TxDOT operates a free roadside assistance program for stranded motorists along US 183, I-35, US 290, SH 71, and MoPac.
Motorists in need of assistance can call 512-974-HERO (4376) between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) program patrols 138 miles along I-35, US 183, US 290, SH 71 and MoPac. A fleet of 26 trucks and two trailers provide the following services, free of charge:
- Relocating disabled vehicles to safety
- Removing minor crashes from the roadway
- Providing traffic and lane control at crash scenes
- Removing debris from travel lanes
- Changing flat tires
- Giving air to low tires
- Providing gasoline and water
- Performing minor vehicle repairs
- Jump-starting batteries
- Assisting first responders at crash scenes
- Providing drinking water and cell phone services to stranded motorists
The goal of the program is to improve safety and keep traffic flowing on these heavily-traveled roadways by responding to and clearing incidents as quickly as possible. Nationally, approximately 20 percent of all traffic incidents are a secondary incident. By removing stranded motorists from the roadway and providing motorists warning of stopped vehicles ahead, we can greatly reduce the number of these crashes.
Trucks are equipped with digital message signs and cameras that can send live images back to the Combined Transportation Emergency and Communications Center (CTECC), to help with incident management.
The HERO program, established in 2010, by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in partnership with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, began patrols along 34 miles of I-35, and has expanded in phases to cover more roadway miles on more corridors, including several Mobility Authority-operated corridors.
TxDOT shares the $4.3 million annual cost of the program with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Serco, Inc. manages and operates the HERO program.