TRANSPORTATION

Design-build contracts allow the engineering and construction of a project to be done by a single company.
Design-build contracts allow the engineering and construction of a project to be done by a single company.

Contracting Experiment Drawing Mixed Reviews

After four years of trying out a new way of awarding state contracts known as design-build, lawmakers aren't sure taxpayers get a better deal, and Texas businesses say they're being muscled out of jobs by larger, out-of-state companies. 

Rural Critics Organize to Stop Private Bullet Train

Japan Central's N700 high speed train, the same train that a private firm wants to bring to Texas.
Japan Central's N700 high speed train, the same train that a private firm wants to bring to Texas.

Dallas and Houston leaders may want a super-fast train connecting their cities, but folks in between aren't as sold on the idea. Some have formed Texans Against High-Speed Rail, and they're hiring lobbyists and courting allies in a bid to kill the plan.

 

Panel to Investigate After Lawmaker Ejected From Committee Hearing

State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, during the gun bill debate on April 17, 2015.
State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, during the gun bill debate on April 17, 2015.

The chairman of the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics said he plans to investigate allegations that witnesses were signed up improperly to speak at a meeting from which state Rep. Jonathan Stickland was escorted out.

Tesla Makes Sales Pitch to House Panel

Tesla vehicle on display outside the Texas Capitol on January 15th, 2015
Tesla vehicle on display outside the Texas Capitol on January 15th, 2015

At a packed committee hearing Monday evening, advocates for Tesla Motors told a panel of Texas House members that it was time to bring state laws into the 21st century and let the company sell its luxury electric cars in Texas.

Background Checks Drive Uber Debate

Uber and Lyft, two San Francisco-based transportation networking companies, have launched services in several Texas cities.
Uber and Lyft, two San Francisco-based transportation networking companies, have launched services in several Texas cities.

One week after an Uber driver in Houston was charged with sexually assaulting a passenger, a panel of Texas lawmakers on Thursday considered a bill critics say will open the door for more criminals to slip past driver background checks.

Senate Bill Targeting Bullet Train Project Advances

The Japanese Shinkansen is a high-speed trail used by JR Central in Japan. A private company is planning to build a rail line between Dallas and Houston using the same trains.
The Japanese Shinkansen is a high-speed trail used by JR Central in Japan. A private company is planning to build a rail line between Dallas and Houston using the same trains.

On a 5-4 vote, the Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would hobble a private company’s plan to build a $12 billion high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston.

House Approves Use of Sales Tax for Highways

Tribune Conversation with Sen. Robert Nichols R-Jacksonville and Rep. Joe Pickett D-El Paso on April 7th, 2015
Tribune Conversation with Sen. Robert Nichols R-Jacksonville and Rep. Joe Pickett D-El Paso on April 7th, 2015

The Texas House gave initial approval Thursday to a major boost in transportation funding from sales taxes, setting the stage for a showdown with the Senate over the best way to pay for Texas roads.

Uber, Lyft Back in House Headlights

Uber and Lyft, two San Francisco-based transportation networking companies, have launched services in several Texas cities.
Uber and Lyft, two San Francisco-based transportation networking companies, have launched services in several Texas cities.

Another round of sparring between Texas cities and car service companies Lyft and Uber played out on Tuesday, when a panel of Texas lawmakers considered letting cities regulate Lyft and Uber the same way they regulate cab companies.