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St. Johns River Ferry To Close For Up To 8 Weeks For Upgrades

Ferry loaded with cars
Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will temporarily suspend service of the St. Johns River Ferry for approximately eight weeks starting Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to begin the next phase of upgrades to the facilities and the vessel.

This phase of work includes pavement rehabilitation and markings, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility improvements, new bulkheads, catwalk access improvements, new public restroom facilities at the Mayport landing, and landscaping and lighting enhancements on each side of the ferry.

JTA is also taking the opportunity to conduct a “haul out” of the Jean Ribault vessel as required every two to three years by the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure a state of good repair. This will avoid another round of closures later in the year.

The estimated costs of the haul out is $2.6 million, and the estimated cost of the Phase IV improvement project is $6.6 million.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration in July announced the award of a $5.2 million grant through the FTA's Passenger Ferry Grant Program to the JTA to continue improvements and upgrades to the ferry. That’s in addition to the $3.9 million FTA Passenger Ferry Grant awarded to the JTA in 2019.

JTA assumed operations of the ferry in 2016. The Jean Ribault is a car and passenger ferry built in 1995 that connects the north and south ends of Florida State Road A1A, linking historic Mayport Village and Fort George Island via a 0.9-mile voyage across the St. Johns River, 2.5 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Ferry is open Monday through Friday, beginning in Mayport Village at 6 a.m. and Fort George Island at 6:15 a.m. Service continues with departures on every hour and half hour through 7 p.m.

Service on Saturday and Sunday is from 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in person, online or through the MyJTA mobile app.