Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. 

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Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. 

Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. is the Chief Executive Officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), in Jacksonville, Florida. His distinguished career in the public transportation industry spans nearly four decades and includes tenures leading the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.

Ford is a champion for innovative multimodal transportation solutions, complete streets, walkable neighborhoods, public-private partnerships and transit-oriented development. He is known for being a thought leader and is often tapped by national and international groups to share his industry-leading insight on transportation matters through trade and study missions around the world.

During his nine years in Jacksonville, Ford and the JTA have received numerous awards for his transformational and community-focused initiatives in the Northeast Florida community. He was named APTA Outstanding Public Transportation Manager in 2020, the same year the JTA won the APTA Innovation Award for its innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eno Center for Transportation named Ford its Thought Leader for 2019. President Barack Obama named Ford a White House Champion of Change in 2015. Ford was named an “Ultimate CEO” by the Jacksonville Business Journal, and is an inductee in the First Coast Business Hall of Fame. He is also the 2016 recipient of the Jacksonville Urban League’s Clanzel T. Brown, Sr. Award. Under his leadership, the JTA received the APTA Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award in 2016.

Ford sits on several nonprofit and industry boards including:

  • Chair, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Florida Board of Directors
  • Chair, Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee
  • Member, UF Health Board of Directors
  • Member, JAX Chamber Board of Directors
  • Member, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Board of Trustees
  • Member, Jacksonville University Master in Public Policy Minority Fellowship Board of Advisors
  • Member, Jacksonville University Coggin College of Business Board of Advisors 
  • Member, American Public Transportation Foundation
  • Honorary Member, American Public Transportation Association (Past Chair)
  • Member, Florida Public Transportation Association (Past Chair)
  • Member, Transportation & Expressway Authority Membership of Florida (Past Chair)

He is also a past member of the United Way Board of Director and a past member of the Board of Trustees for Daniel’s Kids.

Ford holds an Executive MBA from the Davis School of Business at Jacksonville University, and a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in organizational leadership from Mercer University. He is a graduate of the Executive Development Consortium Program at Emory University, and has completed executive training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a graduate of Leadership Florida (2015) and Leadership Jacksonville (2014).

In Jacksonville, Ford oversees a state agency responsible for multimodal public transportation and infrastructure programs. The JTA operates fixed-route bus service in Duval and Clay counties, including the largest Bus Rapid Transit network in the Southeast United States; paratransit in Duval and Clay counties; the St. Johns River Ferry; the Skyway automated people mover (APM); ReadiRide on-call neighborhood shuttles; Express Select commuter shuttles from Nassau and St. Johns counties; and a growing portfolio of public-private partnerships to provide first-mile / last-mile options for customers. The JTA is currently developing the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C), a 10-mile autonomous vehicle network in Downtown Jacksonville to modernize and expand its Skyway AMP system.

In addition to its role as a public transportation provider, the JTA oversees a large capital programs division responsible for building complete streets, bridges, sidewalks, and other mobility infrastructure to improve the quality of life for all citizens.