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March 1TH, by Jason Tiemeier, No Comments

Transportation is Key to Austin’s Continued Success

Austin, Texas Mayor Lee Leffingwell expressed a very optimistic outlook on Austin’s future in his last State of the City Address. The Mayor cited how the unemployment rate is lower than the state and national average. He also mentioned how incentives brought two huge technology giants to the city—Apple and Facebook—which created 8,000 new jobs and more than $550 million in new investments to the community.

Leffingwell also commented on the new University of Texas medical school, saying it will change healthcare and the economy in Austin.

“In its 174 year history, the state of our city has never, ever been stronger, and it’s getting stronger every single day,” said Leffingwell. However, amidst his positivity, he cautioned that the city’s prosperity hinges on transportation. An estimated 110 people move to the Austin metropolitan area every day, bringing with them 70 new cars on the road. The traffic crisis is a real threat. The mayor said Austin must invest now in a real multi-modal mass transit system which he coined as “rail or fail.”

“I think it’s safe to say that the next recommendation will likely be for the first phase of an urban rail system through Central Austin,” said Leffingwell. Austin’s director of transportation, Robert Spillar, says the city has been studying this and will have a recommendation for investment around May. “Whether that be Metro Rapid type bus service improvements or rail, that’s what we’ll be taking to council,” said Spillar.

The city of Austin is booming…the economy, the population, employment opportunities, business growth, and business development. The city council is taking steps to secure Austin’s prosperity by addressing key issues such as traffic congestion and commute times.

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