Transportation in Jacksonville, Florida

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The Jacksonville transportation network includes ground, air, and sea options for passenger and freight transit. The Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) operates the Port of Jacksonville, which includes container shipping facilities at Blount Island Marine Terminal, the Talleyrand Marine Terminal and the Dames Point Marine Terminal. Jacksonville Aviation Authority managers Jacksonville International Airport in Northside, as well as several smaller airports. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) operates bus, people mover, and park-n-ride services throughout the city and region. A major bus terminal at the intermodal Rosa Parks Transit Station serves as JTA's main transit hub. Various intercity bus companies terminate near Central Station. Amtrak operates passenger rail service to and from major cities throughout North America. The city is bisected by major highways, I-95 and I-10, I-295 creates a full beltway around the city.

Highways and Airports in Jacksonville

Background[edit]

Jacksonville is a sprawling city, making cohesive walking and bicycling options difficult. Cycling remains popular in central urbanized areas, for both recreation and commuting. The city manages to sustain a relatively low amount of traffic congestion for a city of its population, this is mostly related to the vast 767 square miles (1,990 km2)[1] area the city covers, an area much larger than most cities with a population over 800,000. Jacksonville's low population density might also be the reason the city has yet to further develop its mass transit bus system or a heavy or light rail network. Among urbanized areas with 1,000,000 population or greater in the United States, Jacksonville ranked tenth in freeway lane miles per 1,000 population and eighth in freeway-equivalent miles per 1,000 population.[2] As the 12th-largest city in the U.S., Jacksonville has repeatedly been ranked below 40th in mass transit availability. As a result, the city is not well known for its walkability.

Compared to residents of other American cities, Jacksonvillians have shorter commute times than many and use public transit less than most.

Mobility issues include:[3]

  • bus-only city mass transit system; the absence of rapid transit and light rail.
  • undue emphasis on automobile travel in city planning; the lack of sidewalks and bike paths.
  • excessive automobile usage resulting in environmental degradation (specifically air pollution), as evidenced by the city's history of poor air quality
  • lack of cross-town bus routes, forcing bus riders to travel downtown to cross from one side of the city to another, often doubling or tripling what the trip distance would have been with a direct route.
  • "lack of vision" in building a transportation network based entirely on non-renewable resources and old technology
  • paucity of scheduled bus routes, often forcing riders to choose between arriving at a destination extremely early, or late.
  • lack of night bus services, which forces those who work late shifts to find other ways to get around. These can be much more expensive.
  • fiscal costs of building (for instance liens), repairing, and replacing roads

There are other concerns over a lack of safe walking paths in many areas of the city. Many suburbs which were incorporated in the consolidation of 1968 don’t have sidewalks. This often forces pedestrians to navigate a narrow road shoulder near high-speed automobile traffic.

Road transportation[edit]

Road infrastructure[edit]

Interstate highways:

Interstate Highways 10 and 95 intersect in Jacksonville, creating the busiest intersection in the region with 200,000 vehicles each day.[4] Interstate 10 ends at this intersection (the other end being in Santa Monica, California).

A $152 million project to create a high-speed interchange at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 95 began in February 2005, after the conclusion of Super Bowl XXXIX. Construction was expected to take nearly six years with multiple lane flyovers and the requirement that the interchange remain open throughout the project. The previous configuration utilized single lane, low speed, curved ramps which created backups during rush hours and contributed to accidents.[5]

Major arterial highways:

  • US 1.svg US 1 The primary north-south local access roadway through downtown Jacksonville.
  • US 17.svg US 17 Roosevelt Boulevard is a major north-south connector from downtown Jacksonville to Clay County.
  • US 23.svg US 23 Kings Road, is another major north-south connector that terminates in downtown Jacksonville as Union Street going southeast and State Street going northwest. Most of the road is either multiplexed with US 1 or US 17.
  • US 90.svg US 90 Beach Boulevard is a major east-west connector from downtown Jacksonville to the beaches.
  • Florida 202.svg State Road 202 J. Turner Butler Boulevard is a major connector from Jacksonville to the beaches.
  • Florida 10.svg State Road 10 Atlantic Boulevard is the north connector to the beaches.
  • Florida 115.svg State Road 115 Southside Boulevard is a southeast residential connector; in north Jacksonville, it goes by many names but is a northwest residential connector.
  • Florida A1A.svg State Road A1A Scenic two-lane road that runs along the Atlantic Ocean.

Buses[edit]

bicycle racks on buses
  • Regular bus service - JTA's fleet has 180 vehicles that travel 8.5 million miles per year on 56 routes; 110 maintenance workers and 320 drivers are employed. Bicycle racks are now available on all city buses.
  • Express bus service - Five once-daily early morning routes are offered which originate from an outlying area and go directly to their destination with no intermediate stops, then return in late afternoon.
  • Trolley-replica buses - local transportation available weekdays from mid-morning to early afternoon; Bay Street and Beaver Street (downtown) routes are free; Riverside and the Beach trolley have a minimal charge.
  • Stadium shuttle - game day bus transportation from suburban, downtown and Park-n-Ride locations to the stadium and back.
  • JTA Connexion (paratransit) - special transport for the disabled and elderly, provided by private vendors with specially equipped vehicles and drivers.

Parking[edit]

  • Park-n-Ride - Parking facility available in combination with express bus service or Jacksonville Skyway.[6]
  • A dozen companies offer Taxi service in Jacksonville. A cab can be hailed from the Jacksonville International Airport and most downtown locations, but elsewhere requires a phone call.[7]

Rail transportation[edit]

Jacksonville Skyway train

Monorail network[edit]

The Jacksonville Skyway is an automated people mover connecting Florida State College at Jacksonville downtown campus, the Northbank central business district, Convention Center, and Southbank locations. The system includes 8 stops connected by two lines. The existing train is a UMIII monorail built by Bombardier. The guideway consists of concrete beams which rest atop an unusually large support structure not used in most monorail systems. Maximum speed for the train is 48 km/h (30 mph).[8]

A monorail was first proposed in 1970s as part of a mobility plan hoping to attract interest from the Urban Mass Transit Administration's Downtown Peoplemover Program. The initial study was undertaken by the Florida Department of Transportation and Jacksonville's planning department, who took the Skyway project to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) in 1977. Following further development and a final 18-month feasibility study, the UMTA selected Jacksonville as one of seven cities to receive federal funding for an automated people mover. Two other related projects are Miami's Metromover and Detroit People Mover. UMTA's approved plan called for the construction of a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Phase I system to be built in three segments.

Intercity rail[edit]

Amtrak Silver Star

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service from the Jacksonville Amtrak Station on Clifford Lane in the northwest section of the city. Two trains presently stop there, the Silver Meteor and Silver Star. Jacksonville was also served by the thrice-weekly Sunset Limited and the daily Silver Palm. Service on the Silver Palm was cut back to Savannah, Georgia in 2002. The Sunset Limited route was truncated at San Antonio, Texas as a result of the track damage in the Gulf Coast area caused by Hurricane Katrina on August 28, 2005. Service was restored as far east as New Orleans by late October 2005, but Amtrak has opted not to fully restore service into Florida.

Freight rail[edit]

Jacksonville is the headquarters of two significant freight railroads. CSX Transportation, owns a large building on the downtown riverbank that is a significant part of the skyline. Florida East Coast Railway also calls Jacksonville home.

Aviation[edit]

Jacksonville International Airport Concourse C

Airports[edit]

Jacksonville International Airport (JIA), identified as IATA airport code JAX, is the seventh largest airport in Florida with nearly 6 million passengers annually and serves the Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area, Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. The airport is currently served by 7 major airlines and 13 commuter airlines. Several air service companies utilize JIA including FedEx, DHL Express and UPS. The airport is served by taxis, dedicated JTA bus routes, as well as several shuttle bus services available 24 hours a day. It also has a rental car center and parking garage.

In 2006, construction began to replace the three existing passenger concourses. Concourse A was demolished and rebuilt, followed by Concourse C, which was completed in 2008. Concourse B was a low priority because the capacities of Concourses A & C were more than adequate for existing demand. The Late-2000s recession resulted in a significant decrease in passengers and flights, which prompted the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to demolish Concourse B in June 2009 because it was safer and easier for the contractor. The JAA expects passenger traffic to increase by 2013, and when it occurs, Concourse B will be erected.[9]

There are several minor airports operated by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. These include:

Northeast Florida airports and airfields[edit]

NameIATA Airport CodeICAO Airport CodeLocation
Northeast Florida Regional AirportUSTKSGJSt. Augustine, Florida
Keystone Heights Airport(none)(none)Keystone Heights, Florida
Palatka Municipal Airport(none)(none)Palatka, Florida
Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport(none)KFHBFernandina Beach, Florida

Water transportation[edit]

Port of Jacksonville[edit]

River Taxi docked at Southbank

Public seaports in Jacksonville are managed by the Jacksonville Port Authority, known as JAXPORT. Imported and exported goods are shipped from well over 100 countries through the Port of Jacksonville. JAXPORT operates three main cargo facilities: the Blount Island Marine Terminal, the Talleyrand Marine Terminal and the Dames Point Marine Terminal.[10] Through these terminals over 21 million tons of cargo is shipped each year.[11] Port activity is estimated to have an annual impact of over $19 billion, including 65,000 jobs.[12]

the Port of Jacksonville also serves as a hub for passenger ships. The JAXPORT Cruise Terminal is a 63,000 sq ft (5,900 m2) cruise ship terminal located at the northwest corner of the Dames Point Marine Terminal, beside the Dames Point Bridge. Vehicle access to the site is via Hecksher Drive and there is paved parking for about 600 cars.[13] Sailings commenced in October 2003 and Carnival Cruise Lines presently offers service aboard the Fasciantion[14] with service to the Bahamas and Key West.[15]

Passenger boat services[edit]

Future and proposed projects[edit]

Several proposals for expanding the Jacksonville transit system are in various stages of discussion, planning, or initial funding.

  • In 2010, Cecil Field became the United States' eighth licensed commercial spaceport and the first in Florida authorized to fly space vehicles that take off and land horizontally.[17]
  • The First Coast Commuter Rail is a proposed commuter rail system serving Jacksonville, FL and Northeast Florida. It is currently in the very early planning stages, having completed the first step of a feasibility study and currently pursuing an alternatives analysis. Three routes were analyzed indepth, north to Yulee, FL, southwest to Green Cove Springs, FL and the southeast to St. Augustine, FL.[18]
  • JTA is applying for grants to extend the Jacksonville Skyway into a new station located next to the operations and maintenance center in Jacksonville's fast-growing Brooklyn neighborhood.[19][20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The 2005 Urban Mobility Report
  2. ^ The Public Purpose Highway & Motorway Fact Book - Lane Miles per Capita 1999:US Urbanized Areas over 1,000,000
  3. ^ Jacksonville Transportation Woes
  4. ^ Hannan, Larry: "Jacksonville’s scrambled I-10/I-95 intersection transforming traffic until 2011" Florida Times-Union, June 7, 2010
  5. ^ Hannan, Larry: "I-95/I-10 construction is almost done" Florida Times-Union, August 11, 2010
  6. ^ "Profile of Services" Jacksonville Transportation Authority website
  7. ^ "Jacksonville: Taxis & Rental Cars" Trip Advisor
  8. ^ "Monorails of North America" The Monorail Society Website
  9. ^ Gibbons, Timothy J.: Demolition of JIA's Concourse B brings end of an era Florida Times-Union, June 22, 2009
  10. ^ overview. 3.12.07:overview.qxd.qxd
  11. ^ "US Port Ranking by Cargo Volume 2008" American Association of Port Authorities
  12. ^ "Jacksonville Port Authority" JAXPORT website
  13. ^ "Cruise Terminal" Jacksonville Port Authority, Cruise Terminal
  14. ^ "Carnival back with bigger, better ship, the Fascination" Florida Times-Union, September 19, 2008
  15. ^ "Jacksonville Cruises" Jacksonville Cruises
  16. ^ "St. Johns River Ferry Jacksonville" Yahoo Travel guide
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ [2] Feasibility Study Final Report
  19. ^ Bauerlein, David (May 16, 2013). "JTA head Nat Ford seeks new direction for transit". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  20. ^ "IRS scrutiny, JTA's new leader, Clay County election efficiency, Baymeadows changes | Politics - Home". News4jax.com. 2013-06-02. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 

External links[edit]