In the past, Travis and Williamson counties have been facing major congestion on their roads leading to lots of delay and economic losses. However, things have greatly improved since the inception of the Central Texas regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA). This is a body that was established in 2002. Its objective is to improve transport by creating and implementing a modern regional transport network and thus ease traffic congestion. CTRMA is made up of seven members. The governor appoints the chairperson. Travis and Williamson County commissioner courts appoint three members each. The main source of income for CTRMA is the private sector through sale of investment bonds. It also receives money from the Texas Department of Transportation.
CTRMA has built some major highways in the two counties. These include the 183-A Toll Road in Cedar Park and Leander and the U.S 290 East Toll Road between Austin and Manor. Besides constructing roads, CTRMA has also set up a motorist assistance program called the Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO). This was after CTRMA realized that congestion is mainly caused by motorist who experience minor failures making them stop along the highways. HERO serves motorists who are stranded along the US 183 and interstate 35 highways. It came to the aid of 14480 motorists in 2015.
For further ease of congestion, CTRMA makes use of travel apps. One of these is the CARMA app which seeks to link commuters with drivers to enhance ridesharing and thus reducing the number of vehicles on the roads. Another app; Metropia encourages uses to make off-peak trips this reducing traffic during peak hours. As such, it acknowledges the role of technology in solve transport related challenges.
One of the great gearing powers for CTRMA is its current chairman and executive director Mike Heiligenstein. He has held this position since the inception of CTRMA in 2002. Heiligenstein has an extensive experience in the transport sector having worked in it for quite a long time. Before joining CTRMA he had served as a council member of Round Rock City for 8 years. He was also a county commissioner for Williamson for 15 years. As such, he understands the transportation needs for Travis and Williamson very well and thus ensures that CTRMA satisfies these needs.
Besides CTRMA, Heiligenstein is also on the board of other bodies dealing in transport matters. This include Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Texas Transportation Institute Advisory Council, Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council, International Bridge and Envision Central Texas. Due to his commitment, CTRMA is not shy to reward him. In 2016, he got a $366112 compensation package.