May 10, 2024 - TRA Newswire -

In 2023, Texans traveled more than 4 million miles each day using public transit. That number includes buses, light rail, regional rail,  intercity passenger rail and yes, even on public ferries.

As our state’s population and economy continue to grow, TxDOT is developing a Statewide Multimodal Transit Plan, which will take a comprehensive look at current and emerging forms of public transportation and the intersection between transit and active transportation.

The SMTP will lay the foundation for future transit plans by supporting local and regional public transportation plans, uncovering gaps and opportunities, and developing strategies to meet future challenges facing a growing state.

Here's some of what TxDOT has heard so far:

  • People expressed that they would like the plan to consider inter-regional connectivity, specifically connecting west, north and southwest Texas communities to larger cities like Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
  • Citizens would be more open to using public transit if there were more service hours, more service locations, improved vehicles and enhanced passenger waiting areas.
  • Overall, people believe that transit is necessary for communities to thrive but noted being unsure of how to use transit, reliability, access to more locations and safety as barriers to using transit.
  • Transit riders prioritized getting to work, job-seeking, shopping and running errands as top trip purposes. Equally important was heading to social and recreational activities.
  • Residents want to know more about transit options in their local community.

To fully understand Texans’ needs, TxDOT wants to hear from you. To provide your feedback on the Statewide Multimodal Transit Plan and sign up to receive updates, click on this link: Feedback & Email Update  Tell them what's lacking in urban, regional and intercity rail services and how you would use rail if it was available.

TxDOT needs to hear from you why urban, regional and intercity passenger rail is critical for a growing state like ours. 

TxDOT spoke with Texans about what's important to them when it comes to public transportation in the areas where they live and work.  Through public outreach in the fall of 2023, TxDOT visited rural and urban areas, covering 155 out of Texas’ 254 counties. Talking with people who do or do not use transit and with various backgrounds, the conversations helped gather valuable insights into what Texans need and expect when it comes to transit.

The SMTP aligns with other ongoing statewide planning efforts including the Active Transportation Plan and Connecting Texas 2050, aiming to identify actions necessary to increase mobility and connectivity, account for anticipated population and economic growth, and address congestion through 2050. 

The SMTP will identify needs, gaps, and actions that increase mobility and connectivity options for all Texans, support economic development, and address congestion in regional and intercity corridors through 2050. It will be inclusive of all current and emerging forms of public transportation, supporting technologies, and intersections with other modes.

Your input could mean good news in the future for urban, regional or corridor-wide passenger rail service.