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JTA Announces First Coast Flyer Blue Line Dec.5

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority introduced the second phase of its First Coast Flyer rapid transit bus system with the opening of its Park-and-Ride location at 7020 Philips Highway. The “Blue Line” extends from the Avenues Mall location located within the Avenues Walk development at the future transit station to the downtown Rosa Parks Transit Station with just 11 stops in between.

Once completed, the four-pronged system will have cost of more than $150 million and will cover more than 50 miles making it the largest such transportation system in the Southeast.

At ceremonies held at the Philips Highway Park-and-Ride location on December 5, City Council Member Danny Becton joined Nathaniel Ford, Sr., JTA chief executive officer; Scott McCaleb chairman, JTA Board of Directors; and Carolyn Flowers, acting administrator of the US Federal Transit Administration.

Representing the City Council and District 11, CM Becton emphasized the new line’s economic impact in a speech for the occasion; “As a result of implementing this service, residents will be able to move around the city with fewer stops and with service that will cut the commute time. This service will help connect more companies with more potential employees that can travel in a frequent, reliable and state of the art vehicle.

The First Coast Flyer system consists of a fleet of new buses. They were used as part of a program to test the feasibility of incorporating WiFi in buses. It was such a success that now all JTA buses are WiFi equipped. The First Coast Flyers have their own covered bus stops that provide constant information about departure and arrival times.

The bus-based rapid transit system works by having dedicated bus lanes on the roads and fewer stops than traditional bus routes. Like a subway, passengers would get off at a stop along the Blue Line and then take a traditional bus or other transportation to their final destination. For more information, call the JTA at (904) 630-3100 or go to jtafla.com.

Check out photos of the event in the Photo Gallery