Press Releases

The JTA and FTA finalizes BUILD Grant Agreement in virtual signing ceremony

JACKSONVILLE, FL -  The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. executed the official Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Paper Grant Agreement alongside Federal Transit Administration Region IV Administrator Dr. Yvette Taylor during the May 28 JTA Board of Directors meeting.

The signed agreement allows the JTA to draw down the discretionary grant funds announced in February 2019, totaling $12.5 million to launch the first phase of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C), called the Bay Street Innovation Corridor.

“This is a significant step for the Ultimate Urban Circulator and Jacksonville,” said Ford. “With funding secured for Phase 1, we are pushing ahead with the procurement process and laying the groundwork for a fully autonomous vehicle network in Downtown Jacksonville.”

The JTA will issue a Request for Qualifications in June 2020, followed by a Request for Proposal in September 2020.

The fully-funded Bay Street Innovation Corridor includes a three-mile at-grade AV service in Downtown Jacksonville along East Bay Street, from Pearl Street to the Sports and Entertainment Complex and TIAA Bank Field.

The phase also includes:

  • AV control and operation systems
  • 12-15 federally-compliant autonomous vehicles.
  • Integrates smart corridor technologies, advanced communications and safety features:
    • Connected intersections
    • Smart pedestrian signals
    • Flood sensors

United States Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the BUILD grant award on the steps of Jacksonville City Hall in February 2019.

“We want to thank the Trump Administration, especially Transportation Secretary Chao for believing and supporting this transformative project,” added Ford.

In June, the JTA intends to issue an official Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The RFQ will be used to evaluate contractors or a consortium of contractors based on their project development and technical abilities to deliver a unique and novel autonomous vehicle and technology centered Design, Build, Operate and Maintain (“DBOM”) project. That will be followed by a Request for Proposals process later this fall and the eventual construction and launch of the Bay Street Innovation Corridor in the near future.


About the BUILD Grant Program

The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for USDOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Previously known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grants, Congress has dedicated nearly $7.9 billion for eleven rounds of National Infrastructure Investments to fund projects that have a significant local or regional impact.