The city of Jacksonville is about to offer more rapid bus service to Northside residents. That's because the Jacksonville Transportation Authority got a boost from the federal government this week. The First Coast Flyer is designed to get you where you're going faster.
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded JTA almost $27 million for the First Coast Flyer, allowing construction to go forward on the North Corridor Project.
The nearly 10 mile North Corridor is the second segment of the five-phase rapid-bus system. The first phase Downtown is under construction. The new route will run from downtown north on Broad Street to Lem Turner Road and on toward Interstate 295. The route will include 18 new stops.
JTA's Leigh Ann Rassler says the service will connect Northside residents with Downtown and with the Southside.
Rassler said the First Coast Flyer will "allow them to gain access to jobs and other opportunities much quicker than they can on a regular service route."
That's because the First Coast Flyer routes will make fewer stops and have the ability to hold green lights for the bus. There will be more buses in service too — allowing them to come more often. And within five years, JTA plans to have 100 buses running on compressed natural gas.
DOT is covering about 80 percent of the $33 million price tag for the North Corridor.
JTA plans to have buses running on the new route in December.