We discussed all things planes, interstates, automobiles, and more on Wednesday, August 17 at our annual mobility summit. We gathered transportation and housing experts, city planners, and public officials to explore the future of mobility in the Austin region.
Learn more about how we support commonsense policies and transportation projects that accommodate our rapidly growing population, relieve congestion, and enhance our quality of life.
Buckle up and learn more about our jam-packed day. During our opening session, we focused on all things happening at our airport.
Jacqueline Yaft, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport's Chief Executive Officer, kicked us off with a presentation on what the airport has accomplished and the many exciting things to come. Yaft's presentation included details on the long-range airport program, challenges for airports of the future, improvements currently in development, and the anticipated schedules for future developments. She also discussed interim terminal capacity improvements for Barbara Jordan Terminal and gave updates on the Blue Line Project and the strategic direction for 2023.
Monica del Rio, Sr. Manager for Southwest Airlines Airport Affairs Department, then gave company updates as well as Austin-specific information. She shared Southwest Airlines' commitment to modernizing the customer experience and the two-billion-dollar plan to transform it. This year Southwest Airlines celebrated 45 years of service to the Austin community! Today, they are the market leader with a 33% market share and 107 peak weekday departures to 47 cities in September 2022. Southwest offers the most nonstop destinations from Austin with over 100 daily departures including ten new nonstops – Amarillo, Midland, Charleston, Columbus, Ontario, Cabo, Panama City, Puerto Vallarta, Sarasota, and Destin.
The Next Super-Region
We welcomed Ashby Johnson with Capital Area MPO, Sid Martinez with Alamo Area MPO, Jim Reed with Central Texas Council of Governments, and Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long. The panel discussed the next super-region with Austin and San Antonio. The panel talked about how the MPO and COG can work together to coordinate planning efforts, and how the pandemic accelerated the needs identified in long-range plans and changed commuting, travel patterns, employment, and housing centers.
Our Future 35
Mike Trimble, Director at the City of Austin Corridor Program Office, introduced “Our Future 35,” which is focused on maximizing on the opportunity for new civic/community infrastructure on top of TxDOT’s CapEX Central Project via caps/stitches. He discussed the benefits of a cap/stitch project for our community, which included removing the segregation-era barrier, improving east Austin and downtown connectivity, and enhancing safety and mobility for all.
The Intersection of Housing and Transit
Annick Beaudet, Senior Mobility Officer, City of Austin, Sharmilla Mukherjee, EVP Planning & Development, Capital Metro, and Matt Geske VP, Regional & Local Policy, Austin Chamber gathered to talk about the intersection of housing and transit. They discussed why housing & transit are commonly discussed together as policy goals and how they are supportive of each other. They also discussed the challenges of planning and implementing Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs), TODs vs Equitable TODs, project timelines, and project goals.
The Future of Downtown
Dewitt Peart, President and CEO, and Jenell Moffett, Associate VP of Strategic Initiatives at Downtown Austin Alliance gave an incredible presentation on everything downtown. They covered what it looks like to live, work, and play in Austin. Some interesting highlights include: 38% of those who live in our downtown area are between the ages of 25-34, downtown has approximately 5 million visitors annually, and there are 60+ new storefront businesses since 2020. They shared images of growth in our downtown skyline from 2012, and what to expect the skyline to look like in 2032.
We ended the day the Chamber way and had a great networking reception. We'd like to thank all of our speakers, sponsors, and attendees for making this a successful event!
|Burns & McDonnell
|LJA Engineering, Inc.
|Goodwill Central Texas
|Parsons Transportation Group
|The Rios Group
|SH 130 Concession Company