The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) is the foremost leader in transportation in Williamson and Travis counties. Founded in 2002, this independent government agency is not a tax authority. Over 70 percent of their funding comes from the private sector while only about 30 percent of their funding comes from public sources like the Texas Department of Transportation. Since its founding, the CTRMA’s assets have grown from absolutely nothing to almost $2 billion. They are responsible for traffic lane expansion, toll road construction and maintenance, and other transportation projects.
CTRMA even offers citizens different services and apps that are transportation related. HERO (Highway Emergency Response Operator) is run by the CTRMA, which helps stranded motorists on the highways. HERO assists roughly 15,000 motorists per year. Employees of HERO do things like bring water to stranded motorists, change tires, and relocate vehicles. The CTRMA also created CARMA, a ridesharing app that connects people to help alleviate traffic congestion.
One of the most well-known projects taken on by the CTRMA is the MoPac Improvement Project. This project involves adding a toll lane on each side of the highway on North MoPac Boulevard. The 11-mile project will cost around $200 million, hoping to steer vehicles away from MoPac’s regular lanes to help get rid of traffic congestion.
The CTRMA’s board is made up of seven members. Three members are appointed by the Williamson County Commissioners Court and three are appointed by Travis County’s Commissioners Court. The chair of the CTRMA is appointed by the Texas governor. The Executive Director of the CTRMA even makes more than the Chief of the Texas Department of Transportation. While the head of the Texas Department of Transportation makes roughly $299,812 per year, Mike Heiligenstein earns a complete package of $366,112.
Mike Heiligenstein is the Executive Director of the CTRMA. He has more than 20 years of experience as an elected official of Williamson County. He has served on the regional MPO and chaired the Clean Air Force of Texas. He was a member of the Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council and has led many other local initiatives for community infrastructure.
Executive Director Heiligenstein has been elected to the position of President of the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association and is also member of the Advisory Board to the WTS Heart of Texas Chapter. He sits on the Advisory Council of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and is part of numerous other groups and committees.