TRANSPORTATION

Reaction to Train Plan Less Rosy in Rural Texas

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.

A private company's plan to spend billions of dollars to develop a bullet train connecting Dallas and Houston has drawn strong support from the two cities. But reaction from communities along the 240-mile route has been mixed.

TxDOT Ends Program That Converts Paved Roads to Gravel

Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.
Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.

The Texas Department of Transportation has ended its controversial program aimed at converting some badly damaged paved roads to gravel, more than a year after the launch of the initiative drew national attention to the agency's budget troubles.

 

 

First Bullet Train Meeting Focuses on Station Locations

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.

Attendees at the first public meeting on a proposed high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston told federal officials they're for the project — so long as the stations are conveniently located downtown. 

Austin Mulls Regulations for Uber, Lyft

Above: Austin City Councilman Chris Riley joins supporters of legalizing vehicle-for-hire apps Uber and Lyft at a rally Thursday outside of a city council meeting. Below: Supporters of traditional taxi companies sit at the same city council meeting as the council considers an ordinance for vehicle-for-hire apps.
Above: Austin City Councilman Chris Riley joins supporters of legalizing vehicle-for-hire apps Uber and Lyft at a rally Thursday outside of a city council meeting. Below: Supporters of traditional taxi companies sit at the same city council meeting as the council considers an ordinance for vehicle-for-hire apps.

Over the next year, at least half a dozen other Texas cities are likely to tackle the same thorny debate that's under way in Austin over how to regulate vehicle-for-hire apps like Uber and Lyft while maintaining traditional taxi services.

Analysis: Getting Legislative Permission to Do Business

A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker had considered Texas for its $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory. The company is also hoping to sell cars in Texas but does not have required franchise dealerships, as state law requires.
A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker had considered Texas for its $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory. The company is also hoping to sell cars in Texas but does not have required franchise dealerships, as state law requires.

When lawmakers are not working on all of the things you hear about — budgets, education, immigration and so on — they are often refereeing fights between businesses. And some of next year's battles are already shaping up.

Van de Putte: Stop Diverting Transportation Money

A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of  FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.
A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, pledged on Wednesday to stop using money intended for transportation for other programs. 

High-Speed Rail Firm's Chief: Public Meetings Set for Proposal

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.

A proposed high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston, already the subject of a federal environmental review, will soon be the focus of public meetings in Texas, according to the president of the firm looking to build the line.