Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), local and federal officials, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, celebrated the groundbreaking of a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system that will improve transit options in the greater Jacksonville, Fla. area and offer faster, more convenient access to downtown.

“Bringing bus rapid transit to this community will connect residents to work, education and other opportunities while making it easier than ever for residents to access downtown Jacksonville and beyond,” said Secretary Foxx. “We’re proud to celebrate this milestone – but we must do more. We are committed to working with Congress to find bipartisan solutions that will help Jacksonville and other communities continue to invest in and enhance their transportation infrastructure in the years ahead.”

The First Coast Flyer BRT Downtown Project, nearly six miles long with 12 stations, is the initial segment of a five-phased BRT system planned for the Jacksonville region. The new service will operate in dedicated lanes during peak hours for a portion of the route.

The BRT project offers riders an alternative to congested roads, and a faster commute to such downtown employers as Baptist Hospital, Suddath Relocation Systems and the new Duval County Courthouse, as well as to businesses in the Riverplace Tower and the Prudential building.

The initial downtown BRT line costs $13.4 million, with $9.3 million provided by FTA. JTA and the Florida Department of Transportation provided the remaining funds.

JTA is seeking federal funds for the next two planned BRT segments — the 9.4-mile North corridor and the 11.1-mile Southeast corridor. Both projects are advancing through FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program. JTA estimates that the entire BRT system will cover 55 miles and cost approximately $132.3 million.

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