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Reimagining Jacksonville’s Infrastructure to Create an Autonomous Transit System

Autonomous vehicles are headed to downtown Jacksonville as part of Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s Bay Street Innovation Corridor (BSIC) project. WGI and Balfour Beatty were chosen to lead design efforts for this phase.

Vision 2 Reality (V2R), the pursuit partnership between WGI and Balfour Beatty, was recently selected to help deliver the Bay Street Innovation Corridor (BSIC) project on behalf of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA).

The JTA Board of Directors selected the WGI / Balfour Beatty V2R team during its August Meeting, following the conclusion of a two-step procurement process to launch what will be Phase I of the JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) autonomous-vehicle service in Downtown Jacksonville, Florida.

“This award represents a major milestone for the U2C, the JTA, and Downtown Jacksonville,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. “We are confident the Balfour Beatty team and its partners will deliver a world-class project on behalf of the taxpayers of Jacksonville, placing our community at the forefront of innovation.”

What is the U2C? 

The U2C is the JTA’s vision for the conversion and expansion of the Skyway automated people mover (APM) system in Downtown Jacksonville and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Bay-Street Corridor Map

After more than 25 years of service, the Skyway is being modernized with new technology like autonomous vehicles and mobile smart devices, which will offer more flexibility for public transit.

Autonomous Shuttle
An Ollie 2.0 shuttle being tested at Armsdale AV Test & Learn Center. Photo provided by Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA).

The three-phase U2C includes the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, the full conversion of the Skyway superstructure, and the expansion into nearby neighborhoods. 

Lisa Nisenson, WGI’s VP of New Mobility and Connected Communities said,

“This project represents a transformation of transit services that reimagines existing infrastructure, incorporates autonomous technologies, and introduces new vehicle types for convenient, sustainable downtown circulators.”

The U2C will provide new connections and give customers the ability to reach more destinations. When completed, the system will expand the current Skyway from a 2.5-mile system to the 10-mile U2C, creating a more accessible and versatile system that will connect the city’s urban neighborhoods to downtown.

The Dream Team

WGI is providing engineering, architectural, and survey services for the project. The V2R team will leverage an integrated progressive design build (AV-DBOM) method, and WGI and Balfour Beatty will partner with Superior Construction Company Southeast; Beep, Inc.; Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.; and Miller Electric to deliver the project. 

WGI Vice President and Alternative Delivery Leader Walter Kloss stated,

“This is a very unique and first-of-its-kind project to implement and integrate a connected autonomous vehicle and a ‘SMART City’ that promotes technology and innovation along this corridor. Our team at WGI could not be more excited about teaming with a best-in-class partner like Balfour Beatty on the Bay Street innovation corridor. This largest transit-based shuttle project in America will be a game-changer for the City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.”

WGI, Balfour Beatty, and its partners within the consortium will oversee 60% design of the BSIC, a three-mile, at-grade service along Bay Street that will run from Hogan Street to the Sports & Entertainment District, near TIAA Bank Field, 121 Financial Field, and the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

The approximately $44 million project is fully funded and supported by local, in-kind, state, and federal funds including the $12.5 million BUILD grant awarded to the JTA in 2019. 

Partner With Us!

Do you have visions of a city that connects people, places and information effortlessly? Contact us today to learn more about smart and connected infrastructure, and how we can help you develop the next “smart city”! 

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