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"You can't get there from here"
Five years ago, when Robert L. Crandall, chairman and president of American Airlines, agreed to build a Caribbean hub in Puerto Rico, he informed Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon that the company would invest in the hub but that the Commonwealth had to do something about the problem of ground transportation. When Crandall visited the island two months ago, American had invested more than $200 million in Puerto Rico, yet the local transportation networks were no better than they had been a decade ago.
"Unless Puerto Rico solves its transportation problem, the tourism industry will not grow to its full potential," stated Crandall during a Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association meeting. Crandall's opinion is shared by the local tourism association, hoteliers and industry experts. A recently released study, conducted in 1990 by the Committee for Economic Development in Puerto Rico Inc., concluded that the San Juan metropolitan area is choking on heavily congested traffic and, as a result, is losing the momentum needed for continued growth. San Juan's transportation system is also in a state of crisis according to the report's findings.
The Committee for Economic Development is a private organization devoted to fostering growth and economic development in Puerto Rico. In June of 1989, it hired the consulting team of SOFRETU/LSTS and its local associates, Management and Technical Consulting Group Inc., to examine San Juan's transportation problems and create strategies to resolve them.