Transportation

Special Session
1:43 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Gov. Perry Adds Transportation Bills To Special Session Agenda

Eileen Pace TPR News

Hoping to solve some of the state’s glaring problems with transportation, Gov. Rick Perry has opened the special session agenda to transportation-related bills.

This move has been a whispered rumor since the session began, but now lawmakers in the Texas House and Senate will begin debate on over 12 pre-filed transportation bills. 

The big one with the most buzz is a bill co-authored by Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, and Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville.

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Transportation
9:28 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Five Things The New VIA Smartphone App Has going For It

Screen shot of the home screen map.
VIA Metropolitan Transit

The new VIA smartphone app, Go VIA VIA, has a real chance at changing the landscape of transportation in San Antonio by making it easier for long-time riders and new riders to navigate the intricate maze of bus routes and schedules. (see note about new riders at bottom of post*)

Go VIA VIA has been out for Apple and Android devices since Monday, and it already has some fans and critics. The bottom line, though, is that it is far better than the old app--which wasn't interactive in any way, shape or form.

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Texas
9:49 am
Fri May 31, 2013

How SH 130's Credit Downgrade Could Actually Help Austin Drivers

www.flickr.com/jczart

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 2:23 pm

The 85 mile-per-hour toll road that connects Austin with San Antonio is getting less traffic than planners hoped for.

In turn, Moody’s Investor Service lowered the credit rating of Cintra, the company that operates SH 130 toll road, by four grades. Moody’s says unless traffic increases significantly, the credit rating will continue to fall.

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Special Session
9:04 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Senate Duo Says They Have Answer To Solve Transportation Funding Crisis

Eileen Pace TPR

Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, said his plan uses a portion of the Rainy Day Fund without actually taking money out of the Rainy Day Fund.

"What it does is once you pass a certain threshold and as the fund approaches filling, which it got pretty close, then it would splinter part of that off for constitutionally dedicating some of that revenue stream to transportation," Nichols said.

Nichols says this will allow the Rainy Day Fund to continue to grow, but not as quickly. Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, helped solidify the financing portion of the plan.

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Federal Government
4:20 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Cuellar Says Fixing Roads A Priority In Washington

Flickr user Adam Fagen (afagen) cc

Today Congressman Henry Cuellar appeared at a Greater San Antonio Chamber luncheon to brief regional business leaders on his priorities for the district.

One of those priorities is repair of the roads and bridges in rural counties where hydraulic fracking has become a way of life.

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Texas Legislature
10:14 am
Fri May 24, 2013

In Legislative Homestretch, Transportation & Education Funding Still Uncertain

Eileen Pace TPR

Tensions between the House and Senate over education funding have hit an all-time high this session, and that along with an added provision related to fees charged to overweight 18 wheelers worries Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, because of the transportation dollars tied to those same spending bills.

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Texas Legislature
5:15 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Lawmaker Finds Last-Minute State Funding Mechanism For Roads

Activity in the Eagle Ford Shale could help convince lawmakers to find a solid solution for state transportation needs.
UTSA

At this point in the legislative calendar many bills are facing a looming demise, but Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, said he has found another way to get money for transportation needs.

"One of the obvious ways is to take some money in the budget and devote it to our energy related zones that have borne the burden of most of the oil and gas production. They are just simply deteriorating and they’re not safe anymore," Darby said.

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Texas Legislature
1:32 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Lawmaker Seeking Alternative Path For Immigrant Driver Permit Bill

Wikipedia Commons

At this late stage in the legislative session, most bills that haven't made it out of at least one chamber are left to the wind, but there is still a chance for a bill with bipartisan support that proposes to provide immigrants without legal documentation a driver’s permit.

Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, is carrying the bill, which was authored by Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands.

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Texas Legislature
4:24 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

With Hwy. 281 In Mind, Campbell Bill Aims To Restrict Future State Toll Projects

Ryan Loyd TPR

The Senate has passed a bill that prohibits the state’s transportation department from turning free roads into toll roads, but the "do-or-die" deadline is approaching fast for it to clear the House in time.

Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, authored Senate Bill 1029, which addresses the conversion of existing state roads into tollways. She said there are several highways throughout the state being eyed for this type of tolling, one of which is Hwy. 281.

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State Budget
3:30 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Committee Still Debating Spending Issues In State Budget Bill

Flickr user TN Drum Guy cc

Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, a house leader on the Legislative Budget Board, said the joint committee has hit snags in several areas, but has reached a tentative agreement on some key spending issues in regard to Senate Bill 1, the state budget bill.

"Hopefully we will have an agreement sometime today on public education," Pitts said, adding that they were discussing $3.2 billion for public education would be taken from the state general revenue and property tax appraisals.

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