Press Releases

JTA Autonomous Vehicle and Wellness on Wheels programs honored at FPTA Awards

JACKSONVILLE, FL.  – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s (JTA) Marketing, Automation & Innovation, and Transit Operations teams received top honors during the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) annual awards banquet Monday, Oct. 25 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The FPTA is a nonprofit association whose members include every major public transit agency in Florida as well as interested citizens and businesses. The awards are part of the FPTA Annual Conference and EXPO.

“It is an honor to be recognized by our peers at the FPTA for the work of JTA employees, and the impact our Wellness on Wheels initiative and Autonomous Vehicle deployment at Mayo Clinic has had on our community during this pandemic,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “Congratulations to Mr. Young for receiving another award during what has been an outstanding 32-year career that exemplifies what it means to drive for the JTA,” he added.

JTA Bus Operator Leonard “Frank” Young received 3rd place honors in the Operator of the Year category. Young is a 32-year JTA veteran with more than 2 million miles driven and 31 safe driving year awards. During his career at the JTA, Young has received several safety awards, including each year from 2016 – 2021.

The JTA received 1st place in the Innovation & Creativity category in recognition of the Authority’s partnership with the Mayo Clinic, Beep and NAVYA to use autonomous vehicles to transport COVID-19 test samples from the hospital’s drive-thru testing sites to laboratories last spring. Through Level 4 Autonomy, the fleet of autonomous vehicles made 277 successful runs to transport more than 30,000 COVID-19 and BAP test samples, compiling 200 miles driven.

The Wellness on Wheels mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic initiative received the Best of the Best Selected Special Award. Since the partnership with Agape Family Health launched in March 2021, the Wellness on Wheels initiative has helped more than 11,000 people receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The program was the first of its kind in the state of Florida, and one of only a handful of similar initiatives across the country.

JTA marketing campaigns for Wellness on Wheels and the Making Moves TV program received 1st place awards in the Electronic Media and Sustaining Campaign Class 1 categories, and 2nd place honors for the Ride to Health marketing initiative in the Print category.