Jacksonville Transportation Authority
|Transit type||Rapid transit and bus|
|Number of lines||2 (rail)
|Number of stations||8 (rail)|
|Daily ridership||42,200 weekday (Q3 2012)
|Began operation||1971 (buses)
|Operator(s)||Jacksonville Transportation Authority|
|System length||2.5 miles (4.0 km)|
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is the independent agency responsible for public transit in the city of Jacksonville, Florida, and roadway infrastructure that connects northeast Florida. However, they do not maintain any roadways.
In 1955, the Florida Legislature established the Jacksonville Expressway Authority. Their responsibility was limited to highways, bridges and tolls in Duval County until 1971, when the Jacksonville Transportation Authority was formed by a merger of the Jacksonville Expressway Authority with several private bus companies.
The JTA is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. The mayor of Jacksonville appoints three members who must be confirmed by the Jacksonville City Council; the Florida Governor appoints three members who must be confirmed by the Florida Senate. Each member serves a four-year, unpaid term and can be re-appointed for a second term. If a member serves eight consecutive years, they must rotate off the board. From its membership, the Board elects its own Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer for one year terms. The seventh member is the District Two Secretary from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) who serves as long as s/he is employed in the position. That individual is responsible for the FDOT activities within the 18 counties of the district, including administrative, planning and operations.
As of January 2013, members included Edward E. Burr, chairman; Steve Diebenow, vice chairman; Donna Harper, secretary; Scott McCaleb, treasurer; Greg Evans, FDOT District Two Secretary; Ava Parker, board member; and Isaiah Rumlin, board member.
Originally, when a bridge or roadway was completed, a toll was imposed at that location to create a revenue stream to repay bonds used to fund construction. State and federal tax money was used for specific capital projects, such as interstate highways.
The Jacksonville City Council approved a 10-year, 6¢ per gallon gasoline surcharge in 1986 to pay for new roadways and other transportation projects. Prior to its expiration in 1996, the council extended the tax for 20 additional years, until 2016.
J. Turner Butler Boulevard, the Fuller Warren Bridge, Mathews Bridge, Hart Bridge and Trout River Bridge were tolled by JTA until 1988, when Jacksonville voters approved a ½¢ sales tax increase to pay off the toll bonds, fund future road construction, and abolish toll collections.
JTA was the major beneficiary of the $2.25 billion Better Jacksonville Plan (BJP), passed by voters in September, 2000. Roadway/drainage improvements, resurfacing, new sidewalks and railroad grade crossings accounted for $1.5 billion, of which half was funded by the BJP ½¢ sales tax increase and half from the existing gasoline surcharge. In 2005, the JTA and city re-prioritized the projects still outstanding. The actual cost for most projects had significantly exceeded the estimate due to an 18-month lag time and an unanticipated increase in the price of construction materials. Dozens of projects were deferred to the future and removed from the BJP or left on a $320 million list of unfunded tasks.
The gasoline surcharge generates approximately $30 million in revenue each year, about one third of JTA's budget of $100 million in 2010. Prior to the 1986 gasoline surcharge, tolls were the primary source of local revenue for the JTA. Federal and state highway money provided the balance. In early June, 2010, JTA announced their intentions to request an extension of the 6¢ per gallon gasoline surcharge, due to expire in 2016. They will also ask the council for an additional 5¢ per gallon tax over 30 years that would generate another $25 million per year, for a total of $55 million each year. Most council members questioned the need to extend the existing tax and were opposed to any new tax during difficult economic times, but JTA executives warned that if the gas taxes are curtailed, no road construction will occur and bus service will be slashed.
The goal of the JTA is to improve the flow of traffic into and throughout Jacksonville/Duval County.
The JTA develops and implements construction and financing plans for state and city roads, bridges and interchanges in conjunction with the city government and the Florida Department of Transportation. This was the original role of the Expressway Authority.
- Regular bus service - JTA's fleet has 180 vehicles that travel 8.5 million miles per year on 56 routes; 110 maintenance workers and 320 drivers are employed.
- Express bus service - Five once-daily early morning routes are offered which originate from an outlying area and go directly to their destination with no intermediate stops, then return in late afternoon.
- Trolley-replica buses - local transportation available weekdays from mid-morning to early afternoon; Bay Street and Beaver Street (downtown) routes are free; Riverside and the Beach trolley have a minimal charge but also run on weekends. 
- JTA Connexion (paratransit) - special transport for the disabled and elderly, provided by private vendors with specially equipped vehicles and drivers.
- Stadium shuttle - game day bus transportation from suburban, downtown and Park-n-Ride locations to the stadium and back.
- JTA Skyway - Automated people-mover system which travels 2.5 miles from the King Street parking garage across the St. Johns River and through the central business district, ending at the Convention Center or the Florida State College at Jacksonville downtown campus.
- Park-n-Ride - Parking facility available in combination with express bus service or JTA Skyway.
- Route Optimization — Effective December 1, 2014, JTA will be going under a complete bus system redesign.
- Bus Rapid Transit ― Dubbed the First Coast Flyer, two of the system's four routes have been fully funded.
- Commuter Rail ― JTA has funded feasibility and alternatives studies evaluating commuter rail routes.
The JTA has the responsibility to identify, plan and prepare Jacksonville's hurricane evacuation routes. The JTA and the city of Jacksonville established a Hurricane Preparedness Plan that will provide emergency evacuation/patient transport and move civilians and/or emergency service personnel with mass transit.
On December 1, 2014, JTA underwent a complete system redesign called Route Optimization. This was to provide more frequent, more direct, and more reliable service. The new routes were as follows. 
Local Bus Routes
- 1 North Main
- 2 Lem Turner
- 3 Moncrief
- 4 Kings
- 5 Park / Blanding
- 7 Philips
- 8 Beach / Town Center
- 9 Arlington / Beach
- 10 Atlantic
- 11 A. Philip Randolph
- 12 Myrtle
- 13 Commonwealth / Lane
- 14 Edison
- 15 Post / Normandy
- 16 Riverside / Wilson
- 17 St. Augustine
- 18 Atlantic / Monument
- 19 Arlington
- 22 Avenue B
- 23 Townsend / Southside
- 24 Mayport
- 25 San Jose
- 30 Cecil
- 31 Talleyrand
- 32 McDuff
- 33 Spring Park / Philips
- 34 Blanding / Edgewood
- 50 University
- 51 Edgewood
- 200 Mandarin Express
- 201 Clay Regional Express
- 202 Mayport Express
- 203 NAS Shuttle
- 204 Dinsmore Shuttle
- 205 Beaches Express
- 300 Dunn / Pritchard
- 301 Oakleaf
- 302 Southeast
- 303 Beaches
- 304 Mandarin
- 305 Highlands
- 306 Heckscher
- 307 Northside
- 308 Arlington
- "FAQ" Jacksonville Transportation Authority website
- "Board of Directors" Jacksonville Transportation Authority website
- "Board of Directors". Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Hannan, Larry: "JTA to ask council for gas tax increase and extension" Florida Times-Union, June 5, 2010
- "ROADS/INFRASTRUCTURE/TRANSPORTATION" City of Jacksonville, Better Jacksonville Plan
- "Unfunded Better Jacksonville Plan road projects" Florida Times-Union, May 7, 2009
- "Trolley Schedules" Jacksonville Transportation Authority website
- "Profile of Services" Jacksonville Transportation Authority website
- "Future Plans" Jacksonville Transportation Authority website
- "History" Jacksonville Transportation Authority website