JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The St. Johns River Ferry is setting sail Thursday morning for the first time with its official debut of new improvements.
It is the Phase IV Improvement Project called the "passenger experience," according to Jacksonville Transportation Authority. You'll notice some improvements as you arrive for the ride across the river. Expect to see a new covered picnic pavilion, new landscaping and lighting, real restrooms, and restriped queue lanes.
The new queue lines are important because according to JTA, at peak times traffic can back up and block the road. They'll also have an electric vehicle charging station.
Hours are being extended on Friday to match weekend hours, which means you can ride the ferry an hour and a half later.
The ferry averages 400,000 passengers a year, according to JTA. Part of the goal with the improvements is to increase tourism in Mayport.
It also helps commuters who would otherwise be driving about 45 minutes out of their way. JTA hopes to soon get a second ferry that could be electric.
The trip from Mayport to Fort George or vice versa takes roughly five minutes. If you're walking or have a bike it costs $1. A car costs $7 on weekdays.
Here are some fun ferry facts to save money:
- If you get the MyJTA app to buy your ferry fare you can get discounts.
- If you ride the ferry a lot you can buy a Ticket Book on the JTA store website.
- If you do both of these things and buy the ticket book through the MyJTA app, that saves money too.
You may not know the ferry's route is part of 3,000-mile bike trail from Maine to Key West.