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CTRMA – Managing The Transit Infrastructure Development In Texas And Its Suburbs

Texas for long has lagged behind other states regarding its infrastructure development, especially when talking about transit infrastructure. Most of the development and discussion in regards to transportation infrastructure development revolves around its capital, Austin.

It has put the development of other parts of the state on the back seat and is now becoming one of the leading causes of concern among the people as well as the transportation authority. The suburbs of Austin, even though fast developing and moving ahead economically, the lack of proper transit infrastructure is pulling back the progress.

A summit was held in Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference Center recently to address the issue of transportation infrastructure development and discuss how the evolving technology can help develop transit infrastructure in the state.

It was attended by high profile dignitaries from state transport agencies and private transportation sectors, such as Jared Ficklin of Agro Designs, Mike Heiligenstein of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Uber Technologies, Leandre Johns, Director of Texas External Affairs, RideScout LLC’s Joseph Kosper, and many others. The discussion revolved around how technology can be integrated with the improving the road networks in Austin and surrounding developing counties.

According to Mobility Authority, Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director of CTRMA, said that even though the latest innovative services of ride sharing and others can be instrumental, the focus should be to develop a network of smart roads across the state to accommodate the ever increasing transportation capacity.

The manufacturing units and industries need road networks before they can come to the state and invest which would boost the state’s economy and create job opportunities. However, shortcomings in the transportation development have put many events to halt and scared away many of the interest companies looking to invest in Texas. It is particularly hampering the growth of suburbs surrounding Austin and others towns, such as Travis and Williamson.

Mike Heiligenstein has been with Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which is an independent state agency, dealing with transportation development and toll roads building and management, for close to 20 years. He monitors numerous projects handled by CTRMA and currently serves as the Executive Director of the agency.

He is the founding member of Envision Central Texas Project and Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council. As a public official, his primary focus has always been on infrastructure development, even when he served as Williamson County Commissioner and as Round Rock City Council Member. He has managed the building of 183A toll road and its extension, which is a billion dollar project.

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