Tribpedia: Transportation

Tribpedia

Texas requires an extensive and expensive system of highways, railways and roads.

Building new roads and maintaining old ones has become increasingly costly, and efforts to keep that balance have been politically perilous.

The Trans-Texas Corridor — an attempt to pull together a master plan for the next stage of transportation building in the state — fell to political foes who objected ...

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The Jefferson Rail Transload Terminal at the Port of Beaumont on April 8, 2014. The terminal offloads oil from rail cars onto barges bound for refineries on the Gulf Coast. (Photo by Michael Stravato)
The Jefferson Rail Transload Terminal at the Port of Beaumont on April 8, 2014. The terminal offloads oil from rail cars onto barges bound for refineries on the Gulf Coast. (Photo by Michael Stravato)

Railroads Filling Void as Oil Pipeline Falls Short

As drillers produce millions of barrels of crude oil in shale plays in Texas and the Midwest, railroad companies are finding booming business in transporting the oil to Gulf Coast refineries.

Passengers board the Metro ArlingtonXpress at the University of Texas at Arlington bus stop on March 31, 2014.
Passengers board the Metro ArlingtonXpress at the University of Texas at Arlington bus stop on March 31, 2014.

Afraid It Was Missing the Boat, Arlington Tries the Bus

Arlington, which had been one of the largest U.S. cities without public transportation, launched its first commuter bus line on a trial basis last year. Supporters are optimistic that the service will prove popular enough to continue beyond 2015.

Texas Governor Rick Perry attends groundbreaking ceremony for Teletón USA CRIT children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas, on August 6th, 2013.
Texas Governor Rick Perry attends groundbreaking ceremony for Teletón USA CRIT children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas, on August 6th, 2013.

Perry Lobbying for A&M Official to Take Over TxDOT

Gov. Rick Perry is encouraging state transportation commissioners to tap Joe Weber, Texas A&M’s vice president of student affairs, to be the next executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Klyde Warren Park, a five-acre space built on a platform over a freeway in Dallas, was completed in 2012, providing a lively, walkable link between downtown and neighboring Uptown.
Klyde Warren Park, a five-acre space built on a platform over a freeway in Dallas, was completed in 2012, providing a lively, walkable link between downtown and neighboring Uptown.

In Sprawling Texas, Walkability Gains a Toehold

Advocates for more pedestrian-friendly urban cores and communities say interest in making Texas cities more walkable is on the rise — a shift spurred in part by changing demographics and the state’s growing population.

A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker has named Texas one of four finalists to house a $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory.
A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker has named Texas one of four finalists to house a $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory.

Regulations Could Harm Texas' Bid for Tesla Plant

Tesla, a manufacturer of high-end electric cars, has named Texas one of four finalists to house its planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory. But the state's strict auto dealership laws could hurt its chances, company officials say.

More than 20 years ago, Texas TGV was approved to build a high-speed rail line that would connect Dallas and Houston. It was projected to carry millions of passengers. But the "Texas Supertrain" project never secured the necessary funding and collapsed.
More than 20 years ago, Texas TGV was approved to build a high-speed rail line that would connect Dallas and Houston. It was projected to carry millions of passengers. But the "Texas Supertrain" project never secured the necessary funding and collapsed.

Bullet Train Failed Once, but It's Back for Another Go

As Texas Central Railway works to develop a high-speed rail line connecting Dallas and Houston, its leaders say they expect to avoid the pitfalls that killed a similar project more than 20 years ago.

Eddie Posselt (right) works on a 18 Wheeler tanker truck's windshield with his employee Danilo Estaco (inside truck) on Dec. 12, 2013. Posselt moved to Carrizo Springs last year to work in the oil fields, ended up launching Windshields Etc in July. He now runs the business full time.  The oil drilling boom in South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale has also led to a boom in windshield repair and replacement.
Eddie Posselt (right) works on a 18 Wheeler tanker truck's windshield with his employee Danilo Estaco (inside truck) on Dec. 12, 2013. Posselt moved to Carrizo Springs last year to work in the oil fields, ended up launching Windshields Etc in July. He now runs the business full time. The oil drilling boom in South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale has also led to a boom in windshield repair and replacement.

Oil Boom's Unexpected Byproduct: Broken Windshields

A surge in truck traffic related to the drilling boom in parts of Texas has resulted in a smaller boom in the windshield replacement industry. 

 

TXDOT chief Phil Wilson at an Aug. 29, 2013 board meeting in Austin. Wilson has been tapped to lead the Lower Colorado River Authority.
TXDOT chief Phil Wilson at an Aug. 29, 2013 board meeting in Austin. Wilson has been tapped to lead the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Phil Wilson Named New LCRA General Manager

The Lower Colorado River Authority's board has tapped Phil Wilson, the Texas Department of Transportation's executive director, to be the agency's new general manager.

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.

Report: Make Transportation Technology a Priority

Transportation officials see emerging technologies playing a role in helping address issues like traffic safety. A new report stresses the need for the state to consider partnering with the private sector on certain initiatives. 

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.

South Texas County Gets Off TxDOT's Gravel List

La Salle County officials have agreed to pay a portion of the repair costs and all the maintenance costs for 20 miles of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation had intended to convert to gravel.

A driver maneuvers around a badly damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, TX on Firday, August 16, 2013
A driver maneuvers around a badly damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, TX on Firday, August 16, 2013

Gravel Plan on Pause, but Fallout Continues

Texas Weekly

Debate over the Texas Department of Transportation's controversial plan to convert some damaged asphalt roads to gravel has come up in a fight between the House and Senate to boost the agency's funding.

The Colorado River is shown east of Longhorn Dam in Austin. The capital city is almost entirely reliant on the Colorado River and its system of dammed reservoirs for water,
The Colorado River is shown east of Longhorn Dam in Austin. The capital city is almost entirely reliant on the Colorado River and its system of dammed reservoirs for water,

Expensive State Troubles and Thrifty Voters

Texas voters said yes to a big-ticket proposition for water projects and no to some other spending items, leaving a question for policymakers with a to-do list full of expensive problems: Is the public willing to go along?

TribuneFest: All Transportation is Local

At the Trib's Oct. 17 symposium on transportation at Southern Methodist University, Aman Batheja sat down with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins; Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes; John Langmore, vice chairman of Austin's Capitol Metropolitan Transportation Authority board; and former U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, chief of public engagement for VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio.