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Jacksonville, Florida: The Skyway

Description

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority's "Skyway" is one of five urban "people mover" systems that were built beginning in the U.S. beginning in the 1970s. (The other four are in Detroit, Michigan; Irving, Texas; Miami, Florida; and Morgantown, West Virginia.)

It is an automated system, 2.5 miles long, that uses two-car trains running on an elevated monorail guideway. The route is in the shape of an inverted "Y" with the FCCJ (Florida Community College of Jacksonville) station at the "base" north of downtown Jacksonville; one branch ends at the Convention Center station, next to the Prime Osborne Convention Center (formerly Jacksonville Union Station) and the other branch extends across the St. Johns River to the Southbank area via the Acosta Bridge.

The Skyway has used two different car and control technologies during its lifetime. Some key dates (source: JTA web site):

In non-peak weekday service (as of summer 2003), trains from FCCJ alternate to the Convention Center and to Kings Avenue, with trains every three minutes between FCCJ and Central, and every six minutes on both branches. The cash fare is $0.35, collected at turnstiles at the station entrances. Stations are unstaffed, except for FCCJ which is also a major bus transfer point.

Pictures

[picture] The FCCJ station is a major bus transfer point, with the Skyway station on the upper level. Here is an external view from across the street. (June 2000)

[picture] Upstairs in the FCCJ station, a train arrives while a passenger waits. (June 2000)

[picture] From the platform at FCCJ, we look south along Hogan Street, with the Hemming Plaza station visible in the distance. A train is approaching, and the track crossover is set to switch it to the opposite track. (June 2003)

[picture #1] | [picture #2] The Hemming Plaza station overlooks a tree-shaded park that is a popular lunchtime spot. (June 2003)

[picture] Just south of Hemming Plaza, a farm stand operates underneath the guideway on Hogan Street. (June 2003)

[picture] Further south along Hogan Street, the guideway crosses Forsyth Street. (June 2000)

[picture] From Hogan Street, the Skyway turns west along Bay Street. Here is a view looking northward from the corner of Hogan and Bay, underneath the elevated guideway structure, with a northbound train going around the curve. (June 2000)

[picture] Turning 90 degrees to the left from the previous picture and looking down Bay Street, we can see that provision has been made for an eastward extension of the guideway along Bay. (June 2003)

[picture] An overhead view of the Central station and the turn from Bay onto Hogan. (June 2003)

[picture] On the platform at the Central station, a train arrives. (June 2000)

[picture #1] | [picture #2] Two overhead views of the junction west of Central station, showing how the monorail beams pivot to allow trains to proceed in different directions. Straight ahead is the Convention Center branch; the Southbank branch goes off to the left. (June 2003)

[picture] Proceeding down the Convention Center branch, the next station is Jefferson, seen here in a broadside view. It is surrounded by an unpaved parking lot. (June 2003)

[picture] The entranceway of the Jefferson station, viewed from the stairs leading up to the platform. (June 2003)

[picture] Interior of a car, at the Jefferson station. (June 2003)

[picture] When this picture was taken, the Convention Center station was still named Terminal; the Prime Osborne Convention Center is located in what was once Jacksonville Union Terminal. Amtrak now uses a station further out from the center of town, and trains no longer come here. There has been talk of using this site as a hub for a commuter-rail system. (June 2000)

[picture] Proceeding down the Southbank branch now, we first come to the junction for the maintainance center, which is some distance off the line. (June 2003)

[picture] After the maintainance center, the Southbank branch crosses the St. Johns River in the median of the Acosta Bridge. (June 2000)

[picture] The San Marco station, on the southern approach to the Acosta Bridge, is the highest station on the system. (June 2003)

[picture] The spacious three-story interior concourse of the San Marco station. (June 2003)

[picture] The Riverplace station reverts to a more normal configuration. It is surrounded by parking lots for nearby office and apartment buildings, but none, apparently, for the station itself. (June 2003)

[picture] Passengers get off and on train at the Kings Avenue terminal. (June 2003)

[picture] Exterior of the Kings Avenue station. Some bus routes loop through here. (June 2003)

[picture] This large parking garage is just south of the Kings Avenue station. There don't seem to be many cars in it, even though this is a weekday afternoon. It is connected to the station by a long elevated walkway [picture] that passes underneath the I-95 expressway. (June 2003)

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This page was last updated on 16 May 2005, and verified on 1 December 2007.


Presbyterian College > Academic Web Server > Jon Bell > Transit > (Cities | Types) > Jacksonville


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