Press Releases

JTA receives TOD Planning Grant for North Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has received a $942,624 grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Planning, for initiatives along the First Coast Flyer Green Line in North Jacksonville.

The FTA’s Pilot Program for TOD Planning grant provides funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning.  The funds from this grant will be used to promote Transit Oriented Development projects along the Green Line, which is part of the JTA’s First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network. 

The Green Line opened in 2014 and features more frequent service, premium branded stations and less stops along a 10-mile route that connects customers from the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla (JRTC) to the Armsdale Park-n-Ride facility located near Interstate 295 in North Jacksonville. The route currently includes 5.5 miles of dedicated bus lanes and 13 dedicated stations.

“We are thankful to the FTA for its support of our TOD efforts in Jacksonville and for seeing the positive impacts this type of investment can bring to this part of our community,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.

“With the Green Line already established, it’s time to leverage our experience in transit planning and capital programs to maximize the potential of this area and plan for sustainable growth through the creation of TODs,” said Ford. 

“The JTA invested $33.2 million to build the Green Line, completing original planned work approximately $7.2 million under budget. The Authority received approval from FTA and FDOT to then reinvest those savings into constructing much needed sidewalks and ADA improvements within a half-mile of the route.”

 “The JTA Board of Directors will continue to advocate for investments like this in North Jacksonville.  We know how impactful proper infrastructure and access to reliable transportation options are to our customers as they seek greater economic, educational and healthcare outcomes,” said JTA Board Chairman Kevin Holzendorf. “Thank you to the FTA and our executive leadership team at the JTA for making this a priority.”

The Green Line serves a diverse population that includes low-income and elderly customers and was the first phase of what will be a 57-mile First Coast Flyer BRT network. The route crosses through several Opportunity Zones, comprised of low-income and economically distressed census tracks as designated by the U.S. Treasury Department. Projects developed in Opportunity Zones are eligible for certain tax incentives to spur economic development in underserved communities. 

The anticipated TOD planning process is expected to be completed with 24 months of the grant award and cost a total of $1,178,280. The JTA will provide the local match of $235,656.

This is the second TOD planning grant received from the FTA in the past two years. In 2018, the FTA awarded the JTA a $1 million TOD Planning grant for the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) program.

 

About TOD

Transit Oriented Development or TOD is a strategy that encourages the development of high-density, mixed-used projects built within close proximity to public transportation hubs or stations. This type of development places more emphasis on pedestrian needs, incorporating wider sidewalks, bike and alternative-transportation lanes, slower traffic and smarter intersections.

The JTA’s TOD Program aims to create economic opportunity, community enhancement and financial sustainability by improving mobility. Land development and redevelopment that incorporates transit facilities such as Skyway stations, bus rapid transit (BRT) stations and intermodal stations can increase public transportation ridership while encouraging people to be less dependent on personal automobiles. This helps reduce the burden of transportation costs, which are the second highest household expense. Reduced transportation costs and inclusive development are crucial improvements for corridors with higher than average rates of poverty.

TOD has already begun in LaVilla with the Intercity Bus Terminal, which opened in 2018, and the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla which opened on May 4, 2020.

The JTA’s other real estate holdings being considered for TOD projects comprise properties connected to the Rosa Parks Transit Station in Downtown, the Kings Avenue Skyway Station and Parking Garage on the Southbank, the Golfair Transit Hub along the First Coast Flyer Green Line, the University Transit Hub and Avenues Walk Park-n-Ride on the First Coast Flyer Blue Line along with other properties.

To learn more about the JTA’s TOD program, visit https://www.jtafla.com/business-center/tod/

 

About the First Coast Flyer

The First Coast Flyer is the JTA’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, a premium bus service that features fewer stops, more frequent service and branded stations and hubs. The First Coast Flyer is powered by energy efficient compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and currently comprises of a Downtown corridor and the Green, Blue and Red lines. The final phase, the Orange Line launches in early 2021. Once completed, the 57-mile First Coast Flyer will be the largest BRT network in the Southeast U.S.

The Green Line (102) opened in 2015 and runs approximately 10 miles north and south from the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla (JRTC) to the Armsdale Park-n-Ride located in North Jacksonville.

The Blue Line (107) is approximately 11 miles and began service in 2016. It connects the JRTC at LaVilla to the Avenues Walk Park-n-Ride facility, primarily southeast along Philips Highway (U.S. 1)

The 18.5-mile Red Line (109) is the longest BRT route and the first in the state of Florida to connect to a coastal community. Launched in 2018, the Red Line route heads east and west along Beach Boulevard, Southside Boulevard and the Arlington Expressway to connect Jacksonville’s Beaches to the JRTC at LaVilla and Rosa Parks Transit Station

The Orange Line is the final phase of the First Coast Flyer and is scheduled to open in early 2021. The 12.9-mile southwest route will connect the JRTC at LaVilla to the Orange Park Mall, primarily along Blanding Boulevard.

For more information on the First Coast Flyer, visit fcf.jtafla.com.