Meeting Texas transportation needs between 2009 and 2030 will require $315 billion, according to a report adopted by the Texas Transportation Commission February 26.
The Transportation Needs Report by the 2030 Committee focuses on the investment that will be necessary to maintain the pavements and bridges on Texas roadways, to prevent worsening traffic congestion in urban areas, and to ensure rural mobility and safety. The committee based its estimates on several factors, including increased population growth and freight traffic between 2009 and 2030.
"This report demonstrates the tough transportation challenges facing the state of Texas through the next several decades," said Texas Transportation Commission Chair Deirdre Delisi. "TxDOT is ready to work with local and state governments to find innovative solutions that provide Texans with the transportation system they expect. I appreciate the efforts of the 2030 Committee and applaud their hard work and dedication in identifying transportation needs of the future."
The 2030 Committee is comprised of 12 Texas business and civic leaders appointed by Delisi in May 2008. She charged the committee with independently determining the fiscal requirements for the state's future transportation needs. The Committee presented an executive summary of its draft findings to the Texas Transportation Commission in December and posted the draft report on the 2030 Committee website for public comment from January 9 to January 31 prior to finalizing the report.
"Data from communities of all sizes clearly show that transportation is one of the top concerns of Texans," said Dr. C. Michael Walton, chair of the Committee. "In a resource-constrained environment, our state's leaders must make tough financial decisions over the next two decades. Our report provides an independent estimate of the level of transportation need over the next 22 years and urges our leaders to consider the economic and quality of life enhancements that dollars spent on transportation improvements can provide."
Putting the Report Together
The 2030 Committee report provides a comprehensive analysis of estimated transportation needs, anticipated costs in 2008 dollars and resulting benefits from highway maintenance (pavements and bridges), urban mobility and rural mobility and safety. The recommendations do not address specific projects, solutions or funding sources. The analysis is used as a tool to estimate the level of investment needed, but the funding could be used on other transportation modes. The timeframe of the report did not permit an in-depth analysis of other transportation modes that could complement traditional highway capacity, such as public transportation, freight and intercity passenger rail, ports and waterways and airports. However, the report includes an overview of these modes, with the committee's recommendation for further study.
The committee held public hearings in six Texas cities and solicited public comment via e-mail, postal mail and fax. In all, about 180 individuals offered suggestions and comments, including 91 who testified in person during the public hearings. The committee provided guidance and direction to a nationally renowned team of transportation experts who conducted the technical analysis. Team members are from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University; the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Texas at San Antonio.