JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The St. Johns River Ferry has just received almost $5 million to be used toward replacing the deteriorated slip walls at both the Mayport and Fort George landings.
The Florida budget just signed Monday by Governor Rick Scott appropriates $1 million. The ferry was also awarded a Passenger Ferry Grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation worth $3.97 million.
“Oh my god are we happy!” says Elaine Brown, who serves on the St. Johns River Ferry Commission.
Brown says the grant money can also be used for capital investments, such as fixing a broken ship. Last month the ferry was awarded a $900,000 operational grant from the federal government, which can be used for paying salaries and buying fuel.
“This money could not have come at a better time,” she says.
Brown says right now they’re focused on making improvements to help the Ferry’s long-term sustainability and gain ridership.
“To put us in a position for ten, fifteen, twenty years from now,” she says.
The $1 million appropriation results from legislation sponsored this year by both Senator Aaron Bean and Representative Janet Adkins. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority submitted the grant application for the $3.97 million from the USDOT.