Carolyn Flowers, Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration spoke at a special ceremony to celebrate the launch of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s (JTA) First Coast Flyer™ BRT Blue Line. Additional guests at the ceremony included JTA Chair Scott L. McCaleb, JTA CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., and City Councilman Daniel Becton.
The First Coast Flyer offers customers a frequent, limited-stop, easy, and reliable way to get across town. With the addition of the Blue Line, the Flyer now connects customers from the new Armsdale Park-n-Ride lot, which opened on Monday. The Armsdale facility features parking for 189 vehicles, bike racks, a ticket vending machine, safety and security offices, and a breakroom for staff and operators.
The First Coast Flyer Blue Line departs Rosa Parks Transit Station and runs along Philips Highway with stops at major destinations to include MOSH, Baptist Health, the Park-n-Ride lot at JTB/Philips, and the Avenues Mall.
“The Flyer’s direct routes quickly connect people to greater employment opportunities, healthcare, education and entertainment,” said JTA CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “The Flyer continues to build on the foundation for a regional transportation network that will contribute to the success of the economy and enhance quality of life.”
The 11.1 mile Blue Line on the Southeast Corridor features direct, high-frequency service; seven branded stations; transit signal priority at 18 intersections (holds green lights, allowing buses to move through intersections without stopping); off-board fare collection; complimentary Wi-Fi; a Park-n-Ride lot; and real-time bus arrival information. The Flyer makes fewer stops and offers 10-minute frequency during weekday peak hours and 15-minute frequency in weekday off peak hours. The $23.8 million project is funded by the FTA, Florida Department of Transportation, and the JTA.
The final two phases of the First Coast Flyer are the East and Southwest corridors and they are in the project development phase. When completed in 2019, the Flyer system will cover 57 miles of destination travel, and will give the JTA the distinction of having the largest BRT system in the Southeast.