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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jul. 27, 202005:10 AM EST

JTA awarded $5.2 million for St. Johns River Ferry

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The JTA says it will use the money to overhaul the Jean Ribault ferry boat.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will receive a $5.2 million federal grant it will use to maintain the St. Johns River Ferry.

The grant is part of $47.5 million in awards to improve passenger ferry service announced July 24 by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration.

JTA Communications Director David Cawton II said in an email July 24 the money will be used overhaul the Jean Ribault ferry boat along with other ongoing maintenance and improvement projects.

JTA applied for a $9.3 million grant with the intent to help purchase a second ferry. Because the full amount wasn't granted, JTA will seek funding for a new vessel in the future.

The St. Johns River Ferry is a car and passenger ferry that connects the north and south ends of Florida A1A, linking Mayport Village and Fort George Island. The 0.9-mile route crosses the St. Johns River 2.5 miles inland of the river’s mouth and departs every half-hour.

JTA assumed operation of the ferry March 31, 2016.

“Passenger ferries are an important mode of transportation across the country, providing thousands of people with access to employment, education and other critical needs,” said administration acting Administrator K. Jane Williams in a news release.

Applicants submitted 19 eligible proposals totaling about $102 million in funding requests from 14 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chosen projects will receive $30 million in fiscal year 2020 funding and $17.5 million in prior year funding.

Federal public transportation law, as amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, authorizes FTA’s competitive Passenger Ferry Program through fiscal year 2020.

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