JTA to add Skyway station in Brooklyn this year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority plans to spend $1.2 million to build a Skyway passenger station at the edge of the growing Brooklyn neighborhood. The first new Skyway station in 25 years is scheduled to be open by September.

JTA filed the application earlier this month to build the elevated light rail platform on 0.11 acres on Leila Street, adjoining its Skyway maintenance facility near the Florida Times-Union’s old riverfront building by the Acosta Bridge. It will link to the Central Skyway Station at West Bay and Lee streets in LaVilla and continue on to the existing Downtown and San Marco stations.

Passenger parking will be provided at an existing JTA surface lot off Riverside Avenue. A fabric canopy will be installed over the passenger waiting and boarding areas.

Two refurbished Skyway trains will be used for the station wrapped in a “Brooklyn Shuttle theme,” according to a JTA project summary obtained by the Jacksonville Daily Record.

“All the development that’s occurring there, FIS is building its new campus there, you’ve got the shopping center that’s located in that area and you’ve got a number of apartment complexes there,” JTA CEO Nat Ford said Wednesday. “There’s no better destination right now than the activity that’s happening in Brooklyn.”

Shuttles will connect from the Brooklyn Station to carry people deeper into Riverside.

Ford explained that while there are restrictions on expanding elevated tracks for the Skyway, this project and future expansion of its footprint using autonomous vehicles on the Bay Street Innovation Corridor are coming. The ground-based vehicles will eventually connect to TIAA Bank Field.

“I’ve always said the Skyway was built well before its time. (It) never really got to its full potential,” Ford said. “As the JTA, we have the capacity and capability for it to reach its full potential.”

About the Authors:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.

Digital election producer in 2022. He created WJXT.com in 1995 and managed The Local Station's website through 2021.