Economic Impacts of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure on Texas Metros, Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy, and Health
Increased investment in clean technologies leads to improved environmental and health outcomes as well as jobs and greater spending in the regional economy. Economic impacts contribute to the triple bottom line of sustainability and enable local governments and transportation agencies to justify the cost of an investment. This research project will produce a tool that utilizes both benefit-cost and economic impact modelling to show the benefits that could arise with an increased investment in electric vehicle infrastructure. The tool will allow policy makers to enter basic scenario data regarding the type of infrastructure installation, cost, and regional transportation information (e.g., average trip length, number of trips) for metro areas in Texas to demonstrate the potential benefits and economic impacts of such an investment.
House Bill 2223, 87th Texas Legislature
House Bill 2223 of the 87th Texas Legislature tasked the Texas Department of Transportation, along with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, with conducting a study on the impact of certain classifications of motor vehicles on Texas transportation infrastructure. The goal of this study is to assess the impacts of these motor vehicles while considering the characteristics of traffic, the design, use, and performance of Texas infrastructure, as well as statewide congestion and costs imposed by passenger and commercial vehicles. Similarly, transportation and industry stakeholder perspectives will also be considered, while previous work efforts that have contributed to the experience of understanding the impacts of the different classifications of vehicles will be reviewed.
Laws Governing Homeless Encampments in Transportation Right-of-Way, National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
Homeless encampments encroaching upon transportation rights-of-way can create significant social, health, safety, welfare, law enforcement, and management issues for local communities and state transportation agencies and can result in significant legal issues. The objective of this research is to produce a report that documents the laws, statutes, cases, procedures, policies, and other resources governing or addressing: (1) a transportation agency’s prevention and/or removal of homeless encampments from transportation rights-of-way; and (2) the authorized use of transportation rights-of-way for homeless shelters and social services to assist transportation agencies in addressing safety, health, and public welfare issues and the ability of transportation agencies to control their rights-of-way.
Transportation Economic Indicators
The IIA program maintains a set of economic indicators used to track economic trends in the State of Texas. These include: transportation related indicators, such as the Highway Cost Index, air travel, fuel prices, and transportation related tax revenues; energy related indicators including oil prices, and Texas oil production statistics; housing indicators including home prices and inventory; and general economic indicators, such as unemployment statistics, interest rates, and Texas state tax revenues. These indicators have been used to inform stakeholders on the ever changing nature of the Texas economy, especially with regards to Covid-19 related disruptions.
The TRENDS model is designed to provide transportation planners, policy makers, and the public with a tool to forecast revenues and expenses for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for the period 2010 through 2035 based on a user-defined level of transportation investment. The user, through interactive windows, can control a number of variables related to assumptions regarding statewide transportation needs, population growth rates, fuel efficiency, federal reimbursement rates, inflation rates, taxes, fees, and other elements. The output is a set of tables and graphs showing a forecast of revenues, expenditures, and fund balances for each year of the analysis period based on the user-defined assumptions.
Since the inception of the TRENDS model, there has been a desire to incorporate the ability to estimate the economic impacts of transportation improvements, allowing decision-makers and the public to have a more defined portrayal of the potential economic and performance improvement outcomes associated with investment decisions. TTI is currently working on developing an economic impact model producing economic and mobility results at the MPO level, allowing the “local-option” function of the TRENDS model to be joined with an economic impact assessment tool.
- D.R. Ellis, B.A. Glover, N.D. Norboge. Development of the Transportation Revenue Estimator and Needs Determination System (TRENDS) Forecasting Model: MPO Sub-Models and Maintenance. 5-6395-01-1. Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station, TX. November 2011.
- D.R. Ellis, B.A. Glover, N.D. Norboge, Y. Zhi. Development of the Texas Revenue Estimator and Needs Determination System (T.R.E.N.D.S.) Model: FY 2010 Activities. 0-6395-TI-2. Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station, TX. July 2010.
Urban Air Advisory Committee, Texas Department of Transportation
SB 763, which establishes new Texas Transportation Code Section 21.004, charges the Urban Air Advisory Committee with assessing current state law and identifying any potential changes to state law needed to facilitate the development of Urban Air Mobility operations and infrastructure in Texas. The committee is tasked with facilitating in-person or virtual public hearings through the state to collect public input, conducting a literature review to provide background information on Urban Air Mobility, as well as collecting written comments through a website, mail, or other means.
Vehicle Sample Data RUC Case Study, Texas Department of Transportation
The concept of mileage-based user fees has increased in popularity in recent years. Because of this, Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) has been tasked with performing a case study for a road user charge. A literature review regarding road user charges will be conducted, which will include a discussion of past, ongoing, and planned RUC pilots and programs. Once completing this, the research team will estimate the potential revenue output for a range of fee scenarios, including a variable RUC, using traffic count data from the Texas Department of Transportation and vehicle registration data included in the TRENDS Model. These revenue estimates will be conducted for a major metropolitan area, a medium urban area, and a smaller urban/suburban area that are within the state of Texas.