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TOPIC: QECB item (1/24 VS, Item 13)

QECB item (1/24 VS, Item 13) 10 months 5 days ago #237

Dear Colleagues,

I am committed to getting transit distributed more broadly in our region, especially into areas where people are migrating out of Austin to find more affordable neighborhoods. I don’t love toll roads but I do see toll revenue as an appropriate funding source for transit. For a variety of predictable reasons, toll revenue for transit is easiest when used on tolled projects (the payer and beneficiary being tightly linked). And between TxDOT and CTRMA (the only tolling entities in Travis County) CTRMA is the warmest to the idea. At this point the CTRMA is warm only to the idea of one-time costs and not to the idea of on-going maintenance and operation of transit. To that end, CTRMA has evinced a willingness to partner with CapMetro on developing park and ride facilities on CTRMA toll projects. Here’s a list of the existing projects in the CTRMA System:
  • 183A
  • 183S
  • 290E
  • MoPac N
  • MoPac S
  • 45SW
  • 71E
Approximately 30% of workers in downtown Austin commute from another county. P&R planned for MoPac would serve these out-of-county commuters and constituents in the farther reaches of Precincts 2 & 3. Of the Pct. 1 CTRMA System projects (183S and 290E), 290E already has a P&R at Manor although CapMetro indicates $9M of upgrades are needed to which the QECBs could be dedicated. There are 3 other projects running the length of Precincts 1 &2 that are likely to have significant CTRMA and CapMetro involvement – 183S, MoKan and IH35. All 3 of these projects should have Rapid Bus and P&R imbedded and should use toll revenue to pay for at least the one-time costs of that transit.

With this larger game in mind, please consider the motion below for the 1/24 QECB agenda item that moves us closer to Tolls for Transit on a Regional P&R System:

Move we dedicate Travis County’s Qualified Energy Conservation Bond (QECB) allocations to development of the CAMPO Regional Park & Ride Plan for the MSA with the understanding that:
  1. Where there is disagreement regarding the environmental standard of review, any P&R projects will submit to the higher environmental standard of review;
  2. Dedication of QECB allocations will be sought from all local entities within the MSA; and
  3. Park & Ride projects in areas with low to moderate opportunity as defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development are given priority in funding and construction to the greatest extent possible.

- SE
Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt
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