Texas could spend federal funds meant to cut carbon emissions on highway projects
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act required Texas’ transportation agency to create a carbon reduction strategy to get $641 million federal dollars. Critics say the plan is unlikely to meaningfully cut greenhouse gasses from the state’s massive transportation sector.
To fight climate change and housing shortage, Austin becomes largest U.S. city to drop parking-spot requirements
Affordable housing advocates, developers and climate activists say rules requiring a minimum amount of parking spaces on new projects drives up construction costs and enables a dependency on vehicles to get around town.
One of Texas’ oldest towns needs $200 million for upgrades. It’s asking voters to approve $44 million this fall.
The East Texas town is one of 218 local governments asking voters to approve new debt for repairs and upgrades to city infrastructure. Local leaders say inflation isn’t helping them keep up with capital needs.
Photo of Lamar Consolidated ISD students forced to sit in bus aisles because of crowding causing stir
If you’re a parent, you know how hard it can be at times to get your kids to just sit down and have a seat. That problem is being amplified on Lamar Consolidated ISD school buses because there aren’t enough seats to go around. Some kids say they’re forced to sit on the floor of the buses.
Texans should avoid travel in regions hit with icy weather as power grid expected to meet demand
School closures and hazardous road conditions are expected throughout a large portion of Texas, according to forecasts. State officials caution Texans about local power outages but expect the grid to stay up.
In a Texas federal courtroom, families of those killed in Boeing 737 MAX crashes finally have their voices heard
The airplane manufacturer was accused of fraud for misleading federal regulators about the safety of its jets, but stayed out of court by making a deal with prosecutors. Victims’ families say they were cut out of the process.
Texans are dying on state highways every day — especially in rural “dead zones”
Fatal crashes in rural areas accounted for 51% of Texas’ 4,489 traffic fatalities in 2021, even though only about 10% of the state’s population lives in a rural area, according to data from the state’s department of transportation.
‘It’s discrimination’: Outcry from parents of CCISD special needs students over end to some daycare transportation
Several parents with special needs students in Clear Creek ISD are upset with the district over what they say is a change in transportation for their children to and from a facility that provides specialized care.
After a decade of hype, Dallas-Houston bullet train developer faces a leadership exodus as land acquisition slows
Texas Central has made little visible progress financing the high-speed rail project and acquiring property for the route in recent years. The company maintains that the bullet train is still being developed but declined to provide details about the path forward.
A “cloned” 18-wheeler made it easy for smugglers to pass through the border, say state officials vowing to crack down
A federal agency estimates that about 75 trucks are reported nationally each year with copied or stolen state and federal ID numbers, which industry experts say is likely a significant undercount.
TDCJ to resume bus transportation after inmate escaped custody before killing family of 5
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) will resume inmate transportation starting Monday, June 13 after temporarily stopping it to investigate how a convicted murderer escaped from a bus last month and allegedly killed a man and his four grandsons.
METRO undergoes ‘makeover’ with universally accessible bus stops
METRO celebrated the completion of 2,500 universally accessible bus stops early in May, marking a huge milestone for transportation equality. METRO is committed to upgrading all of its 9,000 bus stops to be universally accessible -- this means when riders choose to use public transportation, their experience will be safer, more comfortable, and they will have better access to health care, school, and work.
International trade halted at Texas border crossings as truckers protest Greg Abbott’s new inspections
Commercial traffic at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge stopped Monday and a similar protest affected traffic into and out of El Paso. The blockades could impact the flow of produce to restaurants and grocery stores.
Analysis: A swelling Texas treasury gives 2022 hopefuls room for big ideas
As the political season starts, the contestants got an unexpected bit of good news: The state comptroller says the next Legislature will start with almost $25 billion in the state treasury. Expensive campaign promises just got a lot easier to make.
U.S. Sens. John Cornyn, Ted Cruz vote against infrastructure bill that could give Texas more than $30 billion
The Senate approved a $1 trillion, bipartisan bill that also earmarks money for broadband internet access. It’s not yet known how much money set aside for the country’s aging electricity infrastructure could go to Texas’ main power grid.
Texas could give landowners more say in eminent domain negotiations under bill sent to Greg Abbott’s desk
After failing last session, lawmakers finalized a bill — described as a “delicate compromise” — that provides new protections for landowners in negotiating with companies attempting to seize their land through eminent domain.
Companies could be shielded from liability after commercial vehicle crashes under Texas House bill
HB 19’s sponsors say the bill will prevent excessive lawsuits against companies, but road safety advocates say the bill would make Texas roads more dangerous and prevent victims of crashes from receiving justice.
‘Stop putting cars over people’: Harris County sues TxDOT over I-45 expansion project
HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee made a demand Thursday for TxDOT to take residents and the environment into consideration in the agency’s plan to expand Interstate 45. The $7.5 billion expansion project aims to increase the capacity of the freeway to handle traffic through downtown up Greater Greenspoint. Members of the group know, as Stop TxDOT I-45 applauded the county attorney’s decision to file suit. Good for them,” said STOP TxDOT I-45 founder, Susan Graham. The following is a statement, from TxDOT Executive Director James Bass, on the Harris County lawsuit regarding the NHHIP:“TxDOT has not yet received a copy of the lawsuit.
Ask 2: Can I put my license plate on my windshield?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: Can I put my license plate on my windshield? Texas is a two-plate state, and according to the Texas Transportation Code, vehicles must have a mounted front and back license plate. Drivers with plates on their windshield are not compliant by law as it may obstruct their vision. Your license plates must also be visible by police within 50 feet.
TSU professor considered the ‘father of environmental justice’
KPRC 2′s Re’Chelle Turner spoke to Dr. Robert Bullard, who is known as the “father of environmental justice”. Dr. Robert Bullard is a distinguished professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at TSU. His goal is to make sure everyone has the right to live, work and play in a clean environment. Dr. Bullard said the environmental justice movement also relates to the Black Lives Matter Movement and the death of Houston Native George Floyd. Dr. Bullard said just this month, TSU received a $1.25 million grant from the Houston Endowment to start the Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice.
Over-height truck trapped on bridge structure on Eastex Freeway near I-45, TxDOT says
An over-height heavy truck is stuck on a bridge structure on Eastex Freeway southbound at Jefferson Thursday night, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. HOUSTON – An over-height heavy truck is stuck on a bridge structure on Eastex Freeway southbound at Jefferson Thursday night, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. TxDOT reported multiple main lanes of Interstate 69 Eastex southbound at Interstate 45 were blocked due to the incident. Officials said they responded to the call before 7 p.m.No injuries have been reported. TxDOT crews are on scene.
BCycle booms in Houston with bikeshare program
HOUSTON – Here in Houston, it’s safe to say most of us would like to spend less time sitting in a car. Now, with bike trails becoming even more connected, our city’s bikeshare program – BCycle – is booming. “Currently we have 121 BCycle stations, 800 bikes, 100 e-bikes and more on the way.”The growing number of bikes and stations is a result of growing demand. Unlocking a bike only takes about a minute using the kiosk, or just a few seconds using the BCycle app. For more information on Houston BCycle, click here.
METRO seeing spike in coronavirus cases among workers but most got it away from work, spokesperson says
HOUSTON – Just like the rest of Houston, METRO is seeing a post-holiday-season spike in employees testing positive for the coronavirus. In the middle of the bustling METRO hub in downtown Houston, you will find Lena Heller who wants to help keep the community safe. Since March of last year, 475 of the roughly 4,000 METRO employees have tested positive. AdOf all the positive cases, 228 of the employees had no contact with the public. Meanwhile, METRO wants its riders to know if they’ve been on a bus or train with a coronavirus-positive rider.
Ask 2: How can I get to a voting poll if I don’t have a car?
Question: How can I get to a voting poll if I don’t have a car? Answer: Agencies around town are offering free rides to the polls. The free rides will be offered from Oct. 27-29 and on Nov. 3. BCycleEarly voting is here, and BCycle can get you to your nearest polling location while the lines are still short. Lyft will have 50-percent off one ride up to $10 to any polling location or dropbox using the promo code 2020vote.
Here is some help for families struggling to pay rent
HOUSTON – If you or someone you know is behind on rent and struggling to keep a roof over their family’s heads, let them know about RaiseUp Families. The Houston non-profit organization is looking for more clients to offer a hand up through a 9-month program. If your family is chosen, you will receive help with rent, utilities, transportation and childcare while going through budgeting workshops and counseling. 102 or Rose at 713-973-8083, ext 103 to make an appointment to discuss whether or not the program is a good fit. How you can helpRaise Up Families is holding a virtual event online Wednesday, Oct. 21st from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a silent and live auction you can participate in online.
HISD Transportation finalizing new routes for returning students
HOUSTON – HISD’s transportation services are still finalizing bus routes for riders who plan to return for in-person learning and are preparing to notify parents of assigned routes this week. School bus service will be limited when in-person instruction resumes on Oct. 19 due to physical distancing and its impact on bus capacity. To accommodate the reduced capacity, the district says bus service will be limited to special education, homeless, elementary, and specialty school students. The district said bus service will not be immediately provided to high school students, but later could be if COVID-19 conditions improve and bus capacity increases. “Our goal has always been to provide students with safe and reliable transportation to and from school,” Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said.
By the numbers: Examining disparities within Houston’s transit system
40% of bus riders don’t have a carAccording to LINK Houston’s 2018 “Equity in Transit” report, 40% of local bus riders don’t have a vehicle to help them get around the city. 19% of bus riders use only public transportationThe same report found that 19% of people who ride the bus in Houston are using it as their only mode of transportation. According to a research article titled “Racism has shaped public transit and it’s riddled with inequities” written by Christof Spieler that was published by the Kinder Institute in August, 60% of local bus riders are minority. These services cater to suburban riders -- who drive to a location to catch a bus. Local bus riders have to catch the bus near their home and usually walk to a single stop.
A Texas bus driver retires after 41 years of service, 3M miles and perfect driving record
SAN ANTONIO, TX – A San Antonio-area bus driver is retiring with a perfect record. Raul Chapa has recorded more than 3 million miles and 41 years of service with San Antonio’s VIA Metropolitan Transit, KSAT reported. “A couple of days after his passing, I woke up one night and said ‘life’s too short,’” Chapa told KSAT. The National Safety Council awarded him the “Three Million Mile” Award, for his perfect driving record, with no incidents or accidents during his transportation career, KSAT reported. “Because God was my copilot, it was simple and the next thing, I worked for a company that is outstanding,” Chapa told KSAT.
National Drive Electric Week offers consumers a chance to explore electric car movement
HOUSTON – Today in the United States, there are more than one and a half million electric cars on the road. She was drawn to electric cars because of their fast, nimble handling on the road. View virtual EV test drives or hear EV drivers testimonials during NDEW.... Posted by Drive Electric Events on Thursday, September 17, 2020National Drive Electric Week is an opportunity for consumers to see, touch, drive, and learn more about electric vehicles by interacting with current EV owners. (exclusive automotive sponsor) @ClipperCreek and @ElectrifyAm pic.twitter.com/2sjMUGLnJx — Drive Electric Events (@DriveElecEvents) September 14, 2020Many automakers have been slow to embrace the electric car. For them, moving away from gasoline-powered cars and embracing an electric future can help them avoid becoming, in Sexton’s words, “the Kodak of the automotive world.”National Drive Electric Week runs September 26 – October 4, 2020.
METRO prepares to launch Uptowns new Silver Line
HOUSTON Houston METRO announced their new Silver Line go-date is Sunday, Aug. 23. The line runs from the Northwest Transit Center, traveling on a bus-only flyover bridge that goes over 610 into Post Oak Boulevard. The route continues to the Westpark Lower-Uptown Park Transit Center totaling 5 miles long, with 10 stops along the way, which include eight platforms along Post Oak and then the two transit centers. METRO encourages riders to download their app to pay. To use the Silver Line, itll cost you $1.25, the same as any other service.
Flying taxis in the sky? Uber and Hyundai are working on it
Uber and Hyundai unveiled a flying taxi that may eventually transform your ridesharing trips. Hyundai is the latest big company to announce that it's developing a flying taxi for trips around cities and suburbs. In October, Hyundai appointed Jaiwon Shin, a longtime NASA administrator, to lead its newly created air taxi division. Batteries powering air taxis will need to deliver better range than currently available. Singh, who worked on self-driving cars before shifting to air taxis, says that autonomous flying vehicles are easier to develop in some respects.
Katy ISD approves measures to bring relief to busing needs
KATY, Texas – The Katy Independent School District Board of Trustees approved two measures Monday that it hopes will help improve the transportation of students. “The camera system upgrade will provide the latest in technology and safety measures available in school bus transportation,” said Ted Vierling, Katy’s assistant superintendent of operations. The agreement with GoldStar Transit, a Texas-based transportation company, will service at least 40 bus routes for Katy. GoldStar already provides service to school districts such as Fort Bend ISD, Bastrop ISD, Waco ISD, and Navasota ISD. The GoldStar drivers will go through the same training as Katy ISD bus drivers and the company’s buses will display Katy ISD signage and the equipment will be on level with standards set by the school district for all of its buses.