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The St. Johns River Ferry Commission selected a new logo for the ferry Monday.
Photo by Joe Wilhelm Jr.
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New logo, motorcycle fare for ferry

by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer

With a Sept. 30 deadline for the transfer of St. Johns River Ferry operations quickly approaching, the City’s Ferry Commission approved a new logo and a change to its motorcycle fare Monday.

Kurtis Loftus, president of the Kurtis Group of Jacksonville Beach, presented three different designs for a new logo to the commission for the St. Johns River Ferry Monday. He was asked by commission member Elaine Brown to create the logo in about a week and commission members said they were impressed by the quick turnaround.

“You’ve done a great job in the short time that we have given you. It’s a clean design and I think it came out well,” said Brown.

The Jacksonville Port Authority’s Chief Operating Officer, Chris Kauffmann, volunteered to have the design applied to the ferry itself and it will be used on the signage and ferry-related materials, including coupon books. The port also agreed to print the first batch of about 500 new coupon books that are planned to be on sale by Oct. 1.

Included in the new fare structure that will go into effect Oct. 1 is a $5 fee for motorcycles to cross on the ferry. The fare is currently $3 and the commission planned to increase the fare to $6, but it was concerned about those riders experiencing the only doubling of the fare.

The commission chose to reduce the new one-way fare to $5, and motorcycle riders who frequent the ferry can reduce the fare further, to $4, by purchasing a coupon book of 20 crossings for $80. The commission also voted to continue the port’s policy of prohibiting semitrucks from using the ferry citing safety

issues.

All of the fare information is now available on the City’s website www.coj.net.

Also Tuesday and after making its way through the process, City Council unanimously approved legislation that will transfer operations from the port to the City.

Council also unanimously approved Marla Buchanan as a commission member.

The commission was created to operate the ferry after the port board of directors voted in February to halt its operation because of an annual $600,000-$700,000 operating deficit and a need for millions of dollars in repairs to the docking system.

The ferry was transferred from the City to the port in 2007 when the City was considering shutting the ferry down because of operating losses.

The ferry serves as a link for Florida A1A between Heckscher Drive and Mayport Village.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

jwilhelm@baileypub.com

@photojoe71

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