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Texas House OKs bus-on-shoulder bill

Friday, May 8, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

The Texas House passed a bill Thursday that would create a pilot program for transit buses to use state highway shoulders to skip traffic gridlocks. House Bill 1324, filed by Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin), would apply to certain strips of highway in Travis, Bexar, Tarrant and El Paso counties when traffic slows to less than 35 miles per hour. In Travis County, the pilot will take place on a southbound section of Interstate 35 and a northbound section of US 183. The cost for the programs, such as driver training, signage placement and road repainting, would be borne by each region’s local transit organization, including Capital Metro in Travis County. Similar bills have passed through the Texas Legislature in two previous sessions but were vetoed by former Gov. Rick Perry. The bill’s Senate companion, Senate Bill 422, filed by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), is currently in the Senate Transportation Committee.

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