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A Better Bus System (traffic congestion reward)

A better way of managing and providing incentives for riding the bus.

Photo of Thomas Nelsom
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So my idea was to allow the people of Austin tax incentives for using public transportation. My solution is to install a scanner on every city of Austin bus or taxi and have ths riders that want to participate install an app on their phones that when they create an account, gives them a personalized scanable code specific to them. This allows them to scan themselves in and out on the bus and the amount of miles will be counted every time they use this, and during tax season, allow them to calculate the total miles traveled on the bus and use it, depending on the number of miles, to recieve property tax incentives. By using it on property tax, you are targeting the group of people on the road the most, the people driving to and from work to thier homes. To make this practical, you would need to vastly expand the network of buses and vastly expand the amount of available routes that go from neighborhoods to areas of business. Thank you for reading my suggestion.

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Photo of Ahmad Shreidi

Hey Thomas: I'm one of the facilitators with the City:One Challenge Austin. Thank you for the contribution to the Explore phase.

This is a great idea. Can you talk more about some of the pain points that you feel bus travel can elevate. What are more ways you feel Austin residents can benefit from public transportation. Would love to keep this conversation going.

Thank you. Hold on to that app idea. The Propose stage begins September 10th!

Photo of Thomas Nelsom

Hello Mr. Shreidi, thank you for taking the time to respond to my solution. I live in Georgetown, my mom and I both go to Austin for many reasons throughout the week. The traffic from Georgetown to Austin is very congested. I find driving around Austin as bad as driving into Austin on I. 35. As you know, the Georgetown and Round Rock areas came out of the need for housing for the people that travel to Austin for work. Thus many of the people in this area own housing property, so a system that targets that demographic of people that own property and commute to Austin for work would be, in my opinion, the best way to relieve the traffic problem. I find that there isn't a system of public transportation from Georgetown and Round Rock to Austin. If one were created, I think it would greatly alleviate the congestion in the area. But if this bus system offered tax incentives that goes to reduction in property tax, you are targeting the majority of people on the highways leading in and out of Austin. This system could also have the unintended consequence of allowing lower income individuals access to jobs in Austin through public transportation which only grows both communities. Another reason for this system would be the decrease in overall accidents and the reduction of the carbon footprint in the area. Depending on how often this system would run whether it be hourly or even half hourly, you would also target the shoppers or visitors that go to Austin for reasons varying from going to receive any type of medical treatment, to people visiting for recreation. I think an app would probably be the best way to track how often people use the system, but there are other systems that can be implemented such as a commute pass. But whether or not tax incentives are implemented or any other types of incentives, I still think a public transportation system connecting Round Rock to Georgetown to the inner workings of Austin would be a very large stride towards reducing the amount of cars on the road.

Photo of Ahmad Shreidi

I agree Thomas, connecting Georgetown and Round Rock to Austin with a form of transportation would allow more opportunities for the entire region. I think it's great to highlight how important these regions are to Austin's workforce and vice-versa.