JTA plans to increase fares for fixed-route buses, the First Coast Connect Flyer, the St. Johns River Ferry and ReadiRide services. If its proposal is approved, fares will increase by up to $35 or as little as 25 cents, depending on the service.
The public transportation authority is inviting opinions on the proposal through public meetings this week and next and through a survey.
JTA held the first of eight public meetings Monday morning at the Legends Center on Soutel Drive. For an hour during the two-hour meeting, no members of the public showed up. A JTA employee said attendance from the community was lower than expected.
CFO Greg Hayes said, “There has been really not much push back at all. We’re just trying to make sure the public is aware of what we are talking about.”
Hayes said the reason for the fare hikes is the cost of recent investments JTA has made in improving customers’ satisfaction.
For example, customers are now able to report safety incidents and see when their ride is coming in real time through the MyJTA app. New buses have been added to the fleet that run on compressed natural gas, which makes for a quieter ride, and they offer free WiFi.
JTA says it's also increased on-time performance.
And all customers can receive discounts. By using the MyJTA app, passengers will receive a 10% discount on fares. College students with a verified ID will receive a 50% discount. And rides will be free for seniors 65 years or older.
The JTA Board of Directors can approve the proposal as early as next month. Hayes said board members want to leave the discussion open so they have time to get feedback from customers.
Public meetings on the JTA fare hike plan:
- Monday, June 10, 2019
- Legends Center, 5130 Soutel Drive: 10AM-12PM and 5:30PM-7:30PM
- Tuesday, June 11, 2019
- Scanlon Boat Ramp Community Center, 4870 Ocean Street: 8AM-10AM
- Pablo Creek Regional Library, 13295 Beach Boulevard: 5Pm-8PM
- Wednesday, June 12, 2019
- Regency Square Branch Library, 9900 Regency Square Boulevard: 4PM-6PM
- Thursday, June 13, 2019
- FSCJ Downtown Campus, 501 W. State Street: 11AM-1PM and 5PM-7PM
- Friday, June 14, 2019
- Regency Square Branch Library, 9900 Regency Square Boulevard: 10:30AM-12PM
Corrected: The link to the survey was to the wrong survey. We regret the error.
Madison Roberts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (904)358-6317.