The island has one of the highest rates of car ownership in the world and the greatest density of cars per mile of metropolitan-area highway, says Benjamin Colucci, an engineering professor at the University of Puerto Rico who is a consultant on the project.
But the urban train is now being scrutinized as a model, especially in the Caribbean and South America, said Professor Colucci
, who has given seminars about it in the Dominican Republic, Panama and Venezuela.
Still, officials here say Puerto Ricans themselves need to get used to the train, and that will apparently take some doing.
For one thing, the owners of p,blicos - private vans and cars that transport commuters for a fare - see the train as competition instead of a partner to work in tandem with, Professor Colucci
"We need p,blicos always arriving at a certain time to meet people when they get off the train," he
said."If no p,blico is there, then the person doesn't have a link to get to a final destination."
The Metropolitan Bus Authority, which could encourage train ridership by picking up passengers where rail routes end, is also competing with the train at present, Professor Colucci
said, although the length of bus line overlapping with train route is to disappear eventually.