JTA Board approves modernizing Skyway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s board has approved plans to modernize and continue operation of the Skyway.

The plans to modernize the Automated Skyway Express include replacing the existing vehicles and evaluating the possibility of future extensions.

“I would like to thank the skyway subcommittee led by director Isaiah Rumlin and the advisory group for their engagement and dedication over the past three months,”  JTA Board Chairman Scott L. McCaleb said in a news release. “The Skyway is an iconic system and important part of Downtown Jacksonville and I am pleased to support their resolution.”

Jacksonville’s Skyway supports approximately 5,000 trips per day and is projected to reach 1.32 million trips in 2015. The Skyway operates on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and during special events.

“I am honored to have been asked by Chairman McCaleb to chair the Skyway Subcomittee,” Rumlin said. “Policy statements formed by JTA staff served as the foundation for the subcommittee and advisory group to come to consensus and to draft a resolution that will serve as a guide as we move forward with a modernization program.”

Following the Skyway assessment, technology review and industry feedback, the JTA Board of Directors established a Skyway subcommittee and Skyway advisory group to address the future of the Skyway. The Skyway subcommittee met six times and the Skyway advisory group participated in five meetings. A public forum was held Oct. 26 and Nov. 3. Additionally, an online survey was made available to gain additional public feedback.

The JTA received 1,619 responses to the online survey on the Skyway future. Of those responding to the survey, 80 percent favored keeping the Skyway and expansion of the Skyway system. Nine percent preferred converting to an elevated multi-use path. When asked about potential extensions of the Skyway, 83 percent supported the Sports Complex/Shipyards extension; 79 percent were in favor of the Riverside/Brooklyn extension and 66 percent supported connecting the system to San Marco.