A study of public policies affecting mass transportation in metropolitan areas of Texas



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It was the purpose of this study to compare and contrast public policies affecting mass transportation services and problems in the metropolitan areas of San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. The mass transportation situation in each of the three areas was viewed within the framework of (1) recent mass transportation developments across the nations, (2) federal programs designed to aid metropolitan areas solve their mass transportation problems, and (3) actions and programs of the state government of Texas and of the governments in three metropolitan areas, The ultimate purpose has been to search for possible solutions within the federal context to the mass transportation dilemma confronting the three areas. The methods used to obtain data for this study were as follow. First, selected books and governmental publications were examined to identify factors contributing to mass transportation problems throughout the United States and to reveal the involvement of the federal government in these problems. Second, the reports of the Texas Legislative Council were useful in judging the extent of state concern for mass transportations of Legislature Council were contrasted with the bills passed by the Legislature. Third, the principal sources used to study, compare, and contrast mass transportation developments in the three metropolitan areas were U.S. Bureau of the Census reports, studies prepared by municipalities and the Texas Highway Department, and interviews with officials involved with mass transportation. Findings: From the evidence presented in this study the following conclusions are made: 1.Practically all problems of mass transportation in the metropolitan areas of San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston are related to the automobile. 2.The satellite cities in the three metropolitan areas do not pay their share of street and expressway costs. 3.The continued proliferation of municipalities in each of the metropolitan areas dilutes political responsibility for area-wide mass transportation problems. Since the municipalities are jealous of their political prerogatives, it is unlikely that unified mass transportation programs can be developed and implemented. Consequently, state action is needed to insure that necessary coordination is achieved. 4.Lack of land use planning controls in the metropolitan areas makes it difficult to plan transportation needs or to keep the systems abreast of changing land use practices. The reluctance of the cities to regulate or coordinate land use with their neighboring municipalities prevents maximum utilization of existing transportation systems and increases transportation costs. 5.Transportation planners have developed plans to provide road space for the increasing number of automobiles contingent upon availability of revenue, but none have offered solutions to the parking problem in the central area of the three major cities. If preference for automobile riding continues to grow, there may be no solution to parking deficiencies in the central business districts. 6.The public transit systems have not arrested the accelerating conditions of congestion on the metropolitan areas’ streets and expressways. 7.If a balance is to be achieved in mass transportation within the three metropolitan areas, a higher percentage of automobile owners must be persuaded to use some form of mass transit for intrametropolitan area movements. 8.If area-wide public transit services are to be made available, transit operations can not be expected to pay for themselves. Therefore, privately owned and operated transit systems can not perform this functions without some form of subsidy.



Transportation--Texas., public policies, mass transportation services, metropolitan areas