TranStar Enhances Flood Warning System

Houston TranStar has upgraded its mobile app and web site in time for the 2020 Hurricane Season. They now feature more sensors and a wider area of coverage that extends throughout the Houston region. The app shows real-time traffic data and estimates areas of roadway-flooding risk during heavy rainfall.

Houston TranStar shows real-time traffic data with potential trouble 
spots for roadway flooding.

76 More Sensors Than Last Year

Developed in partnership with the Harris County Flood Control District and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute after Hurricane Harvey, TranStar’s Roadway Flood Warning System displays real-time data from 283 weather sensors, an increase of 76 sensors from 2019.

“Expanding the Roadway Flood Warning System’s footprint into counties adjacent to Harris allows us to warn even more people about potentially dangerous roadway flooding,” said Dinah Massie, Executive Director for Houston TranStar. “Information collected by this highly accurate technology is overlaid on the TranStar Traffic Map and mobile application. We’re warning motorists about flood risk and also helping emergency crews respond more quickly and safely during heavy rainfall.”

125,000 Users

To date, more than 125,000 people get up-to-the-minute roadway flood warning alerts using TranStar’s mobile app.

TranStar’s Roadway Flood Warning System was developed to warn motorists of streets with potentially high water so you can plan alternative routes and avoid dangerous situations.

The system uses a comprehensive network of 283 sensors to estimate areas of roadway flooding risk and can be easily accessed through the TranStar Traffic Map.

Reroute Around Trouble

With the addition of new sensors, Houston TranStar now alerts travelers to areas where roadway flooding risk is high in more places than ever before.

It helps commuters reroute transit plans around trouble spots, such as flooded roadways and underpasses. Unfortunately, many people have lost their lives driving into flood waters that weren’t visible because of darkness or heavy rain.

Increased Capacity to Monitor Water Levels

Harris County Flood Control District, the Brazoria Drainage District, the City of Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, the Galveston Drainage District, Waller County and the San Jacinto River Authority maintain sensors. The new sensors increase capacity to monitor water levels for possible local street inundation throughout TranStar’s region.

Download the Free App

For more information on how to Travel Smart with TranStar, visit HoustonTranStar.org. Or download their  Mobile App at the Google Play or Apple App store.

During Harvey, I relied on this system to navigate my way back into Houston from a long, vacation road trip. It works. This free app could save your car and your life.

Bob Rehak

In case you lose track of this story, you can always find the TranStar links under the Governmental tab on this website’s Links page.

Unique Partnership Saves Billions of Tax Dollars

Houston TranStar is a unique partnership of the City of Houston, Harris County, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). They share resources and exchange information under one roof to manage transportation and emergencies.

This 2 minute video shows how the system works and explains how sharing resources has saved taxpayers billions of dollars. The annual cost to operate Houston TranStar in 2018 was $25.2 million. Divided into TranStar’s annual benefit of $517 million, the benefit/cost ratio is 20.5. So, for every $1 spent on Houston TranStar, the region realizes a benefit of $20.50. Since its inception 22 years ago, TranStar has saved commuters $6.5 billion in reduced traveler delays and fuel costs.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/5/2020 based on a story in the Westchase Wire

1072 Days after Hurricane Harvey