During the Williamson County Growth Summit, transit professionals discussed on the various ways of solving the transportation challenges faced by the suburban communities of the region. It was held on Thursday at Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center. The discussion panel, which was led by Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw, included the executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), Mike Heiligenstein. The others were the founder of Ridescout LLC, Joseph Kopser, Texas External Affairs Director of Uber Technologies, Leandre Johns, and transportation product designer behind the idea of an aerial gondola system for Central Austin, Jared Ficklin of ArgoDesign. Unlike other Austin Business Journal’s Annual Williamson County Summits that focus on the city itself, the 19th edition focused on how technology is changing the transportation industry in Austin and across the Globe.
Commenting on emerging technologies of autonomous vehicles and ridesharing apps, Mike said that they could transform the transportation infrastructure but the adoption rate would be slow and tedious. He insisted that investing in the growth of Austin’s transportation capacity by building smarter roads and adding more buses would be the surest way to solve the transportation needs of a rapidly growing population. Responding on how policymakers should prepare for the future transportation needs, Ficklin insisted on the need of building and land-use codes to remain flexible. For instance, current building codes cannot accommodate packing garage needs of the future, which will require multiple levels with charging stations and service stations on opposite levels.
He explained that the model would make it easy for people to get to the bus stop. The director pointed out on the need to partner with such ridesharing companies to come up with subsidies that benefit both the rider and the transit agency. This information was originally mentioned on bizjournal.com as outlined in the link below http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/12/15/transit-experts-offer-solutions-for-williamson.html
About Mike Heiligenstein
Mike Heiligenstein has inhibited professional and world-class leadership skills at Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in Austin, Texas. Since its inception in 2002, the independent government agency has focused on designing a modern regional transportation network for Central Texas. They deliver planned and multi-modal systems of transportation that are designed to meet the diverse mobility needs of the rapid-growing region. Some of their projects include 183A, the first all-electronic, cashless toll collection project, the 290 toll and the ongoing construction of Express Lanes on Mopac (Loop 1). Currently, he is a president at International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
On Thursday, 15th of December, 2016, the annual Williamson County Growth Summit was held. A good opportunity was taken at this summit to discuss the weaknesses of the transportation system of the suburban area, Williamson County. The event was held at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center. The panel of experts presents at this significant event comprised of Mike Heiligenstein, Jared Ficklin, Joseph Kopser and Leandre Johns. They discussed how the revolution of technology can bring about a big positive change within the entire world along with the Williamson County sector in Austin, Texas, USA. They attempted to reach a conclusion on how the issue of traffic congestion that proves to be the leading issue for the region, can be resolved.
Focus of the Latest Williamson County Growth Summit
Mike Heiligenstein initiated the discussion in the summit by addressing the need of expanding the transportation capacity for the rapidly growing population of Williamson County. He highlighted that this could be done by modifying the roads within the suburb. He states that the modification or construction of the roads must be done through clever designing. With the innovation of adeptly designed technological devices such as self-driving cars coming into the picture of the American transit system, new modifications are required to accommodate the increasing population while welcoming new technology. He mentions that efficiently designed vehicle parking garages will always be required to save space and serve transport services. Furthermore, Jared Ficklin stated that the structural designs and codes need to be flexible at all times to meet with the technological changes. Therefore, Heiligenstein and Leandre Johns agreed that the mobility of the rising population in Austin needs to be solved first through modifications of the transport routes before adopting the technological changes.
Mike Heiligenstein’s Influential Role within the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was created in 2002 to be a self-governing administration appointed by the government. This government agency was created to oversee the transit system in Williamson and Travis counties. It is mainly assigned to solve transport issues and diminish congestion difficulties so that the citizens residing in the area can have better mobility and an enhanced quality of living. In 2015, Heiligenstein was able to create a partnership between the agency and Metropia to bring to the citizens a smartphone traffic application. The application functions through integration with a traffic monitoring system. Its main purpose is to aid commuters in discovering real-time alternative routes during traffic congestions for their own convenience.
Follow him on Facebook