JTA provides commissioners outlay of its plans

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 6/22/22

 GREEN COVE SPRINGS – With public transit, the planning never stops. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is continuing its push into Clay County.

Charles Frazier, JTA’s new CEO, …

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JTA provides commissioners outlay of its plans


 GREEN COVE SPRINGS – With public transit, the planning never stops. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is continuing its push into Clay County.

Charles Frazier, JTA’s new CEO, addressed the board of county commissioners last week. He told commissioners he wanted to talk about the next few years so commissioners could make strategic decisions.

Frazier and his team gave an overview of the Clay County Transit Study, short-term improvements and the next couple interlocal agreements between both agencies.

JTA Project Manager Jeremy Norsworthy said the agency is building on previous work done by the Transportation Planning Organization.

JTA successfully bid to run public transportation in the county after taking over it temporarily when the Clay County Council on Aging ran the program at a huge deficit.

Consultants at Reynolds, Smith & Hills; England-Thims & Miller and public involvement Quest will coordinate with JTA on its Clay endeavors.

Beverly Davis, a certified planner with RS&H, said a thorough transit plan is a combination of the users, the area’s layout, the demand, and fixed routes and the capital backing the project, she said.

Davis wanted a plan that commissioners could work with, rather than something that would sit on the shelf.

“All of that will be tied together with public and stakeholder involvement at those very important milestones to come up with the overall transit development plan,” Davis said. “Our approach is really going to build on the technical findings to craft a plan for the future that really provides a blueprint for the future of the transit system.”

A transit plan could take eight-to-nine months between data collection, community involvement and analyzing the county’s transit systems and possible improvements.

Frazier laid out a roadmap for the county and JTA’s future collaboration. The current interlocal agreement expires on Sept. 30.

“We are in the process of finalizing edits to that agreement,” Frazier said. “ … What that does is, it gives us another renewal until September of next year.”

Commissioners asked JTA officials how to handle growth and get more people to use public transit. In terms of high gas prices, Chairman Wayne Bolla said you can’t warm your car up for how little JTA fares cost.

Frazier replied public meetings, relying on county staff and tasking government officials with using the system and providing feedback are worthy ideas.

Frazier said he favored a local approach and said consultants and JTA brass have visited senior centers and bus riders in Clay County. He said there could be short-term fixes to flex and bus routes, safety changes and switching up marketing materials.

“There’s some parking issues we’re going to address as well,” Frazier said. “You’re going to see some of those in the near term. They’re small but important.”

After the transit study is completed, Frazier said it would be to bring commissioners transit recommendations.

“By next February, we really want to be here and present you with options,” Frazier said.


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