It has been recognized that the Austin area has a congestion problem and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is working hard to reduce the growing problem. They have built the 183A toll road and the U.S. 290 toll road which has helped the communities and has allowed for the capacity to triple. Mobility Authority is a local agency that has been established by the people of the Williamson and Travis counties.
Mobility Authority is on a mission to improve the road conditions in the Austin area and are good at innovation. The new MoPac Express Lanes will utilize a variable tolling system that will use advanced technology to help manage traffic flow. Congestion cannot be completely eliminated but it can certainly be managed. Having variable tolling rates can help to synchronize supply and demand and thus ensure that traffic flow stays more predictable. Mobility Authority is trying to make sure that the Express Lanes keep moving even when the other lanes are crawling during rush hour.
Mobility Authority has joined forces with Metropia in order to come up with a mobile traffic app that can provide current alternative routes for commuters. They are also working with Carma, a carpooling app that will hopefully encourage commuters to share their ride. There is an astounding percentage of 900,000 empty seats that are on the road every single day and if even half of those seats could be filled, the impact on congestion would be very significant.
The Mobility Authority also builds many Shared Use Paths in order to help accommodate cyclists and pedestrians wherever possible. They work hard to provide dedicated paths and will help to cut down on congestion. The Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) program is also offering to patrol and provide free roadside assistance to assist motorists with problems that could otherwise cause major traffic delays.
Mike Heiligenstein has served the Mobility Authority since 2003 and is the Executive Director. He has seen the company grow form just a startup transportation company to a recognized leader in toll road operations, specifically. He has also seen the company build the 183 A which was its first toll road.
Mike Heiligenstein is a very vocal advocate for bicycle and pedestrian facilities and has worked very hard to implement them whenever possible. He has been involved in many transportation projects such as major parkland projects and the Brushy Creek Regional Trail.