RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – While it might not be a popular option, mass transit could be a solution to increase traffic in the Rio Grande Valley.
Over the past decade, traffic in the Rio Grande Valley has increased exponentially with some areas becoming traffic-laden and getting worse by the day. That’s according to Chairman of the Texas House Transportation Commission, Terry Canales.
Local 23 spoke with Canales last month about billions of funding coming to the Rio Grande Valley over the next decade for roadway projects, but he says there are other options.
“Roadways is not necessarily the only answer. Texas is great at building roads but we’re reaching the tipping point where mass transit has to be an option and it’s not a popular option with a lot of people. We’re a car driven society, a lot of people like to get in their cars. They like the freedom of driving that’s what we’re ingrained in,” Said Canales.
Canales says with the Texas population expected to double by 2050, legislators must study all the tools in the toolbox in how to address the future concerns of transportation.
“Getting people to understand those options and why they are necessary is going to be a big task because people like their cars, I like my car,” said Canales.
One of the options that have been discussed is a lite rail system that officials say would stretch from Penitas to Brownsville at a cost of $300 million, spurring economic growth, expanding employment opportunities for residents, and giving more travel options for tourists.
“There isn’t enough money to keep building roads at the rate that the population is increasing, so we’re living in a very interesting time where people are going to see a shift whether they like it or not and I’m one of those people like I said, that likes to get into my car but Mass Transit and the notion of mass transit isn’t necessarily too far removed from what we are going to have to see in the near future,” concluded Canales.