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Heiligenstein: Using Cutting Edge Technology to Beat Traffic


Traffic can be impossible. Loss of productivity and countless working hours lost is what motivates the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in developing transport solutions to reduce traffic in the Travis and Williamson counties. Established in 2002, CTRMA has successfully managed traffic through the use of road toll operations. Its mission is not to eliminate congestion in its entirety; this is next to impossible. The authority uses varying toll rates to regulate the demand and supply of vehicle users in an intricate balance that will even out the traffic flow.

According to Crunchbase, Mike Heiligenstein is the current executive director of Central Mobility. He has been at the transportation agency from 2002 and has been pivotal in the growth of the authority into its current national status. It is during his tenure that the Modal Road 183A was constructed between Leander and Cedar Park. The Central Authority operates by constructing roads or improving existing non-toll rates to enable them to accommodate more road users. Mr. Heiligenstein, through the agency also constructed the road toll USA 290 between Manor and Austin.

Mike Heiligenstein embraces cutting edge technology. The transport authority uses video and electronic toll billing models. This was after a feasibility study in support of easing the number of road users Okayed its use. Mike Heiligenstein has increased investments in non-road user’s facilities and ventures including; improving facilities for cyclist and pedestrians. A survey conducted by the transport body revealed that there are not less than 900,000 lone drivers. It, therefore, is understood that carpooling is an approach that Mike is promoting to road users.

Being tech savvy, Mike Heiligenstein has in the past partnered with app developers such as Metropolia, who offer real-time updates on the traffic situation, and Carma, an app for carpooling. The Central Authority is looking at introducing smart roads constructed using fiber lines. These roads are a future project that aims at detecting cars going up the wrong exit.

Heiligenstein is an alumnus of the University of Texas with a degree in governance; he also holds a master’s in business administration from the same institution. He chairs several boards including; Tunnel and Turns Pipe Association, the Council of Austin- San Antonio’s Corridor. He is a member of the Texas Transport Institute and the International Bridge.

Always passionate about infrastructure, Mr. Heiligenstein has had an illustrative 30-year career in government. He previously worked for the Round Rock City Council; he also served as the commissioner of Williamson County.

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