Local Reporters stirring up dirt: Will JTA be the next JEA?

Eye on my City has written about JTA and the boondoggle known as the U2C…a cute little autonomous vehicle that will change the way we transport people in Jacksonville (or so they say as they market the project). 

At the same time, Emily Turner with Action News Jax has also been investigating JTA’s U2C project.  Last night she had a special report on the matter and it was a “doozie!”

As Emily stated, this project, aimed at modernizing downtown Jacksonville’s transit through autonomous shuttles, has encountered significant financial and operational setbacks. Originally budgeted at $44 million for its initial phase, the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, costs have escalated to $65 million, averaging about $20 million per mile. Read that number again!

Despite investments, primarily from local funds, the project is substantially over budget and has yet to begin construction, missing several key deadlines.

And…the cute little autonomous shuttle design has also been scaled down to a Ford E-Transit van requiring a driver.  (What???) 

Now that’s what we call a boondoggle for sure.

Local and federal stakeholders have expressed concerns over the project’s viability and financial sustainability, suggesting a potential burden on local taxpayers if federal and state funding falls through.

The most damaging part of Emily’s report was the fact JTA will not speak with her and neither will most of the local leaders who are here to protect our taxpayer dollars.  Check out Emily’s story here.  Note the list of politicians who refuse to address this issue. Not good.

TAKE ACTION:  We suggest you get on the phone with your city council member and state representative and demand they dig into these two ladies reports on JTA. There is something seriously wrong at JTA and Jacksonville cannot afford another “JEA Scandal.” 

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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