Ben Wear

Transportation reporter

Ben Wear covers transportation for the Austin American-Statesman. An Austin native and UT graduate, Ben has worked for the Statesman since 1994 and had the transportation beat since 2003. He also teaches journalism as an adjunct professor and, in the fall, is a football official for everything from Pop Warner to high school games. He is the proud father of Molly, a sophomore at the University of Michigan and an aspiring actress and costume designer. 

Latest from Ben Wear

Graham forged deep friendships with Texas political giants
 Billy Graham swam naked with Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House, prayed with LBJ at Camp David and said words over the late president’s casket alongside the Pedernales River. He joined George W. Bush for a 1985 dip in the chilly Atlantic Ocean at Kennebunkport, Maine, an unknowing and unofficial baptism for a man close to giving up...

Posted: an hour ago

Billy Graham swam naked with Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House, prayed with LBJ at Camp David and said words over the late president’s casket alongside the Pedernales River. He joined George W. Bush for a 1985 dip in the chilly Atlantic Ocean at Kennebunkport, Maine, an unknowing and unofficial baptism for a man close to giving up...
Abbott picks former San Angelo mayor for transportation board
 The suddenly short-handed Texas Transportation Commission Tuesday gained a new member, business investor, rancher and former San Angelo Mayor Alvin New. New, a life-long West Texan who was born in Brownfield and has lived in or near San Angelo since 1981, will replace Tryon Lewis of Odessa. Lewis, who until September had been chairman of...

Posted: a day ago

The suddenly short-handed Texas Transportation Commission Tuesday gained a new member, business investor, rancher and former San Angelo Mayor Alvin New. New, a life-long West Texan who was born in Brownfield and has lived in or near San Angelo since 1981, will replace Tryon Lewis of Odessa. Lewis, who until September had been chairman of...
Cap Metro unveils renderings of new MetroRail station
 With the expanded and relocated downtown MetroRail station edging toward construction — expect ground to be broken in about a year and the project should be done by 2021 — Capital Metro has released a new set of artist renderings of what the train hub will look like. And for train fans with no Wednesday lunch plans, the transit...

Posted: a day ago

With the expanded and relocated downtown MetroRail station edging toward construction — expect ground to be broken in about a year and the project should be done by 2021 — Capital Metro has released a new set of artist renderings of what the train hub will look like. And for train fans with no Wednesday lunch plans, the transit...
Alvin New, former San Angelo mayor, named to transportation board
 The suddenly short-handed Texas Transportation Commission Tuesday gained a new member, business investor, rancher and former San Angelo Mayor Alvin New. New, a life-long West Texan who was born in Brownfield and has lived in or near San Angelo since 1981, will replace Tryon Lewis of Odessa. Lewis, who until September had been chairman of...

Posted: a day ago

The suddenly short-handed Texas Transportation Commission Tuesday gained a new member, business investor, rancher and former San Angelo Mayor Alvin New. New, a life-long West Texan who was born in Brownfield and has lived in or near San Angelo since 1981, will replace Tryon Lewis of Odessa. Lewis, who until September had been chairman of...
Cap Metro unveils renderings of new downtown MetroRail station
 With the expanded and relocated downtown MetroRail station edging toward construction — expect ground to break in about a year and be done by 2021 — Capital Metro has released a new set of artist renderings of what the train hub will look like. And for train fans with no Wednesday lunch plans, the transit agency will be holding...

Posted: a day ago

With the expanded and relocated downtown MetroRail station edging toward construction — expect ground to break in about a year and be done by 2021 — Capital Metro has released a new set of artist renderings of what the train hub will look like. And for train fans with no Wednesday lunch plans, the transit agency will be holding...
Wear: Scoffing at Texas tolls to carry less cost starting in March
 People who choose to drive on Texas tollways without paying are about to get a big break. Make that, on some Texas tollways. More on that below. As first reported by KXAN, the NBC affiliate in Austin, the Texas Department of Transportation fines for ignoring toll bills on March 1 will go from “My God!” level to “Meh...

Posted: 5 days ago

People who choose to drive on Texas tollways without paying are about to get a big break. Make that, on some Texas tollways. More on that below. As first reported by KXAN, the NBC affiliate in Austin, the Texas Department of Transportation fines for ignoring toll bills on March 1 will go from “My God!” level to “Meh...
Fines for unpaid toll bills to drop in March — but only for some roads
 People who choose to drive on Texas tollways without paying are about to get a big break. Make that, on some Texas tollways. As first reported by KXAN, the NBC affiliate in Austin, the Texas Department of Transportation fines for ignoring toll bills on March 1 will go from “My God!” level to “Meh,” thanks to legislation...

Posted: 5 days ago

People who choose to drive on Texas tollways without paying are about to get a big break. Make that, on some Texas tollways. As first reported by KXAN, the NBC affiliate in Austin, the Texas Department of Transportation fines for ignoring toll bills on March 1 will go from “My God!” level to “Meh,” thanks to legislation...
Cap Metro long-term plan leaks out, exciting light rail activists
 Capital Metro didn’t intend for the map to become public. And it has the word “draft” marked in light gray across the various rail and bus lines arrayed across the Austin area. Even so, light rail supporters in Austin Tuesday were atwitter — literally — after a copy of the proposed Project Connect &ldquo...

Posted: 8 days ago

Capital Metro didn’t intend for the map to become public. And it has the word “draft” marked in light gray across the various rail and bus lines arrayed across the Austin area. Even so, light rail supporters in Austin Tuesday were atwitter — literally — after a copy of the proposed Project Connect &ldquo...
FIRST LOOK: What does leaked plan mean for light rail in Austin?
 Capital Metro didn’t intend for the map to become public, first of all. And it has the word “draft” marked in light gray across the various rail and bus lines arrayed across the Austin area. Even so, light rail supporters in Austin Tuesday were atwitter — literally — after a copy of the proposed Project Connect...

Posted: 8 days ago

Capital Metro didn’t intend for the map to become public, first of all. And it has the word “draft” marked in light gray across the various rail and bus lines arrayed across the Austin area. Even so, light rail supporters in Austin Tuesday were atwitter — literally — after a copy of the proposed Project Connect...
Texans see little sizzle in Trump infrastructure plan
 The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan, with its heavy reliance on the private sector and federal loans, landed Monday at a time when those approaches to building highways have fallen out of fashion in Texas. The administration’s plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage more than $1 trillion...

Posted: 9 days ago

The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan, with its heavy reliance on the private sector and federal loans, landed Monday at a time when those approaches to building highways have fallen out of fashion in Texas. The administration’s plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage more than $1 trillion...
Wear: How Austin flubbed the 2016 math on East Riverside Drive
 In retrospect, the number never made any sense at all. And your transportation reporter really should have caught it: $766.7 million. That’s what city of Austin officials, during the runup to the 2016 transportation bond election, said it would cost to do a whiz-bang, multimodal makeover of East Riverside Drive from Interstate 35 to...

Posted: 12 days ago

In retrospect, the number never made any sense at all. And your transportation reporter really should have caught it: $766.7 million. That’s what city of Austin officials, during the runup to the 2016 transportation bond election, said it would cost to do a whiz-bang, multimodal makeover of East Riverside Drive from Interstate 35 to...