Press Releases

St. Johns River Ferry to close Jan. 6 for upgrades, improvements

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will temporarily suspend service of the St. Johns River Ferry for approximately eight to ten weeks starting Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to begin the next phase of upgrades to the facilities and the vessel.

The work comprises Phase IV of the ongoing improvements to the Ferry and its facilities. This phase includes pavement rehabilitation and markings, various Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements, new bulkheads and mooring bollards, catwalk access improvements, accessory and utility building improvements, construction of new public restroom facilities at the Mayport landing, along with landscaping and lighting enhancements on each side of the Ferry.

The JTA is also taking the opportunity to conduct a haul out of the Jean Ribault vessel as required every 2-3 years by the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure a state of good repair. This will avoid another round of closures later in the year.

The estimated costs of the haul out is $2.6 million and the estimated cost of the Phase IV improvement project is $6.6 million.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced July 24, 2020, the award of a $5.2 million grant through the FTA's Passenger Ferry Grant Program to the JTA to continue improvements and upgrades to the Ferry. That’s in addition to the $3.9 million FTA Passenger Ferry Grant awarded to the JTA in August 2019.

This is the latest round of upgrades spearheaded by the JTA since it assumed operations in 2016. The JTA completed Phase III in January 2019, which included 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 built in 1995 that connects the north and south ends of Florida State Road A1A, linking historic 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 6:15 a.m. Service continues with departures on every hour and half hour through 7 p.m. Service on Saturday and Sunday 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.