With the Houston region estimated to double its population by 2045, the Houston-Galveston Area Council has laid out its plans to accommodate the corresponding growth in transportation needs with its 2045 Regional Transportation Plan Update.

Following a public comment period from March 15-April 17, the H-GAC’s Transportation Policy Council will approve and adopt the Regional Transportation Plan Update, or RTP, on April 28. The agency held the last of its public meetings on the plan March 21. H-GAC updates its RTP, which guides major transportation investments, every four years.

“The RTP allows for us to bring down federal and state funds into our eight-county region. It helps us prioritize and understand what projects should be funded, where we need to fund projects, and how to move forward. By planning 20 years out, it allows for us to be prepared to accommodate for future needs and have the funds to do so,” said Anita Hollmann-Matijcio, H-GAC's regional planning manager, in a March 15 press release.

The agency’s vision for 2045 is “a safe, resilient, equitable and reliable multimodal transportation system that contributes to a livable region,” according to the RTP. It outlined five goals: improve safety, achieve and maintain a state of good repair, move people and goods reliably and efficiently, strengthen regional economic competitiveness, and conserve and protect natural and cultural resources.

The plan addresses a number of transportation concerns gathered from surveys held from April-July 2022. Survey participants overwhelmingly prefer to travel safer and not necessarily faster, Hollmann-Matijcio noted. Those inside of Beltway 8 wanted better quality roads and a variety of travel options. Respondents outside of Beltway 8 wanted shorter commutes, reliable travel times, less congestion and better transit options.

“We did hear during our outreach that those outside the Beltway did not have convenient access to public transportation, and that’s noted in the RTP Update,” Hollmann-Matijcio said during the March 21 meeting.
By 2045, the agency anticipates collecting $141 billion in revenue from federal and state allocations and tolls. It recommends $109 billion in expenditures for investments in transit, operations and intersection improvements, a 24% increase from the 2040 update. This includes investing in more than 750 projects sponsored locally by 63 public entities.

Public comments on the 2045 RTP can be submitted on the agency’s website or by emailing [email protected].