Press Releases

JTA Receives $6 Million Ferry Grant

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – April 14, 2016 – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) was awarded a $6 million Passenger Ferry Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The grant application was a partnership between the JTA and the St. Johns River Ferry Commission. The grant funds will be used to fund the second phase of the St. Johns River Ferry Slip Walls Replacement and Capital Improvement project.

“It’s always a great day when you can announce that a longstanding problem is finally resolved for the St. Johns River Ferry, and that a secure and stable future is at hand,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “With 20 years of operational funding guaranteed for the ferry, and the joint efforts of the JTA and the St. Johns River Ferry Commission in advocating for capital funding, we will finally have a safe and reliable infrastructure for future generations of ferry riders.”

JTA would like to thank our congressional partners, Senator Bill Nelson, Congressman Ander Crenshaw and Congresswoman Corrine Brown for their support and efforts to make this award a reality.

Phase one is under construction and was funded through a previous $3.9 million federal grant and matching $1 million state match. The ferry slips have had eight major upgrades or repairs since the original construction was completed in 1949, most recently in 1996. The structural steel elements are continuously exposed to the corrosive marine environment and have reached the end of their useful life.

The project will improve the state of repair, increase reliability of the service by utilizing a lower maintenance design, and lower costs and service interruptions for repairs. When phase two is completed, the slip walls system will be completely renovated and its useful life will extend thirty years. The $7.5 million project is funded by the FTA, the City of Jacksonville and the JTA.

“In the past two and a half years, the St. Johns River Ferry Commission has secured a remarkable $10.9 million in federal grants - and another $2 million in state funding – all to safeguard the continued operation of the ferry,” said Council Member John Crescembeni, Chair of the St. Johns River Ferry Commission. In addition to the tireless efforts of the Commission members who volunteered their time, I also want to thank the JTA who allowed the Commission to submit grant applications under their name and then advocated in support of the applications with both Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Furthermore, I want to extend a big thank you to the Commission’s skillful grant writer, Lisa King of Langton Associates, who provided more than a 300% return on the Commission’s investment in her company’s services."

The JTA assumed ownership and operations of the ferry on March 31, 2016.

For more information about the ferry schedule, tickets, and rules for riding, please visit www.stjohnsriverferry.com or call JTA’s customer service line at 904.630.3100; TDD 904.630.3191.