Monday, October 20, 2008

Commuter Rail Study Update From Metro Jax

Metro Jacksonville has been fighting the good fight for some time in trying bring light and commuter rail to North Florida. If it had not been for the gang over at the Metro, JTA would still be shoving their idiotic BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system down our throats. But because of the work done by these guys JTA has been forced to go back to the planning board and do feasibly and cost studies for rail systems prior to moving ahead with their current plans to move Jacksonville yet another 20 years behind the rest of nation.

I'm posting this here so that you the cyclist can stay not only informed. But also so that you can speak up and hopefully will get involved to make sure that any and all transportation plans include bikes. It is vital that we make certain all rail and any other transportation plans include bike paths to and from the planned stations, along with secure bike storage lockers at those same stations and most importantly require bikes be allowed those on the trains or buses.

You can read the update from Metro Jacksonville Here.

We are a long way from actually seeing any train system come to fruition. But you can do your part right now by taking a few seconds to help secure the funding needed. Sign this petition from Walk Score and Transportation America asking Congress to allocate more money for alternative transportation which will also include cycling infrastructure into the new 2009 Transportation Bill.
The Petition reads:

"Help reduce our vulnerability to oil prices by tripling—or more—the share of funding for walking, biking and public transit.
Build a world-class rail network—both between cities and within them—that links our communities and transports people and goods more efficiently.
Require that roads are safe for everyone using them—including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, as well as motorists.

While we are on the subject Transportation, NPR's program NOW has an outstanding video titled, Driven To Despair. It is the first installment in "Blueprint America," a year-long, PBS-wide series focusing on the nation's infrastructure. It is truly worth viewing.


Peter said...

This is probably the first post that openly opposes BRT that I've ever seen - besides my own, of course. And your disagreement seems qualified, like mine.

Will be interesting to see where it all goes.

Shek said...

Amen, brother!

Shek said...

Driven to Despair is worth a watch!

Emory said...

I have started noticing that the busses are carrying a lot more bikes on the rack in front. So people are using that system. A rail system that actually went somewhere would be very useful and I am sure a lot more people would ride. The jta could start phasing out busses as a rail system was put in place and move those existing busses to other routes. Expanding a public transportation system would have other benefits as well. Businesses would spring up around terminals and people could move closer to bus stops or even rail stops. I would like to drive my car less and either ride my bike or use some kind of public transport.