JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Members of the Fort George Island and Mayport communities met Tuesday night with JAXPORT officials to discuss the impending shut down of the ferry that runs between the two locations.
At a community meeting held at the Heckscher Drive Community club Tuesday night, The port authority said its pockets are empty and that the ferry is currently working at an almost $2 million net loss.
Community members are trying to save the ferry, arguing that it saves them time and, after 64 years crossing the St. Johns River, it is something they care deeply about.
The ferry costs $750,000 a year to operate, according to Nancy Rubin with JAXPORT. She said ridership is down and the ferry also in need of millions of dollars worth of repairs.
Rubin said the ferry costs are infringing on the port's primary focus—trade.
"We need to revisit our expenses in regard to the ferry so we can use our money where we really need it," Rubin said. "To grow the port; to build the city of Jacksonville."
The port authority will decide in the next two months what plan of action it will take and how it will handle the ferry. They hoped community members at the meeting would be able to come up with a solution.
Once there is a viable solution, the CEO will put it to the board and the board will vote.
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