How The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Improves Traffic Flow

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) is tasked with improving mobility in Austin, Texas, and the suburbs that surround it. One of the big challenges in the area in regards to transportation is that much of the growth in the population is in the suburbs while the job growth is mostly in Austin. Getting people into and out of the city in an efficient manner is what the CTRMA is all about.

The Executive Director of the CTRMA, Mike Heiligenstein, has said that they have a number of mobility solutions. This sometimes means building a road, other times it means better incorporating technology into the transportation system, while at other times it means better mass transit solutions. He added that the heart of the mission at the CTRMA is to deliver innovative solutions to decrease traffic congestion and commute times.

The CTRMA has built a number of toll roads in the area, which includes Travis and Williamson counties. These have helped to greatly reduce road capacity in areas that have experienced rapid growth. They are also building MoPac Express Lanes which rely on variable tolling. Mike Heiligenstein has said that these lanes incorporate very sophisticated technology which monitors speeds and traffic patterns in order to keep these lanes operating optimally. However, this doesn’t mean his agency can entirely get rid of congestion, they can only mitigate it.Learn more :

In the future, the CTRMA will start making the roads themselves smarter. They will have fiber lines embedded in them so that upcoming cars can each talk to the road to find out about the best way of getting where the people in the car need to go. They will also be releasing a smartphone app that will incorporate the agency’s traffic monitoring system which will tell users the best routes to take to their destination, plus another app that will help people create carpooling opportunities.Learn more :

The CTRMA is a public agency that was founded in 2002. It has a seven-member Board of Directors which is made up of three officials from each of the counties plus Mike Heiligenstein overseeing the agency. They have been given the authority to put in place transportation systems including transit services, roads, seaports, and airports. In order to pay for their projects they can issue revenue bonds as well as charge tolls and taxes in order to pay off the bonds they issue.Learn more :


Tackling Transportation Challenges in Williamson County

Ways in which technology is transforming the face of transportation in the Austin region and across the world took center stage at the Williamson County Growth Summit. The 19th Austin Business Journal’s annual event was held at Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center. The panel discussion was composed of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Executive Director, Mike Heiligenstein, Uber Technologies Inc. Texas External Affairs Director Leandre Johns and RideScout LLC founder Joseph Kopser. Also in attendance was Jared Ficklin, a transportation products designer with ArgoDesign who has suggested an aerial gondola system for Central Austin.


Speaking at the event, ArgoDesign’s Jared Ficklin emphasized that buildings and land use codes need to remain flexible to cater for future transportation needs. Ficklin pointed out that with the emergence of autonomous vehicles, there will be a need for parking garages of the future.


Uber’s Leandre Johns noted that commuters in the Austin region needed a first- and last-mile solution to complement the available public transport. Ridesharing companies like Uber were bridging this gap by offering commuter services to get passengers on and off public transit. Johns added that these businesses could work together to create subsidies which will help the rider and the transit agency.


While noting that new technologies like driverless vehicles and ride sharing apps could dramatically change transportation infrastructure, Heiligenstein emphasized that the Austin area needs to invest more in growing its transportation capacity through the introduction of smarter roads. He commended Williamson for its great work in structuring its infrastructure and called for an expansion of the available capabilities to cater for more people. Heiligenstein called for the remaining corridors to be made smarter, more efficient and technically advanced.


The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) is a government authority created in 2002. The Authority works independently to design a modern, regional transportation network in Williamson and Travis counties. The Mobility Authority is managed by a board of directors composed of seven members. The chairman is appointed by the Governor while the Williamson and Travis counties Commissioners Courts appoints three members each to the board.



Mike Heiligenstein is an expert in transportation issues; his other board services include International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association where he serves as the president. Before being appointed to the Mobility Authority, Mike Heiligenstein served as a public officer in Williamson County for over two decades.

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