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Strategic Goal: Optimize System Performance

Develop and operate an integrated transportation system that provides reliable and accessible mobility while enabling economic growth. The Optimize System Performance goal includes the following objectives:

  • Mitigate congestion.
  • Enhance connectivity and mobility.
  • Improve the reliability of our transportation system.
  • Facilitate the movement of freight and international trade
  • Foster economic competitiveness through infrastructure investments.

Click on the measures and highlights related to this strategic goal below to see more information about them.

Description: Average traffic congestion and travel time on Texas roadways.

How is it measured? The optimal value for all indices is 1.0, which means traffic is flowing at the posted speed limit. A score of 1.5 means 30 minutes should be planned for a 20-minute trip during free-flow travel (30 minutes divided by 20 minutes).

The Urban Congestion Index represents the total time that should be allowed to ensure on-time arrival for an average trip (for passenger vehicles and commercial trucks) within urban areas (areas with a population greater than 50,000 people).

The Reliability Index is similar to the Congestion Index. The distinction is that it represents how much total time should be allowed to ensure (with 95 percent probability) an on-time arrival. The Reliability Index is related to three other performance measures:

  • The Urban Reliability Index is calculated in areas with a population greater than 50,000 people.
  • The Rural Reliability Index is calculated in areas with fewer than 50,000 people.
  • The Truck Reliability Index is calculated for urban and rural areas using only commercial trucks.

Note: All measures above include interstate, freeway, arterial and collector roads.

Why these matter? Transportation affects every aspect of our daily lives. The amount of time we spend in congestion is time spent away from family and friends. Tracking travel times across Texas helps identify priority areas for our projects aimed at reducing the amount of time spent in congestion and improving overall reliability.

What are the results? The congestion and reliability indexes all remained stable from 2018 to 2019.

Description: Number of miles traveled by vehicles (passenger and commercial truck) on Texas roadways.

How is it measured? Vehicle Miles Traveled is the total mileage traveled by passenger vehicles and commercial trucks on Texas roadways in a year.

Why this matters? The total vehicle mileage on our highway system reflects population and economic growth, as well as driver behavior. It directly influences the congestion and reliability indices, which are performance measures tracked by TxDOT.

What are the results? More vehicle miles were traveled on Texas roadways in 2019 than in 2018.

Description: Number of hours of delay per driver per year on Texas roadways.

How is it measured? This measure estimates the annual delay per person in the state. It is the ratio of a) total annual hours of delay for all vehicles on Texas roadways to b) the estimated population of Texas, according to the Texas Demographic Center.

This measure includes interstate, freeway, arterial and collector roads.

Why this matters? The highway system in Texas serves the growing needs of the traveling public. Hours of delay on Texas roadways incurs time and cost for businesses and the general population. Tracking the delay helps identify areas of improvement for relieving bottlenecks and enhancing the efficiency of the transportation system.

What are the results? Texans experienced nearly the same number of hours of delay in 2019 as in 2018.

Each day, Texas grows by 1,100 people on average. According to the Texas Demographic Center, our metro population is expected to double by 2050. This rapid population growth means more vehicles on Texas roads and increased congestion.

In 2015, Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas Transportation Commission to create a focused initiative to identify and address the state’s most congested chokepoints and work with transportation planners to get new roads built swiftly and effectively.

In response, the Transportation Commission introduced the Texas Clear Lanes initiative to help provide congestion relief. This effort targets the Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth areas, where 65% of the state’s population lives and 92 of Texas’ 100 most congested roads are located.

With additional funding from voter approved constitutional amendments (Propositions 1 and 7) and collaboration with local transportation leaders across the state, we compiled and developed critical projects to address congestion. Projects have been approved and included in the state’s Unified Transportation Program (UTP), which is a 10-year project development plan, and can now be advanced to construction and delivery.

Visit TexasClearLanes.com to learn more about major projects that are planned, currently underway or completed.

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