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Growth in the I-35 Corridor – Austin to San Antonio

Dec 8, 2022

The commute from downtown Austin to San Antonio only takes an hour and twenty minutes on a busy Thursday afternoon. Between the two major metropolitans, a driver will encounter the incorporated cities of Buda, Kyle, San Marcos, and New Braunfels with individual populations ranging from approximately 15,000 to 90,000 people respectively. Altogether, the communities along the Interstate Highway 35 corridor are home to approximately 4.6 million people.

The Austin to San Antonio I-35 Corridor opened in 1962 and has been a major thoroughfare for the state the entire time. A 2019 TXDoT Capital-Alamo Connections study noted that more than 100,000 vehicles traverse the corridor daily, making that the most used north to south facility in the region. According to a Community Impact newspaper interview, the area is expected to grow into a “super region” with a population of 6.7 million people in just eight years. With the growth we are seeing in the area, that comes as no surprise. During the YTexas Summit, a conference that offers network opportunities for young Texas professionals, a panel discussion considered the future of the region. Much of the conversation focused on ways to improve the infrastructure of the corridor, highlighting the benefit of introducing a rail system to help the region grow.

YTexas Summit panelist, Roy Spence who is also Chairman and Co-founder of GSD&M ad agency said,

 “…out of all the corridors, the Austin-San Antonio [corridor] is born for rail. If we have visionary leaders who understand that in the end game, all we want is less people on the highway and more people on the trains. I’m telling you, this is a perfect corridor.”

Spence, who grew up in San Antonio spent his youth traveling between the cities, noted that since there are no flights available between Austin and San Antonio, traffic through the region will only continue to increase.

Central Texas and the IH 35 corridor are home to two world famous music festivals, the only F1 track in the nation, and several top-level universities that attract the nation’s best and brightest. People come from far and wide to spend time drifting down the Guadalupe in a tube, visit the water park in New Braunfels, or stroll along San Antonio’s River Walk. Combined with the booming job market, there is no wonder that Central Texas is the fastest growing part of the US.

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