RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.

 

Todd's Railfan Guide to
JTA's SKYWAY MONORAIL
Jacksonville FL

In General
Getting Here
Map
Station by Station
Pictures
History

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In General

Note: The information presented here is a compilation of the sources cited below, I do not take credit for any of it:

JTA Skyway is an automated monorail system offering low cost and convenient service.  Enabling patrons to glide above the St. Johns River and downtown city streets, the Skyway serves points of interest on both sides of the river.  The Skyway provides easy access to the workplace, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.   The Skyway is interconnected with JTA's Trolley Service, providing riders expanded mobility in the downtown area.

Gliding above the St. Johns River and downtown city streets, the JTA Skyway serves points of interest on both sides of the river.  The Skyway provides riders with easy access to their workplace, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.  The JTA Skyway is an automated system offering low cost and convenient service to downtown patrons and employees.  The trains depart the stations approximately every three minutes during peak periods and about every six minutes all other times.

For a mere 35 cents per ride you can enjoy a fun, uncrowded and convenient journey through the center of the downtown central business district courtesy of the Automated Skyway Express.

The Skyway is an elevated monorail that slices through the center of the Northbank, then forks to either whisk passengers across the Acosta Bridge to the Southbank and its hotels or to send them westward to the Prime Osborne Convention Center.  It is very convenient to most hotels, restaurants, venues and points of interest on the Southbank and in the central Northbank, with stops positioned within about a block of each of the following (in order from south to north):

     Spiller Vincenty Gallery, Club Indo/Exo
     Radisson Riverwalk Hotel, Chart House Restaurant, Southbank Riverwalk, river cruises, water taxis
     Hilton Hotel, Hampton Inn, Extended Stay America, Ruthís Chris Steakhouse, Mortonís of Chicago, Southbank Riverwalk, Treaty Oak Park, river cruises, water taxis
     Museum of Science & History, Maritime Museum, Friendship Fountain, Southbank Riverwalk, River City Brewing Company, water taxis
     Jacksonville Landing, Omni Hotel, T-U Performing Arts Center, Northbank Riverwalk, Julietís
     Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Hemming Plaza, City Hall
     Florida Community College Downtown Campus

The track does not extend east of the Jacksonville Landing to points like the Adam's Mark Hotel, the Florida Theatre and the Sports Complex, but there is a free trolley service than can take you in that direction from near the Skyway route.

Contact Information:
    121 E. Forsyth St.
    Suite 200
    Jacksonville, FL 32202
    904.630.3181

Hours of Operation:
    Monday through Friday: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Weekends: special events only

HISTORY

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 see map of routes and station locations).  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 (3.35m) 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.

Construction of the final phase of the 2.5 mile Phase I system was completed in 1999. More detail is provided at the JTA website.

According to an ABC news report in July, 2002, the system was only carrying 3,000 riders per day, far fewer than was projected.  Skyway revenues were reported to be $513,694 in FY 2001 but expenses were $3.5 million.  All eight stops are now in operation.  The full system was opened to the public in November 2000.  Skyway spokespersons blamed the poor downtown economy for the low ridership achieved so far, but argued that it would prove to be a success in the future.  As of 2004, fares were 35 cents for individual rides, 10 cents for elderly riders.

Other railfanning info sources for the Skyway include (current as of JAN2016):
    http://www.coj.net/departments/parking-facilities-and-enforcement/skyway-express.aspx
    http://www.jtafla.com/schedules/skyway/
    http://www.downtownjacksonville.org/locations/l-155-skyway.aspx
    https://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Florida/Jacksonville-763031/Transportation-Jacksonville-Skyway_monorail-BR-1.html
    https://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/jack.htm
    https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/jacksonville-people-mover-plans-modernize-expand
    http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php?topic=25474.0
    http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-feb-amtrak-40th-anniversary-stops-in-jacksonville
   

Getting Here

Find your way to I-95, and you have almost made it there. 


Map



 


Station by Station


Convention Center Station




Jefferson Station






Central Station




Hemming Plaza Station




Rosa Parks Transit Station (Transportation Center)










the Shops





 




Northside Split to the South



  Picture by Jon Bell


the Bridge





San Marco Station






Riverplace Station




Kings Avenue Station







Pictures



   

 

 





 

 








Disclaimers:

I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from www.bing.com/maps. The screen captures from Bing are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


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NEW 12/6/2013
Last Modified 15-Feb-2016