Description: The Texas Department of Transportation is charged with the design, location, construction, and maintenance of transportation systems in Texas. This involves the following: the planning, designing, and right-of-way acquisition of state highways and other modes of transportation, plus transportation research to save lives and money;highway and bridge construction, and airport improvements; the maintenance of roadways, bridges, airports, the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway, and ferry systems; and public transportation, vehicle titles and registration, vehicle dealer registration, motor carrier registration, traffic safety, traffic information, and auto theft prevention. (These last functions fall under the oversight of the affiliated boards: the Texas Motor Vehicle Board, the Texas Turnpike Authority Board, and the Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority Board.)The Texas Department of Transportation was created in 1991 (House Bill 9, 72nd Legislature, 1st Called Session), merging the following agencies: the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, which had been created in 1975 by the merger of the Texas Highway Department (originally created in 1917) and the Texas Mass Transportation Commission (created in 1969); the Texas Department of Aviation (created as the Texas Aeronautics Commission in 1945, name changed to Texas Board of Aviation in 1989); the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission (created in 1971).The Texas Department of Transportation's governing body is the Texas Transportation Commission, originally composed of three-members, increased to five in 2003 (Senate Bill 409, 78th Texas Legislature, Regular Session). Commissioners are representatives of the general public appointed by the governor with advice and consent of the senate for overlapping six-year terms. Since 2003, one of the members must represent rural Texas. The positions are part-time salaried positions, and the chair (appointed by the governor) was originally called the commissioner of transportation; since 2003, each member is referred to as a commissioner.