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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

JTA's CEO Discusses Upcoming Projects; PS27; On Our Sleeves; Wild Florida

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North Florida TPO
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This rendering shows Bay Street filled with autonomous vehicles that JTA is planning to deploy as part of its U2C program to replace the existing Skyway system.

The Jacksonville City Council on Wednesday voted 14 - 5 to  double the local gas tax from six cents to 12 cents a gallon.   

That new revenue generated by this tax will fund nearly $1 billion in road, drainage and other infrastructure needs. The bill has funding for the 30-mile urban neighborhood Emerald Trail network and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to modernize the Downtown Skyway.  Nathaniel Ford, Chief Executive Officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, joined us to share more about the agency's plans.

PS27 Ventures

Local firm PS 27 Ventures is launching a $20 million venture capital fund, and encouraging local companies to apply for it.  CEO Jim Stallings joined us with more details.  

On Our Sleeves

On Our Sleeves is a national movement that Wolfsons Children's Hospital is participating in. Its goal is to intervene before children are in crisis by giving adults the materials they need to start conversations, break stigmas and give children a voice in regards to their mental health.

Terrie Andrews, PhD, system administrator for Baptist and Wolfson Children’s Behavioral Health and Melanie Patz, Vice President of Community Investment and Impact spoke to us about it.  

Wild Florida

Many on the First Coast are eager to get access to more outdoor adventures on the water. A host of public waterways projects are due to be completed soon. Our contributor and Master Naturalist Lisa Grubba joined us to share some details.

Patrick Cantin can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org and on Twitter.