AUSTIN Texans have a new way to stay informed on statewide transportation issues: The Texas Department of Transportation Podcast Program.

TxDOT, through its www.KeepTexasMoving.com Web site, is offering a weekly podcast covering a wide variety of statewide transportation-related topics.

There are a lot of ways to get information about TxDOT and transportation issues in Texas, said TxDOTs podcast host Larry Krantz, but our podcasts are a good way to get that information directly from us.

The statewide podcast is part of TxDOTs efforts to find new ways to communicate transportation issues.

Each statewide podcast episode is a weekly talk-radio-style audio program downloadable from the Internet. Statewide podcasts will be less than 10 minutes long and feature an interview with an expert in a transportation-related field.

Five episodes of the statewide podcast are available, including the most recent episode in which Krantz spoke with Texas transportation commissioner, Ted Houghton, on the town hall meeting tour, which kicked off in Texarkana and is proceeding throughout the I-69/TTC project study corridor.

The town hall meeting concept is totally different from our outreach effort for TTC-35, Krantz said. The episode with commissioner Houghton sheds some light on how feedback from the public has shaped and continues to shape the way we do business.

Krantz has also interviewed TxDOTs Randall Dillard about former Texas Transportation Commission chairman Ric Williamson, who died in late December; Dr. Joseph Giglio, a college professor and author of several forward-looking books on the future of transportation, for an episode entitled They Assume the Future Will Look Like the Past; and TxDOTs deputy executive director Steve Simmons on why the I-69/Trans-Texas Corridor study area is so large.

For Krantz, who started the nations first state-sponsored transportation podcast in TxDOTs Tyler District in June 2006, the challenge was a good opportunity to see if a statewide podcast could have a broad appeal.

My little Tyler District podcast got some 5,800 hits last month alone, Krantz said. That's not bad for something thats never been advertised commercially. Hopefully the statewide podcast will be just as successful, but on a larger scale.

Find the statewide podcast at:

http://keeptexasmoving.com/index.php/podcast

Find the Tyler District podcast at:

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/news/tyl_podcasts.htm

All TxDOT podcasts are also available on iTunes, search keyword: txdot