Mike Heiligenstein, the Chief of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority or CTRMA, has a clear understanding of various mobility issues in and around Central Texas and has clear solutions for each of those. He bats for technology solutions up to an extent but thinks that capacity increase is the answer for many of the traffic issues. Heiligenstein quotes that U.S. 290 between Manor and Austin tripled the capacity and reduced the congestion on the roads.

He tells that the agency is entirely focused on innovation and stated that CTRMA’s new MoPac Expressway is equipped with sophisticated technology with varied tolling to manage the traffic better. The variable toll rates are also helpful in predicting the traffic flow even during the rush hours. CTRMA is also planning to make “smart roads” in future, which understand the vehicles passing.

The fiber lines put on the road would quickly detect the cars which are traveling in the wrong way. According to Crunchbase, Mike Heiligenstein also communicated that CTRMA collaborated with Metropia and created an app which is helpful for the commuters to get live traffic information and real-time alternative route details.

The agency is also planning to collaborate with Carma to create a carpooling app which can fill the vacant seats of each car that is traveling through the expressways. A recent study showed that at least 900,000 empty car seats per day are reported in Austin considering the number of driver-only cars in the city. Interestingly, the mobility authority is the front runner in supporting pedal and walk.

The CTRMA maintains a separate lane for bicycles and walks in all its highways. It also set up a Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) to avoid the congestions in the roads due to breakdowns or other issues.

Mike is serving CTRMA from 2003 – the year the agency came into existence. His futuristic vision helped the agency to become a leader in toll road operations from a mere startup. Mike initially supervised the construction and managing of toll road 183A and improved the efficiency using state-of-the-art technology such as all-electronic tolling and video billing. The agency grew into an organization which handles more than $1 billion per year in the recent years.

Heiligenstein has long years of experience working as a public official. He was a Round Rock City Council Member for a long time and later became Williamson County Commissioner, a period which he focused on infrastructure projects. Heiligenstein is on the boards of some transporting associations and institutes in the country. He completed bachelors and masters in Government from the University of Texas.