The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is exploring the potential for future regional commuter rail.
As such, the JTA completed a commuter rail feasibility study in November of 2009. This study concluded that commuter rail could prove to be a viable transportation option to residents of northeast Florida and that further study should proceed.
During the initial efforts of the Commuter Rail Feasibility Study seven (7) potential corridors were identified. The screening of the seven corridors was done in coordination with Norfolk Southern (NS), Florida East Coast (FEC) and CSX railroads. After the initial review, three (3) preferred candidate corridors were identified for additional analysis: a Southeast Corridor from Downtown Jacksonville to St Augustine; a Southwest Corridor from Downtown Jacksonville to Green Cove Springs; and a North Corridor from Downtown Jacksonville to Yulee.
The first step after the feasibility study was to evaluate and rank the three candidate corridors to allow planning efforts to focus on the first corridor for development. The following corridors were evaluated:
The SE corridor runs along the FEC line, it is 38 miles long with 13 planned stations. Estimated travel time along the corridor is 52 minutes, including stops. It is projected that up to 4,800 riders a day would utilize this line.
The SW corridor runs along the CSX line, it is 29 miles long with 12 planned stations. Estimated travel time along the corridor is 41 minutes, including stops. It is projected that up to 3,000 riders a day would utilize this line.
The North corridor runs along the CSX and parts of NS lines; it is 23 miles long with 15 planned stations. Estimated travel time along the corridor is 40 minutes, including stops. It is projected that up to 2,000 riders a day would utilize this line.
In September 2013, the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization and the JTA Board of Directors approved corridor prioritization which identified the Southeast Corridor as the first corridor for development. It is a high growth corridor excellent opportunities to attract development and grow ridership. This corridor is the only one being advanced further at this time.
Preliminary planning efforts, including travel demand model, were completed in Fall 2014. In September, the JTA Board authorized staff to negotiate with PB to complete the Project Definition Phase in order to complete efforts required prior to applying for entry into FTA Project Development. Notice-to-Proceed was issued to PB on December 16, 2014.
May 2015: Released survey to residents along the downtown to St. Augustine corridor. The purpose was to obtain general feedback from the public on ridership related to potential ridership and station locations.
August-September 2015: Conducted five focus group meeting in Southeast Corridor.