Imagine if it was actually planned well

Tri-Rail is growing like crazy down here in south Florida, in spite of the fact that it's not set up to serve the people who would be best served by it. It 'senough to make one think that public transportation could actually work down here.

FORT LAUDERDALE - Tri-Rail was the third-fastest growing commuter rail system in the nation during the first six months of this year, according to a report issued Thursday.

Tri-Rail carried 15.4 percent more passengers in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, second only to commuter rail lines in Harrisburg, Pa. (47.5 percent), and Dallas (17 percent).

There are multiple problems with Tri-Rail--it's too far west, it's too expensive when compared to carpooling, or even to driving in an economy car, and the on-time issues are related to maintenance and old equipment--trains are constantly breaking down and the toilets smell foul and the air conditioning doesn't always work. That's due to a lack of capital investment--which is always the case when it comes to rail, it seems.

And yet, the ridership continues to grow. So how about some enterprising local politico come up with an extensive plan to revamp Florida's public transportation system? It seems we're ready for it.

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