Planning our transit future
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Planning our transit future

April 23, 2024

By Staff

AUSTIN—To prepare for the future of transportation in Texas, 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.

Developing the SMTP will allow TxDOT to identify strategies that will address access, connectivity, safety and congestion-relief solutions across the state.

To better understand local and regional needs, 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, these conversations helped gather valuable insights into what Texans need and expect when it comes to transit.

Here's some of what we heard:

  • 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.
  • The feedback and information gathered is critical to the success of the plan.

Ongoing public engagement will continue through virtual town halls, working groups and coordination with TxDOT’s Public Transportation Advisory Committee. The SMTP will also align and coordinate with other long-range transportation plans such as Connecting Texas 2050 and the Statewide Active Transportation Plan, also under development.

TxDOT is committed to creating a plan that proactively addresses the unique mobility needs of a rapidly growing state. To learn more about the Statewide Multimodal Transit Plan, visit TxDOT’s webpage.