Brenda Bustillos, transportation engineer at the Texas Department of Transportation, discussed ConnectSmart at the latest Brown Bag webinar, held on Monday, Aug. 17.
ConnectSmart, a federally-funded program, aims to deploy the latest transportation technologies to change the way people think about traveling in the Greater Houston region. The program will culminate in an app scheduled to launch in 2021. This app would act as a single platform for users to plan out trips to work, events, or to run errands; view all types of transportation options available to them along their route (including carpooling, transit, and bike share options); and receive real-time information about traffic conditions. It would also include incentives for travelers to adopt alternative forms of transportation and a seamless pay feature allowing them to pay in advance for all the transportation options they plan to use in their trip.
TxDOT and transportation planners in the region would use data from the app to better understand traffic patterns and driving habits in the region, which would in turn help them better plan logistics for large events such as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, increase safety in road construction work zones, and identify key areas to deploy new multi-modal transportation systems.