May 30, 2024 - TRA Newswire -

With an assist from extensive public input, TxDOT is crafting a statewide, long-range transportation plan to meet the transportation needs of Texas for the next 25 years. That includes making urban, regional and intercity passenger rail part of a complete transportation system for the state.

If you want to make your views heard, there is a deadline coming up fast. The public comment window for the Connecting Texas 2050 draft is open from May 10 to June 9, 2024.

The plan — Connecting Texas 2050 — considers all modes of transportation, including roadways, pedestrian and bicycle paths, transit, freight and passenger rail, airports, waterways and seaports.

A critical component of this new draft plan was feedback TxDOT heard from people, companies and agencies through an extensive public involvement period in 2023. TxDOT gathered input about what transportation challenges and needs exist in different regions of Texas and how those needs can be met.

Nearly 31% of people who responded to the statewide survey said the state transportation budget should allocate at least 20% for passenger/commuter rail service.

Now, TxDOT is asking for public input again to help to review the draft plan, which can be found at 

You only have until June 9 to submit your public comments. 

(Editor's note: Of all the color photos shown above, not a single one shows a passenger rail service. At least a freight train is pictured. Shame on TxDOT!)

During TxDOT’s previous public engagement, Texans made clear they want safer, more accessible and affordable transportation options, and emphasized a desire to enhance public transit.

In addition, there were concerns about the environment, including extreme weather, air quality, traffic noise and animal crossings.

Texans want TxDOT to plan for future growth, including maintaining current roadways, relieving congestion, improving public health, preparing for technology like electric vehicles, and enhancing sidewalks, trails and paths for walking and biking accessibility.

In addition to hearing from the public, TxDOT consulted its advisory committees, local districts and external partner agencies. Priorities for these entities include those stated above, plus addressing freight congestion, the truck parking shortage, and connecting rural communities.

They also emphasized the need to prepare for growing technological advancements by increasing broadband capacity, developing electric vehicle infrastructure and corridors, and leveraging technology for autonomous vehicles.

The statewide, long-range transportation plan draft identifies the following goals:

  • Safety: Plan, build and maintain a safe and secure transportation system for all users.
  • Preservation: Maintain and preserve transportation infrastructure and resources to achieve a state of good repair and mitigate asset deterioration.
  • Mobility: Address congestion by improving efficiency, resilience and reliability.
  • Connectivity: Improve and enhance multimodal connectivity at the local, regional, statewide, national and international levels.
  • Economic vitality: Develop transportation systems that support the movement of people and goods to enhance quality of life and promote personal and statewide economic growth.
  • Stewardship: Continue the responsible and efficient use of federal, state and local fiscal and natural resources.

The draft can be reviewed online at 

or at your local TxDOT District office, and at the TxDOT Headquarters Stassney Campus in Austin. Feedback can be submitted through an online comment form, email, written mail and voicemail through June 9, 2024. This is the final public comment period for Connecting Texas 2050.