Proposed gas tax increase would add routes to Jacksonville Skyway

The gas tax increase from 6 cents to 12 cents would pay for transportation projects, like getting the Jacksonville Skyway into more neighborhoods.

Imagine if you could hop on the Skyway at ground level, and take it to the Beaches or the Brooklyn area. That’s what one JTA project is hoping to do, and a neighbor who spoke to Action News Jax says it’s a game changer.

Elijah Turner rides his bike everywhere and can’t remember the last time he took the Skyway.

I asked him how long it’s been since he last took the Skyway.

“Oh wow. Oh goodness, it’s been a good little while, I can’t even name it. I just ride it every once in a while, I don’t ride it every day now,” he responded.

The Skyway’s current two-and-a-half mile stretch doesn’t get him, or anyone, very far.

“Mostly Riverside, and back downtown, and that’s it and nowhere else it’ll go!” he said.

City Council President Tommy Hazzouri says it’s time to change that. “Those who have been around a long time have looked at it as a little train that can’t, and now they’re gonna look at it as the little train that can,” Hazzouri said.

A proposed increase to the gas tax from 6 cents to 12 cents would pay for route extensions costing $131,890,000, according to a study from UNF.

“We’re going to be going to Brooklyn, we’re going to be going downtown, we’re going to be going to La Villa, to UF Shands hospital, to the stadium,” Hazzouri explained. “But other places as well, hopefully one day. To Mandarin, to the Beaches, and to the airport.”

Turner says he’s onboard with this. “It’d be much better for other people to get where they need to get at,” he said.

The gas tax increase would also pay for 71 other transportation projects. Council expects to vote on it on May 12th. The gas tax increase would require 11 councilmembers out of the total 19 to vote yes in order to pass.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced on Wednesday he is submitting this legislation, which he calls Jobs for Jax because it’s expected to create more than 7,600 new jobs.

The total ask to city council through this proposal is $379 million.

So far, two council members have said they are against this proposal.

For a closer look at all 72 projects, you can read the full study from UNF which includes locations, estimated cost, and the number jobs they are expected to create below.