Multi-modal hub planned for Jacksonville

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)–The city of Jacksonville is developing a transportation system that it hopes will improve quality of life and bring in more businesses.

One of those improvements will be constructing the county’s first multi-modal transit hub that will service residents and visitors alike.

It will be located at East Thompson Street along Marine Boulevard. It’s the first of its kind in the area, providing access for Amtrak, Greyhound, and cyclists.

It’s part of the city of Jacksonville’s goal to make traveling easier and improve the quality of life.

“Mobility is everything,” Anthony Prinz, transportation director, said. “Next to food, water and shelter, mobility is the number one thing that people need to live successful and productive lives.”

Prinz says they are hoping to start construction on the multi-modal center by 2019.

“Most people would call this a bus station, but we want it to be more than that,” he said. “We want it serve all the public transportation services that we have in Onslow County that includes Jacksonville Transit, Onslow United Transit, Amtrak and Greyhound.”

In addition, the city is also purchasing five new transit vehicles and expanding its fleet by June 2018.

“We’re in the day and age of Uber and Lyft and all of the other options that are out there, and other transit systems in North Carolina are feeling that with their ridership.”

But Jacksonville is not. It was one of only 6 in the state to see an increase in ridership, by 5.7%. And better transportation is a key for getting businesses in the area.

“Industries that are considering relocating here need to be sure that their employees can get to work, and also that their employees can have a good quality of life by having access to leave the community to visit family and friends,” Sheila Knight, Jacksonville Onslow Economic Development executive director, said.

The city is also working to add technology that will allow transit riders to pay their fares electronically.

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