Brandon Formby Urban Affairs Reporter

Brandon Formby writes about the challenges facing Texas’ largest metro areas as they experience unbridled growth. He joined the Tribune in October 2016 and is the organization’s first reporter based in Dallas. The Texas Tech University graduate spent more than 13 years at The Dallas Morning News, where he covered transportation, local government and politics.

Recent Contributions

"Come and take it": Eminent domain dispute at heart of bullet train battles

Texans Against High Speed Rail Chairman Ben Leman, who is also Grimes County judge, stands for a portrait in the Grimes County Courthouse in Anderson on Feb. 21, 2017.
Texans Against High Speed Rail Chairman Ben Leman, who is also Grimes County judge, stands for a portrait in the Grimes County Courthouse in Anderson on Feb. 21, 2017.

In both courthouses and at the Capitol, opponents of a private company’s plans to build a Dallas-Houston bullet train have zeroed on in the firm's claim that it has the authority to take land by condemnation if necessary.

With money tight, Texas budget writers eyeing billions approved by voters for roads

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

More than a year after Texas voters approved routing billions in state sales taxes to roads and bridges, some lawmakers are questioning whether the first payment of $5 billion should move forward as planned.

Report: Texas bullet train, Dallas-area rail line among Trump's transportation priorities

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 privately funded bullet train between Dallas and Houston and a passenger rail line in North Texas are among a litany of transportation projects considered priorities by President Donald Trump’s transition team, according to The Kansas City Star.

Tens of thousands participate in Texas women's marches

Women and supporters gather at the Texas Capitol for the Women's March on Austin on Jan. 21, 2017.
Women and supporters gather at the Texas Capitol for the Women's March on Austin on Jan. 21, 2017.

The day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, tens of thousands of Texans took part in marches across the state Saturday during Texas’ multiple iterations of the Women’s March on Washington.

Whitmire may avoid some pension votes amid conflict-of-interest concerns

Sen. John Whitmire D-Houston holds up a copy of newspaper with an article regarding CPS on the front page as he questions John Stephen, a consultant hired to give a report on Texas child protective services during an October 26, 2016 Senate Finance Committee hearing
Sen. John Whitmire D-Houston holds up a copy of newspaper with an article regarding CPS on the front page as he questions John Stephen, a consultant hired to give a report on Texas child protective services during an October 26, 2016 Senate Finance Committee hearing

After some Dallas City Council members voiced concerns this week over Whitmire’s work at a law firm whose client list includes city pension fund boards, the Houston Democrat said he would likely abstain from voting on Dallas-specific bills.

Biggest transportation battles of 2016 to continue in the new year

Road crews are prolific in the Midland region following the recent oil boom, when heavy truck traffic obliterated highways.
Road crews are prolific in the Midland region following the recent oil boom, when heavy truck traffic obliterated highways.

After Uber left Austin, state lawmakers are now poised to take up regulations of ride-hailing companies. They may also look at a high-speed rail developer's ability to use eminent domain for a Dallas-Houston bullet train.