, it is too uncongested to meet the debt obligation it took to build. 

Ryan E. Poppe

In 2012, Cintra, a Spanish transportation company, and San Antonio-based Zachry American Infrastructure formed a partnership.  They called it the SH 130 Concession Company, and negotiated a 50-year contract with the state to maintain 41 miles of the SH 130 toll road.  In exchange the state would share a portion of the tolls collected from drivers.

Amid low gas prices and a stronger economy, Americans are driving more than ever before, with new federal government figures showing traffic volumes are at an all-time high.

However, there is a downside to this resurgence of driving: increased traffic congestion and pollution.

New data from the Federal Highway Administration show that Americans drove a record 3.15 trillion vehicle miles last year — that's the equivalent of traveling from Earth to Pluto and back 337 times.

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