Equipment enhancements, traffic studies and planning for a variety of road projects are among the items on the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s draft fiscal year 2023-24 budget.

The Mobility Authority’s board of directors received a presentation on the FY 2023-24 budget draft during its meeting May 31 from Mobility Authority Executive Director James Bass. The Mobility Authority's FY 2023-24 will begin July 1 and end June 30, 2024.

After revenue comes in, the operations and maintenance and debt services portions of the budget—which “keeps the entity’s lights on,” Bass said—are paid for first. Then comes the capital budget, which provides enhancements to the system.

Some of the projects in the draft capital budget, which Bass said represents the first year of the Mobility Authority’s five-year capital improvement plan, include:
  • Capital budget, $28.4 million: safety technology toll violation mitigation equipment and a future Mobility Authority headquarters
  • Renewal and replacement, $10.7 million: roadside toll system replacement for SH 71 and 290E and delineators on multiple roadways
  • Capital improvement projects, $34.4 million: preliminary design or environmental work on potential future additions to the system, such as an expansion on the original 183A Toll to address oncoming growth
  • $7.3 million for projects approved in FY 2022-23 that are not yet completed, such as the Barton Skyway Ramp Relief Project
The operating budget is drafted to increase by $8.6 million from FY 2022-23. Some of the major initiatives within the draft include:
  • Administration/legal: a potential “construction partnership program” among the Mobility Authority, cities and other local mobility providers to give customers a “consolidated, single voice” to check for service/lane updates, ongoing construction projects and more
  • Finance: a traffic revenue and forecast study
  • Operations: pay-by-mail website enhancements, expanded Travis County constable roadway enforcement and potential Bluetooth integration for roadway communications to vehicles
  • Communications: Mobile Authority website update and Trail Explorer app maintenance
  • IT: adding Google Cloud services for the Mobile Authority’s Data Platform
  • Engineering: additional corridor traffic counts for a traffic and revenue forecast study separate from finance, emergency management planning and a wall monitoring system
“[We’re] very comfortable from a revenue standpoint that we can afford all of this for the system expenditures,” Bass said.

Regarding drafted changes to agency personnel, Bass said administration/legal personnel would drop an executive assistant position, bringing the number of personnel to five, and communications would drop a staff position, bringing the number of personnel to three.

However, Bass noted both of the positions that would be dropped are vacant, so no one would get laid off—the positions just wouldn’t be filled. This would keep the total number of personnel at 32 and allow for operations and IT to each add personnel instead.

“Some of that is getting prepared for not only the increase in transactions we’re seeing today, but the jump we anticipate seeing when 183 North and 183A [Toll] Phase 3 open up,” he said.

The board is expected to vote on the budget during its next meeting June 28.