Press Releases

JTA Awarded $1.72 Million RAISE Grant for U2C

JACKSONVILLE, FL.  November 19, 2021 – The U.S Department of Transportation awarded the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) a $1.72 million RAISE Grant in support of the Third Phase of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) project.  

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the award as part of a $1 billion package to support transportation authorities across the nation.

“We are honored that the U.S. Department of Transportation and our local Congressional Delegation are once again supporting the innovation and vision of the U2C program with its continued investment through the RAISE program,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “Thank you to U.S. Reps. Lawson and Rutherford, and U.S. Sens. Rubio and Scott for advocating on behalf of the JTA and the citizens of Jacksonville,” he added.  

“Jacksonville is truly the logistics hub of the Eastern Seaboard,” said U.S. Rep. John Rutherford. “Today’s federal award for the Ultimate Urban Circulator will help ease congestion in the city and get commuters where they need to be. I was proud to support this important project in Congress and thank JTA for their commitment to making Jacksonville a great city to live, work, and play.” 

“I am proud to have fought to successfully secure more than $1.7 million in funding for JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator Neighborhood Extensions,” said U.S. Rep. Al Lawson. “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. This critical federal funding will enhance economic development and quality of life for residents and local businesses.”

The RAISE grant program, which stands for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, is the successor to the BUILD grant program.

Projects for RAISE funding are evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Within these criteria, the U.S. Department of Transportation prioritizes projects that can demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change and create good-paying jobs.

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the JTA a $12.5 million BUILD grant for Phase 1 of the U2C, the Bay Street Innovation Corridor. In 2021, Mayor Lenny Curry and the Jacksonville City Council approved $250 million towards Phase 2 of the U²C, the conversion of the existing Skyway superstructure to an elevated roadway for autonomous vehicles, as part of the $1 billion Jobs for Jax infrastructure initiative.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration awarded the JTA a $1 million Transit-Oriented Development Pilot Program Planning Grant Study, focused on the Ultimate Urban Circulator’s proposed 10-mile network in Downtown Jacksonville and the Urban Core.

The RAISE grant will help the JTA advance planning, environmental and preliminary project development activities positioning the JTA to pursue FTA Capital Improvement Grants (CIG) and/or other U.S. Department of Transportation competitive discretionary grant funding for design and construction of Phase III of the U2C project. The JTA is required to provide a 50 percent match to DOT funds.

 

About the Ultimate Urban Circulator U2C

The Ultimate Urban Circulator or U2C is the JTA’s vision for the conversion and expansion of our Skyway automated people mover (APM) system in Downtown Jacksonville. The three-phase U2C includes the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, the full conversion of the Skyway superstructure, and the expansion into nearby neighborhoods. When completed, the system will expand the current Skyway from a 2.5-mile system to the 10-mile U2C, levering the latest autonomous vehicles and related technologies.

Phase 1 of the project, the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, is fully funded. Negotiations for a Design, Build, Operate and Maintain (AV-DBOM) procurement with the Balfour Beatty Vision 2 Reality consortium are ongoing.

Phase 2 of the project, the full conversion of the Skyway and connections to the Bay Street Innovation Corridor will be funded through a recent extension of the city of Jacksonville’s local option gas tax.

Phase 3 represents the urban neighborhood extensions. To learn more about the U2C project, visit u2c.jtafla.com.