State of Texas focuses on widening highways, ignores public transit

The state of Texas has invested significant taxpayer money into expanding the state’s highway and road system, despite research that claims these projects do little to alleviate congestion.

Texas Observer Executive Editor Megan Kimble has studied road infrastructure throughout the state and wrote about the issues faced by commuters. Kimble joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to explain why Texas roads and highways are dangerous and why the problem has not been solved.

2018 car accident

In 2018, Kimble worked on a story for the Observer about a car accident that injured a commuter. This woman lived far away from her low wage job and could not afford to live in the city or in the inner ring suburbs.

Each day, her 180-minute round-trip commute put her in danger, as Texas highways tend to get congested. After the accident, the woman was diagnosed with a concussion and unable to work, which further limited her income. This story intrigued Kimble and inspired her to learn more about the Texas highway system.

Widening Texas’ highways

According to Kimble, the State of Texas has not invested in public transportation within its cities. The Lone Star State has become more urban due to companies and people moving into the state, which caused the price of homes to skyrocket in and near metropolitan areas.

This forced many Texans to relocate to areas where home prices cost less, far away from the big cities.

Kimble said the Texas Department of Transportation spends $16 billion per year on road projects. The Texas State Constitution requires 97 percent of DOT funding to be spent on road projects, which effectively kills public transit projects.

In rural areas, the problem is worse, as 1 percent of the funding goes to public transportation. Rural Texans are at the mercy of their vehicle to get to and from work, with one breakdown potentially costing them a day’s pay or their job.

Kimble said the road to a solution will not be easy, but telling the stories of those who put up with the traffic nightmare is a good start.


America’s Work Force Radio Podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you stream your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iHeart Radio


AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS THE ONLY DAILY LABOR-RADIO PROGRAM IN THE US AND HAS BEEN ON THE AIR SINCE 1993, SUPPLYING LISTENERS WITH USEFUL, RELEVANT INPUT INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES THROUGH FACT-FINDING FEATURES, IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS, INFORMATIVE NEWS SEGMENTS AND PRACTICAL CONSUMER REPORTS. AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ACCESSIBLE VENUE IN WHICH AMERICA’S WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN HEAR DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANT, RELEVANT TOPICS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, HEALTHCARE, LEGISLATIVE ACTION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, FINANCES, LOCAL AND NATIONAL POLITICS, CONSUMER REPORTS AND LABOR ISSUES.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.