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I-295 Express Lanes: Get Ready To Open Your Pocketbooks

Get ready to open your pocket books to bypass congestion in Jacksonville. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is moving forward on their plans to add automated toll lanes to I-295 throughout the Southside. An informal open house will be held this evening for those interested in learning how FDOT plans to deal with 21st century gridlock. In the meantime, here's a look at what's coming to Jacksonville later this year.

Published January 21, 2014 in Transit      34 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

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If you're a regular commuter on the I-295 Beltway in the Southside, you may be aware of the constant backups during rush hour. Don't worry, a solution to alleviate your pain is on the way. However, it's going to cost you a little more.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), your time is valuable. Thus, you can pay a varying toll to ride in "Express Lanes" when you decide your time is more valuable than sitting in traffic. After all, the choice is yours.



Later this year, tolled "Express Lanes" will be added to a 5.7 mile I-295 segment between the Buckman Bridge and I-95. In 2015, a second 4 mile project to add them in the median of I-295 between SR 9B and JTB will get underway. The total construction cost for this system will be close to $247 million. A third segment stretching from the Dames Point Bridge to I-95 on the Northside was deemed unfeasible earlier this year. FDOT is attempting to shift funds intended for that segment to the controversial widening of the Fuller Warren Bridge.

Already in major cities like Washington, DC, Miami, and Houston, "Express Lanes" are essentially an "expressway-within-an-expressway." Anticipated to be added to the existing median of I-295, the new lanes will provide more capacity in areas where traffic congestion is a major problem. Initial plans for I-295 indicate there will be an express lane added in each direction, with space for additional lanes when the need arises.


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34 Comments

carpnter

January 21, 2014, 08:11:00 AM
If they are going to put them in, they are needed more between Dames Point and Beach Blvd than JTB and 9B.

tufsu1

January 21, 2014, 08:59:24 AM
^ With the opening of 9B, there has been increased traffic on 295 south of JTB.  Since this will be the first section widened, it will get managed lanes.  But don't worry, I'm sure the section to the north won't be far behind.

As to the managed lanes concept as a whole, I am somewhat skeptical.  One of the few corridors in the country where they are working successfully is on I-95 in Miami.  In fact, that one is working so well that FDOT is requesting they be allowed to raise the max. price from the current $0.50/mile to $1.00/mile. 

I was down there last week and the cost to travel the 10 miles around 9am was $4.50....and it appeared that cost would allow the driver to save about 10 minutes.  I think drivers in Miami have become de-sensitized to the cost since most just have the cost automatically debit from one of their credit card accounts.

Would anyone here be willing to pay $4.50 to shave 10 minutes off their trip? 

urbanlibertarian

January 21, 2014, 09:45:21 AM
When tolls work well it means the people/businesses who use something are the ones paying for it.  That's a good thing.  Tolls are better than gas taxes in that respect.

thelakelander

January 21, 2014, 09:53:24 AM
I think you need them both. Combined, they still don't cover the cost of building and maintaining roads.

chipwich

January 21, 2014, 11:28:42 AM
There doesn't seem to be enough traffic on any stretch of I-295 in Jacksonville to really justify these lanes.  I could see them working on lets say I-4 in Orlando, I-95 in Miami or the 285 in Atlanta- where you can literally get stuck for hours in sea of cars.  But to pay extra to go from 35-40 mph on I-295 to be able to 65 mph just seems wasteful. 

If we need another lane, DOT should just add it free of charge.  We pay taxes and that should help to cover it.  Better yet, put a special tax semi-truck operators who use and wear down the highways more than anyone else.

coredumped

January 21, 2014, 11:34:04 AM
What happened to the extra 1% (or whatever) sales tax Duval voted for in lieu of tolls? Or don't these count as tolls? This is more of "first class" for drivers...

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

January 21, 2014, 12:03:39 PM
Let those who use the express lanes pay for them.

If you don't want to pay extra, then stay in the regular lanes.

Dapperdan

January 21, 2014, 12:38:26 PM
Think about this for a moment. Unless these lanes have direct access to exits, how does one get over to an exit? Also, since these don't cover all of 2-95, won't there be choke points where it merges back into normal traffic? I really see no benefit here.
 Now, if they built express lanes over the Buckman, and completed the loop, and they have direct access to exits, then maybe.

thelakelander

January 21, 2014, 12:47:12 PM
Most likely, you won't be able to get off on any exits between the Buckman Bridge and I-95 or between SR 9B and JTB if using them.  I've used express and HOV lanes in several cities during frequent road trips.  These types of lanes are best for longer commuting purposes.

tufsu1

January 21, 2014, 01:09:02 PM
^ correct...in the case of the first one being built in Jax, the eastbound express lane will end shortly after the St. Augustine Road interchange so people can move over in time to exit at I-95

copperfiend

January 21, 2014, 01:16:23 PM
^ correct...in the case of the first one being built in Jax, the eastbound express lane will end shortly after the St. Augustine Road interchange so people can move over in time to exit at I-95

Welcome to Jacksonville: Where your lane ends.

I have never been in a city with more merging lanes on Interstate highways. I can see the guy in the Express Lane having to go across four lanes of traffic at 70 MPH in less than a mile to right exit onto 95 Northbound. Nothing bad can happen there.

thelakelander

January 21, 2014, 01:25:06 PM
Eventually, there will be a need to stop the weaving, so we'll spend another $200 million building a flyover to I-95 north for express lane traffic (I'm just being playfully sarcastic for those who may not get it).

coredumped

January 21, 2014, 01:26:10 PM
Let those who use the express lanes pay for them.

If you don't want to pay extra, then stay in the regular lanes.

Oh sweet, so if I don't want to use them I don't have to pay for them? They're 100% self-sufficient?

A better use of this money would be a paved bike trail alongside 295.

copperfiend

January 21, 2014, 01:29:08 PM
Eventually, there will be a need to stop the weaving, so we'll spend another $200 million building a flyover to I-95 north for express lane traffic (I'm just being playfully sarcastic for those who may not get it).

You joke now but lets see in a few years... :)

Redbaron616

January 21, 2014, 02:04:25 PM
Nice way to discriminate against those who don't have the money to spare for tolls. Yet another rich versus poor discriminator.

Of course, tolls are not something that attracts people to a city. Didn't Jacksonville work hard to get the tolls off bridges years ago? Now you are going 100% in reverse. This is progress?

TD*

January 21, 2014, 04:30:17 PM
This is a fail of a plan. Where is the Rail plan for Jax??????????? I want commuter, light, or heavy rail.. I would even take a starter streetcar line from san marco to riverside/avondale to start.

mtraininjax

January 21, 2014, 04:35:47 PM
Quote
Of course, tolls are not something that attracts people to a city. Didn't Jacksonville work hard to get the tolls off bridges years ago? Now you are going 100% in reverse. This is progress?

Tolls impacted the slow and fast lanes all together. Now these lanes are express lanes, so if you want to reach your destination marginally faster, you pay for using said lanes. Pay for the use. They do it in Miami every day, same with Orlando with the turnpike, why not here?

brainstormer

January 21, 2014, 04:59:58 PM
I agree that the toll lanes for a few miles on 295 are a huge waste of money.  They will end and drop fast moving traffic into slow moving traffic and cause people to have to merge over 3-4 lanes to exit.
A much more cost effective solution would simply be to add lanes on the right side so that cars don't have to merge.  It is the on-ramp merging traffic that causes slowdowns on 295 South.  If they simply extended the on-ramp from Old St. Augustine to 95N so that people weren't required to merge, that would solve things for very little cost.  They could do the same thing between San Jose and Old St. Augustine.  Simply build a lane on the far right so that people had over a mile to merge rather than a few hundred feet.
In my opinion, 95N traffic is much worse and would benefit more from express lanes.  People from St. John's would certainly pay to drive from the 295/95 interchange on the south end to get to downtown more quickly.

jaxinatl

January 21, 2014, 06:05:58 PM
These arent needed in Jax. The traffic along there is not that bad. I live in Atl and they did this along I85 all the way through Gwinett County where there really is a lot of traffic. It has been very controversial for the last two years. Many who travel along there dont like it.

simms3

January 21, 2014, 06:33:15 PM
I think this will be a short term failure, overall (agreeing with basically everyone here).  Atlanta has two sets of managed lanes and I remember when they converted the first set from HOV to "HOT" (High Occupancy Toll).  It was ~16 miles in suburban Gwinnett County on I-85, where there are already 12+ lanes along the full distance throughout the county (as wide as 18 lanes where a branch breaks off towards Athens).  There was no room to add more lanes as it is developed on both sides the full route (Gwinnett has as many people as Duval in half the space).

Anyway, the cost is about $0.50/mi in rush hour, so if you're driving in from far out Gwinnett into Fulton County (where you still have thick traffic and ~6-8 miles until "work"), you are paying $8+ dollars ONE WAY to avoid the gridlock.  This is apparently enough to keep the lane moving at an average speed of 45 mph.

People had a flipping COW when HOV went to HOT.  HOV in metro Atlanta was pretty much pointless as it totally stopped up just like the rest of the lanes, so adding a $$$ buffer made sense, but few accepted it initially, and this in one of the most congested cities in America.

The point of HOT though was for commuting relatively long distances, as in from suburb to central core work district, and back.  Short commutes or quickly avoiding a stop up were not options for managed lane drivers.  You can only jump in and get back out in spaced out intervals and fines are really heavy for crossing the double white (not to mention some angry regular lane drivers ain't gonna let you in just when you want to get back in with the regular folk).

The routes in Jax seem to be mostly short, a few miles maybe.  I think it will be difficult, plus as others have mentioned, traffic in Jax is pretty minor.  295 between 95 and Roosevelt is about one of the only semi-thick places, especially if there is a wreck.  Also, I kind of doubt there is disposable income in the average driving population among these two routes whereby there are enough people who can and will pay the $ amount necessary to really "justify" the HOT lanes.  In the meantime, how about weighing whether new lanes are actually needed, and if so, how about just building them without tolls?  The equipment for the tolls and the dividers for the lanes aren't cheap.

Here's what Atlantic Cities has to say:

Quote
If you're a commuter in one of the increasing number of major metro areas that have implemented HOT lanes — express tolls for single-occupancy vehicles — you might already know how effective they can be for bypassing traffic. But these lanes were also promised to the public as a new road funding mechanism, pitched as a way to pay for long-delayed road maintenance or big public projects. In that regard, you might say that so far HOT lanes have come up rather cold.

The poor revenue performance of express tolls, while perhaps not universal, has certainly formed a disturbing trend. According to news reports, Virginia's new HOT lanes on Washington, D.C.'s Beltway lost $11.3 million in their first six weeks, Houston's I-45 and U.S. 59 express lanes haven't covered their costs, and Atlanta's I-85 tolls fell short of the lowest fiscal forecasts. The most egregious offender may be SR-167 in metro Seattle, whose actual earnings fall consistently and astonishingly below revenue expectations:



So if commuters hate sitting in traffic as much as they say they do, and if people of all income levels use the express tolls as surveys suggest, why are HOT lanes struggling to make money? Austin Gross, who's studying SR-167 for his doctoral dissertation in economics at the University of Washington, is one of very few scholars to look closely at the question (via Sightline). What he's finding on this particular HOT lane (in collaboration with Danny Brent) could provide lessons for other express tolls across the country.

"We're selling these things hard — at least the public sector — as congestion relief and revenue generation," says Gross. "These are still a good tool for us, but we need to use that tool better, because we're missing out on some of the opportunities."

Gross says there are a multitude of reasons SR-167 hasn't met its revenue goals, but broadly speaking his work reduces things down to two main conclusions: poor traffic planning and a lack of driver familiarity with HOT lanes.

Let's start with the planning element. When SR-167 opened about five years ago, engineers in the Washington DOT were a bit too optimistic about traffic growth. They believed vehicle-miles traveled would continue to increase, when in fact (as "peak driving" would suggest) the road hit a plateau of roughly 110,000 vehicles a day (below). If you can't estimate how many drivers will use a road, says Gross, then obviously any revenue forecasts are going to miss their mark.

Read more here:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/06/why-are-hot-lanes-struggling-make-money/6000/

jcjohnpaint

January 21, 2014, 06:53:07 PM
This is not logical, nor was it meant to be.  This is a way for politicians to half ass a problem and say they didn't raise your taxes, just added a fee... and you have a choice etc, etc. 

spuwho

January 21, 2014, 07:29:22 PM
There is little to be gained by adding tolled express lanes in Jacksonville. In time or dollars. Sure there are a couple of bad spots here and there during a rush hour, but express lanes don't fix accident backups.

FDOT budget was just increased (again).  I wonder if they are getting a little thick in the wallet and are looking for ways to spend their new found dough? (like the Fuller Warren)

Now that the beltway is done, how about some spending some of that new found dough on some regional transit? Yeah, you know, those things that have a horn and can haul large amounts of people, say....to the Gator Bowl with a expansive scoreboard?

Don't wait until it costs mega billions like Seattle did. Start doing it now while land and infra is cheap.

We are stuck quibbling over bus stations, a people mover, tolled lanes and an unneeded widening of a bridge.

Who is running this place anyway?

simms3

January 21, 2014, 08:01:35 PM
We are stuck quibbling over bus stations, a people mover, tolled lanes and an unneeded widening of a bridge.

Seriously.  And how is it that we are even quibbling over bus stations?  "Tacky" signs?  Really?  Can't put private advertising on a public bus stop to cover the cost of the station?

The latest APTA numbers came out for the largest systems in the country.  Jacksonville's bus system isn't even listed (there are systems listed with lower ridership, but JTA is such a dismal failure that I think APTA doesn't even find it reasonable to request numbers or report their data?)

FL's Q4 avg weekday ridership numbers are as follows for bus systems:

Miami - 244,700
Fort Lauderdale - 129,100
Orlando - 88,400
Tampa - 48,700
St. Petersburg - 44,300
Gainesville - 40,600
West Palm Beach - 39,300
Fort Myers - 12,200
Sarasota - 9,200
Pompano Beach - 6,600
Bradenton - 5,300
Tallahassee - N/A, though it is listed by month, and it appears to be about 50% of Gainesville's #'s


Some of Jacksonville's peers:

Milwaukee: 134,100
Austin: 116,800
Hartford: 86,800
Tucson: 68,200
Charlotte: 67,600
Salt Lake City: 67,000
Hampton Roads: 54,300
Louisville: 48,300
Grand Rapids: 41,100
Nashville: 39,100
Indianapolis: 36,800
Memphis: 29,100
Birmingham: 12,300 (guess the stigma of riding a bus there never gets old!)
New Orleans: N/A
Raleigh: not listed

Systems to strive for (the largest):

New York MTA: 2,475,700
Los Angeles MTA: 1,145,600
Chicago CTA: 960,000 (35% of city's population)
San Francisco MTA: 505,100 (61% of city's population)
Philadelphia SEPTA: 509,800 (33% of city's population)
Washington DC TA: 456,500 (72% of city's population)
Boston MBTA: 376,300 (59% of city's population)
Seattle King County: 306,200 (48% of city's population)

peestandingup

January 21, 2014, 09:44:58 PM
This is a fail of a plan. Where is the Rail plan for Jax??????????? I want commuter, light, or heavy rail.. I would even take a starter streetcar line from san marco to riverside/avondale to start.

I swear, car ownership has got to be the biggest racket in the history of mankind. Pay to purchase the thing that's used for transport, get locked into a loan, pay for maintenance, pay for gas constantly, get raped by insurance, pay for the "privilege" (like we have a choice) to use the roads, tickets, death, etc etc. It never ends.

But mention paying slightly more in taxes for a real choice for alternate transit & people have a shit-fit. I'll never understand it. Actually I do understand it, but it's still sad.

mtraininjax

January 22, 2014, 10:05:24 AM
Quote
The routes in Jax seem to be mostly short, a few miles maybe.  I think it will be difficult, plus as others have mentioned, traffic in Jax is pretty minor.  295 between 95 and Roosevelt is about one of the only semi-thick places, especially if there is a wreck.

Simms - To your point in Atlanta, the GDOT tried HOV, it failed because of lack of enforcement. So now they went to HOT and people are paying it. Perhaps FDOT wants to be proactive and push the toll solution before 295 between JTB and 95 becomes a hotbed of the wild west with shootings and westside stuff? Those 2 lanes headed south are always stopped at 5, just too much traffic for the road with 2 lanes. Then there is 95 from 295 to Blanding, again a mess in the afternoons, the FDOT should have built a flyover from 295S to US17S if they ever needed a flyover.

Hail FDOT for looking at what others have done and looking to adopt solutions before they have serious road rage.

simms3

January 22, 2014, 11:36:16 AM
^^^There's only so much one can do to enforce HOV in any city, but I do know a couple folks that got ticketed for improperly using them (it's 24 hour in Atlanta whereas in many cities HOV is just enforced during rush hours).

Better highway design is always a good solution from the start, and foresight is always nice to have.  Seems roadbuilders and DOTs sometimes lack the foresight to know where the growth is going and how their roads are quickly going to become clogged, but I think any smart DOT planner should realize if they even build a road, it WILL spur more development and quickly increase traffic from that direction.

Perhaps more road lanes should be constructed - I think I even said this before.  But I agree with everyone else that HOT for these short routes and in Jacksonville in particular is probably adding too much to the cost and is not needed.  Lanes can always be converted later.

redgiant

January 22, 2014, 11:52:20 AM
I grew up in Jax and have lived in Seattle for many years now.

They are now converting a much-travelled stretch of I-405 on the Eastside here from 1 HOV + 3 normal lanes, to 2 HOT + 3 normal lanes. So capacity for non-toll payers is actually reduced by a lane. Don't kid yourselves, the *only* reason they do these projects, no matter what they say about reducing congestion and such, is $$$. Their Holy Grail is to figure out how to coerce you to use these lanes without appearing to coerce you. They ... want ... $$$.

They have suits sitting in a room literally thinking of scenarios like "the merge points when the lanes end will have probability P on days X and Y of causing a S% traffic rate reduction which will cascade back to the 5.6 mile toll lane starting point for an overall T% traffic rate reduction seen by drivers there, thus providing further motivation for D% additional drivers to utilize the toll lanes for the extra $M toll to bypass a slowdown that in reality is exacerbated by the same toll lanes we get them to view as their best trip accelerating option. Brilliant!"

They aren't even trying to sugar-coat the complete abandoning of carpool measures to reduce overall car numbers; now they actually *want* congestion and numbers to use their toll lanes to make money. Their fiscal predictions (which are always b.s.) depend on that. The goals of reduced emissions, reduced traffic, 2 and 3-carpool lane restrictions are at odds with this. Forget what is good for the environment, your driving peace of mind, or energy waste/independence. Now it is a pure rich vs. poor play, whoever is willing to play to jump to the head of the line (and by willing, I mean a combination of wanting to skip traffic couples highly with having the money to justify doing so - everyone wants to skip it, only wealthier people with disposable income to pay what will likely add up to  a new 2- or 3-figure monthly bill can consistently do it).


If they really wanted the best way to get extra income from the existing roads, with no tolls, just install cameras to take photos of people violating the HOV lane rules, and mail them a fine. They would make more than tolls (since you can charge more per fine as it is for a violation you shouldn't be doing) with a paltry investment in cameras compared to lane construction and rejiggering. If I just sat at any, and I mean *any* on-ramp with a HOV lane all day, I would be able to issue probably 1,000 tickets for single-driver cars who skip the waiting at the onboarding light and fly by in the HOV lane.

susanA

January 22, 2014, 12:02:13 PM
I second that question.  Are these tolls even legal?  We voted for the sales tax with the promise that there would be NO tolls. 

coredumped
Yesterday at 11:34:04 AM
What happened to the extra 1% (or whatever) sales tax Duval voted for in lieu of tolls?

redgiant

January 22, 2014, 12:14:47 PM
When I was growing up in Jax, the toll bridges had a major flow impact since the tech didn't exist like it does today. You had to either dead stop to pay an attendant, or slow to walking speed to throw your quarter into the basket. The pollution right at the toll bays was awful, like a perpetual parking lot to breath.

So they had more impetus to get rid of them than just fiscal.

Nowadays, they can scan a tag or plate without you caring. For you, it sounds convenient, but for them it is a way to nickel and dime you without you noticing - until you get those monthly bills. Of course, they also want the Good--to-go style pass payment via debit means, so you don't even get a paper statement to remind you how much you are really paying. You will probably have to go look at it online to see how much extra money (talk about a focused tax!) you end up paying.

Instead of a large population paying a little, you will have a fairly small population (relative to the total) paying quite a lot, in individual terms. It is the antithesis of a broad tax base to absorb and spread costs fairly.

For those who say "you are paying for the road you are using", okay then shall we do that for every road everywhere? Do you know how much it would cost just you and your immediate neighbors to build even your driveways or cul-de-sac asphalt road portion, if *you* had to pay for it directly? You would never end up paying off the loan. Or the country types who are anti-government, anti-tax, anti-everything; do you know how much your simpler 2-lane asphalt road would cost if just YOUR COUNTY paid for all of their own simple roads? You wouldn't be able to without county-wide taxes on the relatively tiny populace that would sink every one of them.

But the above concentration-tax archetype is what these toll roads represent the tip of, and it is not a good trend to start to see.

thelakelander

January 22, 2014, 02:59:17 PM
For those who say "you are paying for the road you are using", okay then shall we do that for every road everywhere? Do you know how much it would cost just you and your immediate neighbors to build even your driveways or cul-de-sac asphalt road portion, if *you* had to pay for it directly? You would never end up paying off the loan. Or the country types who are anti-government, anti-tax, anti-everything; do you know how much your simpler 2-lane asphalt road would cost if just YOUR COUNTY paid for all of their own simple roads? You wouldn't be able to without county-wide taxes on the relatively tiny populace that would sink every one of them.

So true, so true....

simms3

January 22, 2014, 04:16:01 PM
Yes.  All true.

The tolls to get into the city of SF have gotten quite steep, too.  The Bay Bridge toll for cars on non-rush times is $5.  The Golden Gate toll is being raised over the course of the next year from $6 to $8 (with a pass...add $1 if you don't).  Even to take BART from downtown Oakland to the first station in downtown SF *one-way*, which is probably not even where you want to go, is now $3.30 (one station apart via a single underwater tunnel).  So it's technically more expensive to take the train to go back and forth from Oakland to SF than it is to take a car (since the toll is only going into the city and not leaving).  Traffic on the bridge is enough to make anyone used to Jax traffic cringe and cry (usually takes an hour+ to cross this one bridge in rush hour).  However, if you're claustrophobic, neither option is good.  The bridge is 6 lanes each way and double decker (so leaving you are squished underneath with metal and cars all around you).  The trains are CROWDED leaving the city into Oakland.  Like NYC crowded.  If you don't like that kind of situation, you're SOL.  Unfortunately, if your an average American, you probably can't afford SF and so you need to live in Oakland, with all its coolness but all of its issues.

With transit options, though, there IS a wonderful solution.  The ferries!  Most of them have a bar, and they are very smooth, pleasant, enjoyable rides.  Not too crowded, not noisy, no claustrophobia, and they aren't too expensive.  Lessons from most big cities to all growing smaller cities - explore every option.  Someday ferries could be a viable transit option in Jacksonville, too.  Passenger ferries, not car ferries.  People would have to learn to walk from the drop off points to their destination, or find connecting transit.

All of the fare increases are in the name of funding for new projects.  Such as the $6.5B replacement of one of the spans of the Bay Bridge, that came in billions of dollars and 5+ years over budget and over time.

HOT hasn't hit here, yet, to my knowledge, though the restrictions to get into HOV here are quite high (higher than I've seen elsewhere).

tufsu1

January 22, 2014, 09:50:55 PM
I second that question.  Are these tolls even legal?  We voted for the sales tax with the promise that there would be NO tolls. 

they are legal because they are attached to new capacity...and you will still have the option of traveling in the existing lanes for free

Tony B

February 03, 2014, 10:40:51 PM
This is stupid.  For a city of it's size JAX doesn't have much of a traffic problem.  For the most part barring weather or a wreck traffic moves well. 

Tony B

February 03, 2014, 10:54:21 PM
Some people out here actually like the idea of the private auto and dislike public transportation.  It's true. We love our cars.  We love to go where we want - when we want - taking the route we want - on the schedule we choose. 

This opinion was formed from years of riding the NYC subway system.  Filthy. Expensive. Often unreliable. Always uncomfortable.  On weekends... you might end up walking.


This is a fail of a plan. Where is the Rail plan for Jax??????????? I want commuter, light, or heavy rail.. I would even take a starter streetcar line from san marco to riverside/avondale to start.

I swear, car ownership has got to be the biggest racket in the history of mankind. Pay to purchase the thing that's used for transport, get locked into a loan, pay for maintenance, pay for gas constantly, get raped by insurance, pay for the "privilege" (like we have a choice) to use the roads, tickets, death, etc etc. It never ends.

But mention paying slightly more in taxes for a real choice for alternate transit & people have a shit-fit. I'll never understand it. Actually I do understand it, but it's still sad.
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