Reliable and varied infrastructure is the backbone of the Texas economy.
Texas’ critical infrastructure includes roads, bridges, railways, mass transit systems, seaports, airports, pipelines, and lines carrying data and electricity. Our state’s population is projected to increase nearly 25% by 2036 to more than 38 million residents — a massive influx of people that will sorely test Texas’ infrastructure.
Millions of working Texans — and 1.8 trillion ton-miles of freight — depend on Texas’ transportation infrastructure, especially its roads. In 2019, travel on Texas roads cost $194 billion, including time, fuel, and vehicle costs. But roads alone cannot meet our needs: a diverse, multimodal transit network, including seaports, railways and airports, is essential to Texas’ future economic growth and opportunity.
Modern, well-maintained infrastructure also keeps people safe. It is tellingly troubling that Texas ranked second-to-last among 12 peer states for annual traffic fatality rates, with 3,615 deaths in 2019.
Further, digital connectivity, access to broadband and digital literacy should be considered 21st-century infrastructure. These are no longer luxuries, but necessities to participate in the modern-day economy: they are increasingly necessary to access health care, education, and economic opportunity. However, 7.4 million people — nearly one-quarter of the Texas population — do not have access to broadband.
A reliable, cost-effective electric infrastructure is also critical to power the economy and supply homes and businesses. Today, however, while Texas has low electricity rates, we also have the highest residential electricity bills due to usage ($132 per month on average) and the worst federally rated reliability metrics – including System Average Interruption Frequency Index and System Average Interruption Duration Index – relative to Texas’ peer states.