TRANSPORTATION

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.

 

Austin Rail Plan Not Seen as Congestion Solution

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Capital Metro's current MetroRail line runs between downtown Austin and the northern suburb of Leander. A proposed 2014 bond measure could go toward expanding light rail in Austin if voters give the plan the green light.
Capital Metro's current MetroRail line runs between downtown Austin and the northern suburb of Leander. A proposed 2014 bond measure could go toward expanding light rail in Austin if voters give the plan the green light.

As the debate over rail projects takes place on state and local levels, Austin voters will weigh in this year on a ballot measure that would allow the city to borrow money toward expanding its light-rail network. But nobody is touting the plan as a clear solution to the city's congestion.

SpaceX, Blue Origin Compete for NASA Contract

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, right, at the return of the Dragon spacecraft with NASA chief Charles Bolden, left, on June 13, 2012.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, right, at the return of the Dragon spacecraft with NASA chief Charles Bolden, left, on June 13, 2012.

Four private space travel companies, including two with ties to Texas, are competing for a NASA contract that will have them ferrying astronauts to space "like a taxi." NASA will announce the winner of the contract in the coming weeks.

The Bullet Train That Could Change Everything

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.

In Texas, a new model for high-speed rail is hurtling forward. If successful, it could mark a turning point for the development of public transportation around the country.

TxDOT Plans to Research Futuristic Tech

Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Phil Wilson gets a ride in a Google self-driving car on Feb. 19, 2013, in front of the Hilton Austin.
Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Phil Wilson gets a ride in a Google self-driving car on Feb. 19, 2013, in front of the Hilton Austin.

The Texas Department of Transportation plans to partner with universities to research futuristic technologies like self-driving cars, hover cars and embedding solar panels in roads.

Central Texas Access to Airport PreCheck is on the Way

The San Antonio International Airport has TSA PreCheck lines, but there is no place in the city — or in Austin — to apply for the program.
The San Antonio International Airport has TSA PreCheck lines, but there is no place in the city — or in Austin — to apply for the program.

Many Texans have wondered why no application centers for the TSA’s PreCheck program exist within 100 miles of Austin or San Antonio. But the agency is now taking steps to change that.

Report: SH 130 Toll Road Company in Danger of Default

The 85 mph speed limit on a portion of the SH 130 toll road between Austin and Seguin is the highest speed limit in the nation.
The 85 mph speed limit on a portion of the SH 130 toll road between Austin and Seguin is the highest speed limit in the nation.

The company behind the 41-mile southern portion of State Highway 130 is low on cash and scrambling to get an upcoming payment deadline waived, according to a report released this week by Moody’s Investors Service.

Firm Proposes Building Private Toll Road Near Dallas

Traffic on I-30 on the eastern side of Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall on June 6. This stretch of highway has become known for bad rush-hour traffic, which is expected to worsen as the area population grows. A proposed private tollway running between Greenville and Wylie looks to relieve that congestion.
Traffic on I-30 on the eastern side of Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall on June 6. This stretch of highway has become known for bad rush-hour traffic, which is expected to worsen as the area population grows. A proposed private tollway running between Greenville and Wylie looks to relieve that congestion.

The Texas Turnpike Corporation of Dallas wants to build a private toll road in an area northeast of Dallas. If built, the road would be the only private toll road in the state and one of the only such facilities in the country.