Jacksonville seeks partner for autonomous vehicle program
Florida – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) seeking firms to help build and operate its Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) autonomous vehicle program.
Rendering of Jacksonville U2C system
Officials estimate the project will cost $350 million to $400 million, and JTA will likely offer a 30-year contract with the RFP. The winning bidder will be repaid over this 30-year period.
The U2C will be a public transportation system featuring driverless, low-speed electric vehicles, and will be built in three phases. The first phase is fully funded with $44 million that will go toward the construction of a 3-mile, ground-level loop along Bay Street, which will run from the Skyway’s Downtown Central Station to TIAA Bank Field. A total of $25 million in U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) grants has been awarded for the project.
During phase two, workers will convert the existing Skyway track into an elevated roadway dedicated to the autonomous vehicles.
The third phase will complete the 10-mile network into the downtown’s surrounding neighborhoods, from Springfield in the north to Brooklyn/Riverside and San Marco in the south.
The JTA is considering selling its surplus real estate to fund the project.