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JTA plans to make Jacksonville a major hub

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Updated: 5/17/2013 8:30 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- It's a long-forgotten piece of Jacksonville history. The River City was home to the largest train station in the South: the Jacksonville Terminal.

In its heyday in the 1920s, as many as 142 trains and 20,000 passengers passed through daily. It's now a part of the Prime Osborn Convention Center, but there's now talk about converting it back to its original purpose.

"Beautiful, beautiful building inside. I think having that as a focus for downtown would be really helpful," Jackie Hudson said.

JTA wants to relocate the Amtrak station to Jax Terminal. An agreement was also reached to move Greyhound from Bay Street to property across from the Convention Center. CEO Nathaniel Ford says it's all a part of something called "the blueprint for transportation excellence."

"We're making plans now and taking actions to create that robust transportation network," he said.

Ford says bringing trains, buses and the Skyway together in the same radius will put Jacksonville on the big stage. If the commuter rail from St. Augustine comes, that will make the deal even sweeter. All these things take time and money, but Ford says it's feasible and that patience is key.

"Definitely will be worth the wait and I'm looking forward to being a part of that success story," he said.
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