Hundreds of letters appeared on JTA buses around the city on Thursday morning.
The letters were addressed from Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., the Chief Executive Officer of the JTA. Ford addresses the recent incidents involving JTA buses and says "that the unfortunate actions of a few are not representative of the operations of the JTA as a whole".
One of these incidents includes a fatality, where a Mayport woman got her arm stuck in the doorway of a bus and was dragged. There was also an incident where a 15-year-old girl was injured and a traffic crash involving a train.
You can read the full letter below.
Dear JTA Customer,
Over the past month it has been hard to miss some of the news coverage regarding recent bus incidents involving the Jacksonville transportation Authority as the CEO of the JTA, I’d like to address those concerns with you discreetly and assure you that then unfortunate actions of a few are not representative of our operations as a whole. Our employees do tremendous work every day. On behalf of the Authority's nearly 800, employees I want to reiterate that the safety and security of you, as our customer is my first priority. Last year, 232 JTA buses receive safety awards for their dedication and commitment to doing their job well.
Since I have become CEO in 2012, we've reconstructed our safety protocols, invested millions into security technology, and held those who disregard our standards accountable for their actions. The JTA move more than 12 million passengers and 2018, driving more than 35,000 miles each day. A vast majority of those trips occurred as planned and without incident.
For each year since 2015, the JTA has averaged less than one preventable incident and less than 1.6 non-preventable per 100,000 miles driven. In 2017, our bus operator more than 14,000 training hours. We’re on track to extend 32,000 training hours in 2019 with courses focused on de-escalation, distracted driving, emergency preparedness, driver fatigue, customer empathy and stress management to name a few. Through the use of multiple cameras and recording devices, we are able to monitor the safety of our bus operators and our customers. These investments and others help us investigate and accurately address any issues that may occur during the course of our day.
We do this because we know how much you rely on us to get to work, to school or the doctor's office safely. I say all of this reiterate that we will not tolerate unsafe behavior by bus operators or any other employee – our customers are too important and responsibilities are too great. You are empowered through JTA's See and Say App to report any safety concerns you may have as you travel throughout our community. In addition, you can always call customer service at 904-630-3100. When accidents occur, you have my word that the JTA will accept responsibility and act swiftly.
Are we perfect? No. Will we aim for perfection? Absolutely.
Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.