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JTA Breaks Ground for BRT

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx joined representatives of the Jacksonville (FL) Transportation Authority (JTA) Nov. 17 at ground-breaking ceremonies for First Coast Flyer, the region’s first BRT service.

“We’re proud to celebrate this milestone—but we must do more,” Foxx said. “We are committed to working with Congress to find bipartisan solutions that will help Jacksonville and other communities continue to invest in and enhance their transportation infrastructure in the years ahead,” he added.

“The construction of the Downtown Bus Rapid Transit Corridor is the next step in transforming public transit in Northeast Florida,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “This is a great moment for the JTA. We are honored that Secretary Foxx shared this historic moment with us.”

Construction of the First Coast Flyer BRT Downtown Project, almost six miles long with 12 stations, is scheduled to be complete by December 2015. It will operate in dedicated lanes ­during peak hours for a portion of the route and buses will be equipped with a ­transit signal priority system.

“Bus rapid transit promises a more efficient and responsive 21st century transportation system for Jacksonville,” said Mayor Alvin Brown, a vice chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Transportation and Communications Committee.

FTA is providing $9.3 million toward the $13.4 million cost of the initial downtown BRT line, with the balance provided by JTA and Florida DOT. JTA is seeking federal funds for the next two planned segments, the 9.4-mile North Corridor and the 11.1-mile Southeast Corridor; both are advancing through FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program. The entire project is planned to encompass five corridors and extend for 55 miles.

Breaking ground for the first part of JTA’s First Coast Flyer BRT, from left: JTA Board Member Kevin Holzendorf, JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., JTA Board Vice Chair Scott McCaleb, JTA Board Chair Donna Harper, DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan, and JTA Board Member Isaiah Rumlin.

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