Some experts argue that expanding the rail system could improve the housing market and boost property sales in Jacksonville.
Is an expanded commuter rail the next step for Downtown Jacksonville? Downtown Jacksonville is notorious for being difficult to drive around and park in. With an abundance of tall business buildings, the downtown area is home to only a small number of families considering the city’s size, and the amenities in the downtown area reflect the lack of population that calls the downtown region home. The city is home to ones small rail line that connects the most inner portions of downtown Jacksonville and San Marco. While catering to businesses and alleviating some traffic congestion from the downtown area, most agree that this small rail line doesn’t go far enough.
In 2009 the City of Jacksonville conducted a Commuter Rail Feasibility Study to assess the practicality and general perception of extending the Jacksonville rail system. The results of the study lead to the plotting of three potential rail lines through the city, a Southwest Corridor, Southeast Corridor and a North Corridor. This planned out rail system would attach much of Jacksonville to the city’s core, potentially alleviating morning and afternoon congestion on the Fuller Warren and helping many Jacksonville residents to save a great deal of money on gas—not to mention cut commutes in half.
This projected rail system is caught in funding battles, and so is not in the immediate planning phases as of yet—despite the fact that this study of the rail’s feasibility is now over three years old. However, many proponents of the projected plan argue that building such an expansive rail system would be beneficial to property sales in Jacksonville, as it would draw more people into the urban core of the city.
Many people believe that a lack of a reliable rail transit system is holding Jacksonville back from experiencing the boom in property sales and desire for rental property management that so many other populous cities benefit from. Expanding the existing transit system may convince more businesses and the employees that go with them to move into Jacksonville instead of other large metropolitan areas outside of Florida—and foreclosures and property sales in Jacksonville could definitely benefit from that influx of people.