Regional Transportation Council

The Transportation Policy Body for the North Central Texas Council of Governments
(Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Dallas-Fort Worth Region)
TO: Collin County Legislative Delegation
Collin County Commissioners Court
FROM: Michael Morris, P.E.
Director of Transportation
SUBJECT: US 75 Express/HOV Lanes
DATE: July 24,2014
Thank you for providing your concerns related to the US 75 Express/HOV Lanes project in a
July 9, 2014 letter to Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Weber. The
Regional Transportation Council (RTC) and the North Central Texas Council of Governments
were provided a copy of the letter, which was distributed to RTC members at its July 10, 2014
meeting. There had been discussions with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
of a joint letter before it was determined to provide separate responses, so I apologize for the
delay in responding to your letter.
As you know, traditional sources of transportation funding have not been raised in decades and,
coupled with increased vehicle fuel efficiency and higher construction costs, revenues have not
kept pace with demands. As the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Dallas-Fort Worth
region, the RTC is charged with developing a financially-constrained, multimodal metropolitan
transportation plan that covers a 20-year period. Through this plan, we are trying to meet the
mobility needs of the fastest growing metropolitan region in the country, which has a population
of 6.7 million today and is growing to 10.6 million by 2040. In addition, we must show progress
towards attaining targets set by the US Environmental Protection Agency for improving air
quality.
These factors led to the development of HOV lanes during the 1990s to encourage carpooling,
vanpooling and express bus use. We understand that the US 75 HOV lanes north of IH 635 are
underutilized 'and we have been working with local governments on short- and long-term
strategies to address this corridor. We will continue to work on an ultimate solution to provide
additional capacity on US 75, but in the interim, the RTC approved policies for Express/HOV
Lanes to better utilize excess capacity in the existing HOV lanes by allowing single occupant
vehicles to enter the lanes by paying a toll.
As you mentioned in your letter, TxDOT recently held a public meeting on the specific project for
US 75, but the Regional Transportation Council had previously hosted public meetings on the
development of the Express/HOV Lanes policies. We find it is often the case that consensus is
gained on a policy years in advance of a project commencing and then new policy leaders
become involved without the history that generated the consensus. Because we wish for
everyone who would like to provide feedback to the RTC and TxDOT on Express/HOV Lanes to
have a venue to do so, we are scheduling public workshops on this topic in the region.
P. O. Box 5888 • Arlington, Texas 76005-5888. (817) 695-9240 • FAX (817) 640-3028
http://www.nctcog.org/trans
Collin County Legislative Delegation
Collin County Commissioners Court
Page Two
July 24,2014
We plan to address the topic of Managed Lanes at these workshops, as well as the short- and
long-tern plans for US 75 and IH 635. These meetings will allow the public an opportunity to
provide oral comments. All elected officials will be invited to attend the workshops. In addition,
we will conduct a meeting of state, county, and city elected officials in the US 75 and IH 635
corridors.
Thank you for your dedicated service and for your interest in improving the region's
transportation system. We look forward to working with you in the future on this issue. Please
feel free to contact me at (817) 695-9241 with any questions or concerns.
AW:cmg
cc: Lt. Gen. Joe Weber, Executive Director, TxDOT
Regional Transportation Council Members on the US 75 and IH 635 Corridors