Metro Jacksonville's Robert W. Mann believes our leaders could be selling the public a bill of goods when it comes to realizing the true economic impact of Bus Rapid Transit, Streetcars and Light Rail Transit on our landscape. There are a growing number of cities expanding or proposing new local rail systems across the country. Could he be right? Could they be on to something that Jacksonville is overlooking?
As we push our crippled tricycle along, Jacksonville's leaders appear to be lacking in their understanding of mass transit, with a belief that rail won't work locally. "Rail isn't a good fit for Jacksonville," has been the position either blatantly or quietly taken among the city's leadership since 1929. As we struggle to fill our downtown, several other cities investing in rail are literally rocketing right past us. Here's a few: