JTA modifies bus schedules, seating arrangements due to COVID-19

JTA file photo
JTA file photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Drivers might notice fewer Jacksonville Transportation Authority buses on the road in response to the coronavirus pandemic as JTA has made modifications to its route.

Bus riders who spoke to News4Jax said they’re concerned about overcrowding on the buses at a time when health experts stress the importance of social distancing.

”Less buses. More people," said Bob Nardo.

Nardo worries the modified weekday schedule will mean more bus riders in the close quarters inside the bus.

LINK: JTA’s modified bus schedule

But David Cawton, JTA’s communication director, said the JTA has additional buses that they’ll call into service if a particular bus route gets overcrowded.

“We’ve actually placed buses on standby so that when we have those peak routes, those peak times, we can plug in a bus and lower the capacity,” Cawton said.

Cawton said JTA has taken additional measures to make sure the buses are cleaned and disinfected daily, and he said JTA wants to keep public transportation going.

As many as 18 seats are blocked off on buses with the highest volume of customers to help with social distancing, and signs have also been posted telling people to cooperate with social distancing while riding.

"While this may be a little inconvenient for customers over the next couple of weeks, we believe it was the right move to make sure we try our best to stop the spread of the virus -- to protect our operators and customers from potential exposure

The modified bus schedule matches JTA’s Saturday schedule. If you ride the St. Johns Ferry, you’re being asked to stay inside your car.

Go to JTA’s website, the NextBus app, or Google Transit for current routes and schedules.

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