JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new bus rapid transit system is on the way in the River City.
Jacksonville Transportation Authority broke ground Monday on its First Coast Flyer center downtown. The new system will make fewer stops and will offer pickup every 10 to 15 minutes.
The system is designed to make traveling more efficient and bring in new riders.
"Our productivity was not where it needed to be. In fact, we were at the very end of the pack," JTA CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. said.
That's why JTA put together a five-year action plan, of which this system is a part.
The First Coast Flyer will feature green, low-floor, branded buses with easy-to-understand routes and real time bus arrival information.
There will be fewer stops and transit signal priority at stop lights.
"This is a smart investment in the future in Jacksonville, and as traffic starts to grow because population is growing more and more, people will find it convenient to use the bus rapid transit system," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
Phase One of the project is downtown. It will be a little over five miles with 12 stations, and will cost $13.4 million.
The North Corridor is a little over nine miles with 18 stations and will have eight buses for a cost of $33.2 million.
The Southeast Corridor will be about 11 miles with seven stations, will have eight buses and will cost $23.8 million.
The East Corridor is an estimated 18.5 miles with 18-24 stations and 19 buses, all at a cost of $42.9 million.
And the Southwest Corridor is about 10 miles with 22-26 stations and 14 buses costing $19 million.
All of that totals to 55 miles of First Coast Flyer at $132.3 million.
Phase One is set to be finished and begin services by December 2015. All corridors of the system should be in place by 2019.