San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
Hays County Commissioners welcomed the HERO Program to Hays County on Jan. 15 with a resolution of agreement. Pictured are, left to right, Mario Espinoza, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority deputy executive director; Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones; Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley; Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe; Mike Heiligenstein, Central Texas Mobility Authority executive director; County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D.; and Pct. 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant. HAYS COUNTY PHOTO/LAUREEN CHERNOW

Hays County Commissioners welcomed the HERO Program to Hays County on Jan. 15 with a resolution of agreement. Pictured are, left to right, Mario Espinoza, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority deputy executive director; Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones; Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley; Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe; Mike Heiligenstein, Central Texas Mobility Authority executive director; County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D.; and Pct. 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant. HAYS COUNTY PHOTO/LAUREEN CHERNOW

A HERO on the highway

Drivers can also call 512-974-HERO (4376) for help with their own vehicle or to report another driver in need of assistance. HERO services include:

  • Traffic control and assistance at incidents
  • Clearing damaged and disabled vehicles from roadway lanes and shoulders
  • Picking up roadway debris
  • Providing motorist assistance
  • Changing flat tires
  • Pumping up low tires
  • Adding gasoline
  • Adding water to radiators
  • Providing battery jump-starts
  • Performing minor vehicle repairs
  • Relocating vehicles out of a travel lane
  • Calling towing or emergency service
  • Transporting stranded motorists to a safe location
  • Providing cell phone service
  • Providing drinking water to stranded motorists

SUBMITTED REPORT

The Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday officially welcomed the Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) program to Hays County.

A partnership between the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation, the program is designed to reduce travel delays and keep traffic moving safely along Interstate 35 and U.S. 183 in parts of Central Texas.

The HERO Program provides free roadside assistance to stranded motorists and has recently been funded by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to extend into Hays County from the Travis County line to Yarrington Road, Mobility Authority Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein told the Court. The service already operates from the Travis County line north to Texas 130 in Georgetown.

“The HERO Program will benefit all Hays County residents who travel IH-35. Since a HERO truck will already be stationed on the roadway during peak drive times, assistance will be swift and delays will be reduced,” Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said.

Drivers can also call 512-974-HERO (4376) for help with their own vehicle or to report another driver in need of assistance.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley, who chairs the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board, also noted that the service will free up law enforcement officers who patrol the area and often stop to help stranded motorists, taking them away from law enforcement duties. The HERO program has assisted more than 13,500 motorists since its inception in 2010.

Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. HERO trucks are on patrol, looking for drivers who need assistance and helping to move stranded vehicles off of busy roadways. HERO drivers do not provide towing services, but will contact a private towing service of the motorist’s choice. The program is paid for by state and federal funds and services are free to the motorist.

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