The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) in Florida has been awarded a $16.9 million Capital Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in support of compressed natural gas (CNG) transit.
The funds will be used for the First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit East Corridor’s Red Line, the fourth segment of a five-phase First Coast Flyer system planned for the Jacksonville area.
The Red Line will operate with 19 CNG buses, offering complimentary Wi-Fi, mobile ticketing with MyJTA and bus arrival information with NextBus. The Red Line is scheduled to launch in December on the East Corridor. It will operate between Rosa Parks Transit Station and the Jacksonville Beach along the Arlington Expressway and Beach Boulevard with stops at major destinations, including Florida State College Jacksonville South and Downtown Campuses.
The 18.5-mile Red Line, which will be the longest corridor in the network, nearly doubles the footprint of the existing First Coast Flyer system.
“The signing of this Capital Investment Grant agreement is another significant step in the First Coast Flyer program for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority,” says JTA’s CEO, Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “The First Coast Flyer initiative has already transformed travel in the northeast Florida region with the Green and Blue Lines, which were launched in December 2015 and December 2016, respectively.”
When completed, the First Coast Flyer will cover 57 miles of destination travel, says the JTA. As announced in 2015, the JTA plans to replace a minimum of 100 diesel buses with CNG models. The agency says it will continue receiving 23-25 CNG buses each year until it reaches the 100 mark.
“We are pleased to learn of the grant announcement and look forward to the opening of the East Corridor,” says Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham. “The First Coast Flyer will provide beaches residents with a high frequency and direct connection to downtown from Jacksonville Beach.”