Fewer public transportation options for Clay County residents

Funding dropped to Council on Aging of Clay County

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Residents in Clay County, including seniors with disabilities, have one less option for public transportation after the closure of the county's Council on Aging.

For more than 20 years, the council provided a traditional bus service, charging $1 a ride for adults or $0.50 for senior citizens. It also provided a door-to-door service for disadvantaged and disabled clients.

John Bowles, president of the Council on Aging of Clay County, said funding to the organization was pulled in October. In addition to public transportation, services were also cut at the county's four senior centers.

"Senior services have now been allocated by 'Aging True,' a very similar organization up in Duval County," Bowles said. "We were designated as the transportation coordinator for Clay County but now, losing the bus system, that job has now gone to the JTA."

JTA has only taken over bus service to transport disadvantaged customers. Marc Gross, 70, said he can still get rides to important medical appointments, but not to the YMCA or the grocery store.

"It's been about three weeks now since the thing fell apart, and I'm already feeling a little housebound and anxious," Gross said.

JTA said it's negotiating with Clay County to see if it's possible to pick up more services that the council used to offer. For questions or to make a reservation, residents can call 904-284-5977.