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JTA offers students a free ride

A JTA electric bus.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority plans to make it easier for students to get home at the end of a long day. 

JTA will kick off a six-month pilot program in January that will let middle and high school students ride city buses for free from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

JTA spokesman David Cawton says the extended hours mean kids don’t have to miss out on after-school activities.

“Primarily they will use it to go to class, but if they need to get to that after school job, or if they have, you know, a late football practice and need to get home, the 7 o'clock timeframe there gives them that opportunity,” he said.

Cawton also wants parents to know their children will be safe riding J-T-A buses.

"There's onboard visual and audio surveillance to ensure that every bus ride is being monitored for any incidents," he said. "And our bus operators and all of our transit operations staff are well trained to ensure that students feel relaxed and welcome on board."

Students will need to show a valid student ID, and Cawton said JTA is working with schools that don’t issue IDs so their students can take advantage of the My-Ride-2-School program as well.

The service starts Jan. 4th and runs through May 27.

More information can be found online at