Public transportation is taking off in Boca Raton, starting with the Tri-Rail station on Yamato Road being the busiest station along that track of Tri-Rail stations. Now, Tri-Rail is looking to expand in Boca by adding a new station off of Military Trail, just two miles south of the existing one.
Tri-Rail’s current Boca Station has 1600 riders daily, a number which Tri-Rail’s Public Information Officer, Bonnie Arnold, does not think will be affected by opening a new station nearby. “It may draw some traffic away from the other station, but probably not a substantial amount because there will not be much space for parking,” said Arnold.
Due to the lack of space in the area Tri-Rail is looking to build in, the new station will be heavily reliant on shuttles, which the city of Boca Raton is ready to supply. “[Tri-Rail] had previously looked at the King’s Deli site on Military Trail south of the Glades Road overpass,” said Arnold.
The increase in shuttles and public transportation is believed to increase pedestrian traffic; a pedestrianized downtown area will have a positive impact according to William Cross, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority’s Director of Planning. “There are many restaurants and shops within an easy walk that should benefit from increased activity, boosting sales. Several significant employers are also located within a short walk and so this station should open up new opportunities for commuting without an auto, as well as new markets for these employers to draw upon for employees,” said Cross.
The new Tri-Rail station also has the potential to ease some of the traffic on Glades Road by opening a new route for commuters. “The station will provide an alternative to an auto trip to the Town Center Mall and other major employers in the area, many of whom currently arrive via I-95 and Glades road,” said Cross.
Tri-Rail also has an initiative in the works called the “Coastal Link.” Tri-Rail is planning on adding links from the current Tri-Rail tracks to allow access further east. According to Cross, the benefit of the Coastal Link “is that it does serve the historic downtowns that grew up along Henry Flagler’s (now FECR) railroad and they provide an exceptional opportunity for transit to serve walk able downtowns and generate economic development.”
The expansion of public transportation in Boca Raton may allow a more walk-able city around major businesses. Public transportation can also allow for a family to eliminate one car and save around $10,000 annually according to Tri-Rail’s website. With the creation of a new station, Tri-Rail is looking to impact the local economy as well as local transportation.
Source: Boca Raton Tribune