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Buses, Rail, Better Roads: The Future of First Coast Transportation

Rick Wilson/The Florida Times-Union file photo

 It's a big-picture look at the future transportation needs of the entire First Coast.

The Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Study Commission (RTSC), is working with the seven counties of the First Coast to develop a better transportation grid for the coming decades.

We spoke with Director Brad Thoburn and Commissioner Bob Rhodes about the organization's long-term goals.

They begin with securing funding from state lawmakers to develop a regional, multimodal transportation plan.

"An efficient regional transportation system is central to the future economic competitiveness and quality of life for Northeast Florida," says Thoburn.  Both men say the future vision for Jacksonville and the surrounding counties includes more regional bus transportation and rail lines to carry more freight in and out of JAXPORT, along with rail service for people.

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Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.