The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was established in 2002 to govern the transportation mechanisms adopted in Travis and Williamson counties. Many residents of Central Texas only know that the CTRMA’s role is to build toll roads and issue toll tags. The truth is that CTRMA’s has several roles besides building roads. As an independently operated government agency, the Regional Mobility Authority operates in compliance with state laws enacted in 2001.
The agency lacks the authority to collect taxes. Its operating revenue was $55,814,033 in the 2015 fiscal year. Money collected as revenue is usually used to build toll roads, expand traffic lanes on roads, and fund other transportation projects. The agency’s assets have tremendously grown to a value of $1.8 billion. Most of CTRMA’s income is generated through the sale of investment bonds on the US stock market. Other funds are generated from public sources such as the Texas Department of Transportation.
CTRMA’s Executive Board
One of the factors that enable CTRMA to stand out from other governmental agencies is its executive board. The board comprises of seven members. The governor usually appoints the chairperson of CTRMA’s executive board. The Williamson Country Commissioners Court usually elects three of these members. Consequently, the Travis County Commissioners Court appoints three other members.
The Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) and Metropia
CTRMA’s flagship product is known as the Highway Emergency Response Operator. The product was developed for stranded motorists who drive along U.S. 183 and Interstate 35. HERO was helpful to over 14,000 stranded motorists in 2015. It helped them in relocating disabled automobiles, changing tires, removing debris from roads, and delivering water to those who are stranded. CTRMA’s professional team also developed Metropia, a unique smartphone app. Its function is to reduce traffic by updating motorists regarding traffic jams and when it is safe to drive. CTRMA’s CARMA, a ridesharing app connects drivers with commuters.
As CTRMA’s executive director, Mike Heiligenstein oversees strategic planning initiatives. He became an executive director after CTRMA’s executive board voted him. He previously held the county commissioner of Williamson County position for 15 years. He also had membership in the Round Rock City Council. Heiligenstein has been a member of the Texas Transportation Institute Advisory Council since 2009. Agencies, such as Envision Central Texas, the Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council and Tunnel and Turnpike Association, have benefited from his leadership abilities.