JTA gets $1.7 million to upgrade Skyway

The Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) is a multi-phased program aimed at converting and expanding the automated people mover (Skyway) into an autonomous vehicle (AV) network and would be paid for with the proposed gas tax money. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will receive $1.7 million in federal grant money to replace and expand the Skyway.

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation. It will support the third phase of the Ultimate Urban Circulator project (U2C), a project that is expected to cost around $400 million in total.

The project will replace the current monorail with autonomous vehicles. They’ll connect Downtown to San Marco, Five Points, Brooklyn and UF Health near Springfield.

The goal is to speed up service and provide faster travel times for riders. The project will also use zero-emission vehicles to reduce long-term carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption.

The federal government recently awarded a $1 billion RAISE “Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity” grant to transportation authorities across the nation.

“The Department of Transportation grant will allow the city the opportunity to further modernize the area and provide residents with equitable access to connecting neighborhoods, employment opportunities and medical centers,” U.S. Representative Al Lawson said.

U2C’s phase one, for the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, is already fully funded. Money raised by doubling Duval county’s gas will help fund Phase two.

MORE: City Council votes to double gas tax to address infrastructure needs

Phase two will be the full conversion of the Skyway and connections to the Bay Street Innovation Corridor.

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