The official Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) paper grant agreement has been executed by Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) CEO Nathaniel P. Ford. Sr., and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region IV Administrator Dr. Yvette Taylor.
The agreement was finalized May 28 at JTA Board of Directors meeting.
The signed agreement allows the JTA to draw down the discretionary grant funds announced in February 2019, totaling $12.5 million, to launch the first phase of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C), called the Bay Street Innovation Corridor.
“This is a significant step for the Ultimate Urban Circulator and Jacksonville,” said Ford. “With funding secured for Phase 1, we are pushing ahead with the procurement process and laying the groundwork for a fully autonomous vehicle network in downtown Jacksonville.”
The JTA will issue a Request for Qualifications in June 2020, followed by a Request for Proposal in September 2020.
The fully-funded Bay Street Innovation Corridor includes a three-mile at-grade AV service in downtown Jacksonville along East Bay Street, from Pearl Street to the Sports and Entertainment Complex and TIAA Bank Field.
The phase also includes:
- AV control and operation systems.
- 12-15 federally compliant autonomous vehicles.
- Integrates smart corridor technologies, advanced communications and safety features such as connected intersections, smart pedestrian signals and flood sensors.
U. S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the BUILD grant award on the steps of Jacksonville City Hall in February 2019. (https://www.masstransitmag.com/alt-mobility/autonomous-vehicles/article/21068641/jta-city-of-jacksonville-host-usdot-for-build-grant-event)
“We want to thank the Trump Administration, especially Transportation Secretary Chao, for believing and supporting this transformative project,” added Ford.
In June, the JTA intends to issue an official Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The RFQ will be used to evaluate contractors or a consortium of contractors based on their project development and technical abilities to deliver a unique and novel autonomous vehicle and technology centered Design, Build, Operate and Maintain (“DBOM”) project. That will be followed by a Request for Proposals process later this fall and the eventual construction and launch of the Bay Street Innovation Corridor in the near future.