Press Releases

FTA awards $3.9 million Passenger Ferry Grant to the JTA

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the award of a $3.9 million Passenger Ferry Grant to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA).

The grant funding will go toward the next phase of upgrades to the St. Johns River Ferry, including $5.6 million worth of work to bulkheads, catwalks, warehousing, mooring bollards and other improvements to both the Mayport Village and Fort George Island facilities.

“When the JTA took over operation of the St. Johns River Ferry in 2016, we also embarked on an ambitious plan to address needed upgrades and maintenance issues that had accrued over several decades,” said JTA CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.

“The next phase of work is only possible because of the strong relationships we’ve built with our partners in Congress and with the FTA, who have seen firsthand how important this vital mode of transportation is to the thousands of customers who sail with us every day” said Ford.

JTA would like to thank our congressional partners, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott, Rep. John Rutherford and Rep. Al Lawson, as well as FTA Acting Administrator Jane Williams, and state and local officials for their continued support of the JTA and the St. Johns River Ferry.

Rep. Rutherford said the grant award “demonstrates yet another example of the federal government’s confidence in Jacksonville’s infrastructure development, and marks a big win for the JTA and the commuters, tourists and military workforce who use the ferry every day to cross the St. Johns River.”

“The St. Johns River Ferry displays the multimodal transportation infrastructure that positions Northeast Florida as a logistical and tourism hub on the Eastern Seaboard. However, Jacksonville faces strong winds and extreme tides from powerful storms and hurricanes, which can cause damage and require expensive repairs,” said Rutherford. “That’s why I urged the Federal Transit Administration to fund safety upgrades and protective infrastructure improvements to ensure our ferry can move its more than 400,000 passengers a year.”

The grant will account for roughly 70% of the estimated $5.6 million project cost and represents Phase IV of our ongoing upgrade plan for the Ferry system. Work is scheduled to begin in Spring 2020.

The JTA completed Phase III in January, which includes upgrades to the vessel, as well as operational and other safety improvements like rehabilitated bulkheads, new terminal bridges and stopping mechanisms.

The Jean Ribault is a car and passenger ferry that connects the north and south ends of Florida State Road A1A, linking Mayport Village and Fort George Island via a 0.9-mile voyage across the St. Johns River, 2.5 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Ferry is open Monday - Friday, beginning in Mayport Village at 6 a.m. and Fort George Island at 6:30 a.m. Service continues with departures on every hour and half hour through 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday service is from 7 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in person, online or through the free MyJTA app, available for iOS and Android smart mobile devices. For more information, visit the St. Johns River Ferry website.