Mayor Bill White and Police Chief Harold Hurtt today unveiled the City’s new Mobility Response Team (MRT), designed to respond to and lessen the impact of significant traffic congestion resulting from malfunctioning traffic signals, accidents, and other mobility issues throughout the city.
The Houston Police Department, in collaboration with the Public Works and Engineering Department began the pilot phase of the HPD Mobility Response Team on Monday (July 2).
“This is part of an innovative overall program to make it easier to get around the City,” said Mayor White. “We intend to have a war room atmosphere to deal with bottlenecks on major thoroughfares during high traffic times. Also it has the benefit of freeing police officers up to the things that they do best.”
The MRT is part of an overall mobility initiative that includes the SafeClear freeway towing program and the optimizing of traffic signals through the city, that is expected to help better manage traffic issues.
The team is composed of 21 mobility service officers whose primary responsibilities will be traffic control and direction, enforcement of city parking regulations and distribution of “blue forms” at minor accident scenes. Team members will be dispatched to “hot spots” throughout the city via Public Works and Engineering dispatch at Houston Trans-Star. Twelve-man crews will operate on two shifts, weekdays from 5 a. m. to 9 p.m.
MRT members will also respond with Public Works Traffic Management crews to traffic signal outages and other non-freeway locations experiencing significant traffic congestion.
MRT members must comply with all traffic laws while enroute to calls for service. They are not authorized to issue traffic citations, tow vehicles, or conduct accident investigations.