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

Cambios extensivos a rutas de Cap Metro a partir de junio
 Una mesa directiva dividida de Cap Metro aprobó el miércoles 15 una modificación radical del sistema que, comenzando en junio, eliminará 13 rutas, desviará significativamente otras 20 y más que duplicará el número de rutas “frecuentes” en que los autobuses de pasajeros pasará...

Posted: 2 days ago

Una mesa directiva dividida de Cap Metro aprobó el miércoles 15 una modificación radical del sistema que, comenzando en junio, eliminará 13 rutas, desviará significativamente otras 20 y más que duplicará el número de rutas “frecuentes” en que los autobuses de pasajeros pasará...
Austin looks to mitigate MoPac toll lanes’ collateral damage to Chavez
 The change in Cesar Chavez Street rush-hour traffic has been unmistakable since the MoPac Boulevard toll lanes opened in October. Eastbound backups in the morning near Austin High School. A slow slog eastward for those going all the way to Congress Avenue or even Interstate 35. And an evening westbound crawl that is even jamming up the exits...

Posted: 2 days ago

The change in Cesar Chavez Street rush-hour traffic has been unmistakable since the MoPac Boulevard toll lanes opened in October. Eastbound backups in the morning near Austin High School. A slow slog eastward for those going all the way to Congress Avenue or even Interstate 35. And an evening westbound crawl that is even jamming up the exits...
U.S. 183, I-35 projects waver after Abbott, Patrick trash tolls
 Several key Central Texas highway projects — including expansions of U.S. 183 in North Austin, U.S. 290 in Southwest Austin and Interstate 35 through the heart of the area — are once again in limbo after Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick last week staked out firm anti-toll positions. “Right now there’s...

Posted: 3 days ago

Several key Central Texas highway projects — including expansions of U.S. 183 in North Austin, U.S. 290 in Southwest Austin and Interstate 35 through the heart of the area — are once again in limbo after Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick last week staked out firm anti-toll positions. “Right now there’s...
Wear: Why plans for Texas bullet trains are still mostly a dream
 State officials this month released a first-level environmental study on high-speed rail in the 550-mile corridor from the Red River to the Rio Grande Valley, and a private group is studying a 240-mile Houston-to-Dallas line. But we’re a long, long way from either rail option leaving the station. Read Ben Wear’s full column on...

Posted: 6 days ago

State officials this month released a first-level environmental study on high-speed rail in the 550-mile corridor from the Red River to the Rio Grande Valley, and a private group is studying a 240-mile Houston-to-Dallas line. But we’re a long, long way from either rail option leaving the station. Read Ben Wear’s full column on...
Wear: Why plans for Texas bullet trains are still mostly a dream
 Not yet. Almost four years ago in this column, I raised the question of whether it was time to take seriously the prospects of a high-speed passenger rail line being built in this state. My conclusion at the time: No. Still is. Even with the Texas Department of Transportation’s release this month of a first-level environmental study...

Posted: 6 days ago

Not yet. Almost four years ago in this column, I raised the question of whether it was time to take seriously the prospects of a high-speed passenger rail line being built in this state. My conclusion at the time: No. Still is. Even with the Texas Department of Transportation’s release this month of a first-level environmental study...
JUST IN: Capital Metro approves revamping of bus routes
 A divided Capital Metro board on Wednesday approved a bus system makeover that, starting in June, would eliminate 13 routes, significantly re-route another 20 and more than double the number of “frequent” routes with buses showing up at least every 15 minutes. That 6-2 vote, made over the objections of many current bus customers...

Posted: 8 days ago

A divided Capital Metro board on Wednesday approved a bus system makeover that, starting in June, would eliminate 13 routes, significantly re-route another 20 and more than double the number of “frequent” routes with buses showing up at least every 15 minutes. That 6-2 vote, made over the objections of many current bus customers...
Cap Metro OKs bus system overhaul for June
 A divided Capital Metro board on Wednesday approved a bus system makeover that, starting in June, will eliminate 13 routes, significantly reroute 20 others and more than double the number of “frequent” routes with buses showing up at least every 15 minutes. The new plan, officials with the 32-year-old agency said, amounts to &ldquo...

Posted: 8 days ago

A divided Capital Metro board on Wednesday approved a bus system makeover that, starting in June, will eliminate 13 routes, significantly reroute 20 others and more than double the number of “frequent” routes with buses showing up at least every 15 minutes. The new plan, officials with the 32-year-old agency said, amounts to &ldquo...
Pence visit could be challenge for Austin traffic Wednesday
 With Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, winging their way to Austin and a series of stops in the city’s core, get ready for a day of problematic traffic. Pence, who will get a briefing on Hurricane Harvey efforts and then speak to the Republican Governors Association conference, is scheduled to arrive on Air Force Two at...

Posted: 8 days ago

With Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, winging their way to Austin and a series of stops in the city’s core, get ready for a day of problematic traffic. Pence, who will get a briefing on Hurricane Harvey efforts and then speak to the Republican Governors Association conference, is scheduled to arrive on Air Force Two at...
What to expect as bus overhaul plan goes before Capital Metro board
 Capital Metro’s bus system overhaul, which seeks to boost ridership by more than doubling the number of high-frequency routes while dropping some regular ones, comes to the transit agency’s board Wednesday for possible approval having undergone something of an overhaul itself. Those numerous tweaks in the plan, the agency asserts...

Posted: 9 days ago

Capital Metro’s bus system overhaul, which seeks to boost ridership by more than doubling the number of high-frequency routes while dropping some regular ones, comes to the transit agency’s board Wednesday for possible approval having undergone something of an overhaul itself. Those numerous tweaks in the plan, the agency asserts...
Concerns remain as Capital Metro board weighs bus system overhaul
 Capital Metro’s bus system overhaul, which seeks to boost ridership by more than doubling the number of high-frequency routes while dropping some regular ones, comes to the transit agency’s board Wednesday for possible approval having undergone something of an overhaul itself. Those numerous tweaks in the plan, the agency asserts...

Posted: 9 days ago

Capital Metro’s bus system overhaul, which seeks to boost ridership by more than doubling the number of high-frequency routes while dropping some regular ones, comes to the transit agency’s board Wednesday for possible approval having undergone something of an overhaul itself. Those numerous tweaks in the plan, the agency asserts...
Wear: MetroRail station late and costlier? Yes and no. Maybe
 Maybe I got it wrong. Maybe I didn’t. Either way, I wanted to walk you through what I wrote recently about the cost of Capital Metro’s new downtown rail station and the tangled history of those numbers. My Nov. 1 news story focused on the added time and (seemingly) the added cost that the transit agency will need to build its...

Posted: 13 days ago

Maybe I got it wrong. Maybe I didn’t. Either way, I wanted to walk you through what I wrote recently about the cost of Capital Metro’s new downtown rail station and the tangled history of those numbers. My Nov. 1 news story focused on the added time and (seemingly) the added cost that the transit agency will need to build its...