Jump to content

Jacksonville Skyway Express


Recommended Posts

Route Map


History & Background

The Jacksonville (Florida) Automated Skyway Express, or "Skyway" has evolved after many years of study by both citizens and professional transportation planners. The concept of a downtown peoplemover was originated in the early 1970's as part of a comprehensive mobility plan. The first study was completed by the Florida Department of Transportation and the planning department of the City of Jacksonville. In 1977, these two agencies brought the project to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) for continued development and implementation. Following completion of an 18-month feasibility study, Jacksonville was selected by the federal Urban Mass Transit Administration as one of seven cities to participate in the nationwide Downtown Peoplemover Program. The plan called for the construction of a 2.5 mile Phase I system. Other examples of operating downtown people mover systems are those in Miami and Detroit .

Work on the initial 0.7 mile Phase I-A segment was begun in 1984. It had only three stations (Terminal, Jefferson and Central). This work was completed in 1989 and two vehicles operating in a double shuttle configuration were placed in service. The technology used was the French MATRA system.

Implementation of the full 2.5 mile Phase I system began in 1992. Negotiations with MATRA to provide systems for the new extensions were not successful. In October of 1994, a new supplier - the Bombardier Corporation - was awarded the contract for the new extensions as well as the job of replacing the MATRA technology that was operating on Phase I-A. Bombardier is supplying a version of its UM III monorail vehicles which are like those currently in use at the Tampa International Airport in Florida. These new vehicles operate on a monorail beam, 34 inches (86.4 cm) wide and 28 inches (71.1 cm) deep. These beams rest on a guideway that is 11 feet (3.35 m) wide and is constructed with a 30-inch (76.2) high parapet wall on each side to reduce noise, aid drainage and provide for personnel protection.

All stations are 120 (36.6 m) long and designed to accommodate anywhere from a two to a six car train consist. Station platform widths are typically 28 feet (8.5 m) but may be wider at the three multimodal stations ( see the photo of the intermodal Florida Community College at Jackson (FCCJ) station). There are 18 bus bays in this station as it is Jacksonville's major bus transit transfer point. It has won awards for its design and is regarded as a state-of-the-art intermodal transit station. Another 8 excellent photos taken by Jon Bell are also available.

The maximum waiting time for vehicles has been set at 180 seconds or three minutes. The maximum line capacity is 3,600 persons per hour per lane without need to replace system components. As can be observed on the system map, the point of confluence of the primary routes, the Y-junction switch, presents a significant operation constraint on the system limiting the number of trains that can be operated on the system at any one time.

The new expanded system reopened in November of 1998. The route consists of a main route from old Union Station through downtown to FCCJ. A branch splits off in downtown, crosses the St. Johns River in the middle of the Acosta highway bridge to San Marco on the south side of Jacksonville.

A final leg off of this extension to include two more stations was opened in September 2000, completing the phase I system. Trains that run from the south side join the main in downtown and run all the way to FCCJ, the current northern end of the route. Trains from Union Terminal also run to FCCJ. One wishing to travel from the southside to Union Terminal must change trains in downtown.

The system has been criticized by politicians and the highest ridership is usually during the lunch hour. Other people use the monorail as it is cheaper to park and ride, rather than use one of the expensive garages in downtown.

Long-range plans call for a light rail and commuter rail systems to end at Union Station. The Skyway Express would serve as the link for people traveling downtown. There are also plans to extend the Skyway in two different directions in the future. One route would follow Riverside Avenue, south, and terminate at the Blu Cross/Blue Shield's headquarters near I-95, while the other route would go east, from Central Station, over Bay Street, to Alltel Stadium.


These pics were taken by me on an early Saturday morning. I intentially took shots of the system without people in them, due to the weird looks I was getting. I guess people don't go on the train with a camera too often.

Kings Avenue Station


looking NW from Kings Avenue Station


Riverplace Station


looking SW, at the Southbank, while crossing the river


looking SE. at the Southbank, while crossing the river


Waiting at Central Station


an empty train at Central Station


over Bay Street


passing Wachovia Tower & the Omni Hotel


over Forsyth Street


over Adams Street


looking from the Hemmings Plaza Station


over Church Street


looking NW, from the Jefferson Street Station


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 4
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Guest donaltopablo

Sweet. I love the little people movers. I wish more cities had them and on street trolleys. Both seem like a relatively inexpensive (as opposed to road construction or even full blown mass transit construction) to get people around the city and get people out of cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.