We are now entering the Skyway Modernization Program (SMP), which entails structural assessment, infrastructure conversion, vehicle development, system expansion, and continued stakeholder engagement. U2C was born out of the SMP, as the most effective means to support downtown mobility. JTA has determined that the U2C must utilize investment in the Skyway, provide reliable service with high frequency, and maximum flexibility. This will entail a capacity to handle peak loads during downtown events, operate at both street and elevated levels, and eventually provide on demand and point-to-point capacity.
Our preferred technological solution will be the deployment of next generation Autonomous Vehicles (AV). Not only will AVs satisfy all of the above project requirements, but they will be the most cost-effective approach for new service extensions, and are rapidly evolving in their capabilities.
The next step involves an infrastructure conversion and extension of the system to the Brooklyn destination. JTA will also conduct a Transit Concept Alternatives Review (TCAR). This will entail a structural assessment and a vehicle development and specification phase. Future destination expansions will be determined by the TCAR process, but our initial focus will be on the east-west corridor extending from Five Points to the Sports Complex.
JTA will be holding an industry forum on May 23rd, and has contacted more than 150 suppliers, contractors, consultants, and other stakeholders to gain further information. There will also be ongoing research into infrastructural conversion and expansion of the transit system. There will also be consideration of the expansion into the rapidly developing Brooklyn neighborhood, which is a near-term opportunity to extend service at minimal cost. Throughout, we will be developing funding through FTA & FDOT grant programs, as well as pursuing ongoing community stakeholder engagement.