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

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: 2 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: 2 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: 5 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: 5 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: 6 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: 9 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...
Closures plague East 51st and I-35 as roundabout opening nears
 Looking to go to East 51st Street and Interstate 35’s southbound frontage road in the next couple of days? Don’t. Road crews were slated to begin frantic work late Thursday evening to open a roundabout that the Texas Department of Transportation is installing where the I-35 frontage road meets 51st, and a series of closures there...

Posted: 10 days ago

Looking to go to East 51st Street and Interstate 35’s southbound frontage road in the next couple of days? Don’t. Road crews were slated to begin frantic work late Thursday evening to open a roundabout that the Texas Department of Transportation is installing where the I-35 frontage road meets 51st, and a series of closures there...
Last-minute fixes to 51st Street roundabout to cause weekend closures
 Looking to go to East 51st Street and Interstate 35’s southbound frontage road in the next couple of days? Don’t. Road crews, beginning late Thursday evening, will be rushing to open a roundabout that the Texas Department of Transportation is installing where that frontage road meets 51st, and the rolling closures through early...

Posted: 10 days ago

Looking to go to East 51st Street and Interstate 35’s southbound frontage road in the next couple of days? Don’t. Road crews, beginning late Thursday evening, will be rushing to open a roundabout that the Texas Department of Transportation is installing where that frontage road meets 51st, and the rolling closures through early...
Austin fills in blanks on $450 million bond plan for major streets
 Big changes are in store for East Riverside Drive. Smaller changes are coming to eight other Austin roads, sometime within the next two to five years. The city of Austin released its plan Wednesday for major corridor improvements that will be funded with a chunk of the $720 million mobility bond that voters approved in 2016. For most...

Posted: 10 days ago

Big changes are in store for East Riverside Drive. Smaller changes are coming to eight other Austin roads, sometime within the next two to five years. The city of Austin released its plan Wednesday for major corridor improvements that will be funded with a chunk of the $720 million mobility bond that voters approved in 2016. For most...
City proposes spreading $450 million over nine Austin roads
 Big changes are in store for East Riverside Drive. Smaller changes are coming to eight other Austin roads, sometime within the next two to five years.  The city of Austin released its plan Wednesday for major corridor improvements that will be funded with a chunk of the $720 million mobility bond that voters approved in 2016. For most...

Posted: 11 days ago

Big changes are in store for East Riverside Drive. Smaller changes are coming to eight other Austin roads, sometime within the next two to five years.  The city of Austin released its plan Wednesday for major corridor improvements that will be funded with a chunk of the $720 million mobility bond that voters approved in 2016. For most...
What is Austin’s busiest airline? Five facts about our growing airport
 Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, a reliable indicator of how the Central Texas economy is doing, last year continued its long hot streak. The sustained boom has led to the addition of two parking garages (the second should be done in 2019) and a nine-gate expansion of the terminal, also set to be done next year. Here are five things...

Posted: 13 days ago

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, a reliable indicator of how the Central Texas economy is doing, last year continued its long hot streak. The sustained boom has led to the addition of two parking garages (the second should be done in 2019) and a nine-gate expansion of the terminal, also set to be done next year. Here are five things...