Armed with evidence of Texas’ massive transportation needs and a looming transportation funding shortfall, State Sen. John Carona — chairman of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee — held a news conference in Austin April 8 to focus attention on the issues.
The State’s transportation needs were identified by the 2030 Committee in a detailed report issued earlier this year. That committee, composed of business leaders and transportation experts from around the State, was formed by State Transportation Commission Chair Deirdre Delisi to provide an independent assessment of the State’s transportation needs out to the year 2030.
Researchers from TTI and the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas served as staff for the Committee. Executive Associate Agency Director Bill Stockton, along with Research Scientist Dave Ellis and Research Engineer Tim Lomax attended the Senate committee hearing and news conference.
“Because TTI played such an instrumental role in assisting the Committee in developing the needs estimates, as well as developing a model to aid in projecting future transportation revenues, they wanted us on hand to answer any detailed questions or provide background information if necessary,” Ellis said. “Sen. Carona held the news conference to reemphasize the need for additional transportation funding.”
In addition, Carona was trying to garner support for his “local options” Senate Bill 855, which gives several large metro areas in Texas the ability to raise additional revenue for transportation projects through local fees and taxes, if approved by voters. The Senate approved the bill April 14, sending the measure to the House.