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JTA Plans To Cover More Bus Shelters, Make More ADA Accessible

A Normandy Boulevard bus stop.
Lindsey Kilbride
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is looking to improve bus stops by erecting more shelters and making more of them accessible to disabled riders.

Those are a couple priorities in JTA’s proposed budget, which CEO Nathaniel Ford presented to the City Council Finance Committee Friday. He said his goal is to build shelters over bus stops with at least 25 daily bus boarders. That’s a change from JTA’s policy of covering shelters with at the least 40 riders a day.

“We plan on covering all of those shelters that will meet that 25 passenger minimum within (a) three-year period,” Ford said Friday.

JTA already has a backlog of shelters that meet the 40-rider threshold. More than 50 of those will remain uncovered after this year, and about 80 more would meet the 25-rider mark. Of the city’s more than 2,600 bus stops, around 15 percent have shelters already.

In May, Councilman Reggie Brown questioned JTA’s criteria for building bus stop shelters, pointing to many covered shelters with seemingly low ridership. JTA started prioritizing covering stops with high ridership just two years ago.

Shelter Installations cost $20,000 each.  JTA is  budgeting $2.5 million to cover 22 more shelters next year and also to make 160 stops accessible for disabled people, which typically means connecting sidewalks to them.

Just 35 percent of JTA’s stops comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. That’s up from 15 percent three years ago.

Over the past three years, JTA has spent $8 million installing more than 100 new shelters and making 550 ADA accessible, Rassler said

She said when riders are surveyed, their top priorities are buses coming more frequently and on time.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.