Mayor, City Council finds $200K for ferry funding

Atlantic Beach contributes $5K to ferry funding

The Jacksonville Port Authority Board met to discuss the future of the Mayport Ferry.
The Jacksonville Port Authority Board met to discuss the future of the Mayport Ferry.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The St. Johns River Ferry got another boost on Tuesday after Mayor Alvin Brown and Jacksonville City Hall found another $200,000 to keep the Mayport Ferry running.

According to the mayor's spokesman, David DeCamp, Brown promised $100,000 to help keep the ferry for another year. The City Council then promised to match that money.

The Atlantic Beach City Commission has also approved a $5,000 contribution to fund the St. Johns River Ferry at Mayport.

The contribution comes after state Rep. Janet Adkins secured a commitment of $200,000 from the Jacksonville Port Authority last month to fund the ferry beyond September. Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, has been working to get funding from other sources to keep the State Road A1A river crossing running.

The JaxPort funds are contingent on Jacksonville City Council, the Florida Department of Transportation or other sources to fund the additional money needed for one year of operations.

A FDOT survey done of 3,000 ferry riders completed in March and April showed 46 percent were locals using the ferry for fun, sun and food.

Twenty-nine percent of people were commuting to and from work and 15 percent were tourists.

Just over 60 percent of riders began their trips in Duval County, followed by 25 percent starting in Nassau County. Only 5 percent started in St. Johns County, 1 percent in Clay County and 8 percent from outside the four-county region.

The report makes no recommendation on whether the ferry should continue operating or how to pay for it.

Jacksonville City councilman Bill Gulliford said at the time he hoped the survey would guide the city in the right direction to finding a new entity to operate the ferry.