Jax councilman wants city to help fund ferry
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For six decades the St. Johns River Ferry has shortened drive times and connected communities. But that could all change in a matter of months due to the ferry's funding crisis.
Right now, the ferry is funded through rider fares but needs an additional $600 thousand to keep operations afloat. JaxPort recently pledged $200 thousand as long as the the Florida Department of Transportation, the City of Jacksonville and supporters can secure the rest of the money. Jacksonville Councilman Bill Gulliford will propose to fellow council members this week that Jacksonville match JaxPort and fork over $200 thousand.
“We want a broad base of community support. That's critical,” said Gulliford.
And more communities are pitching in to help. Atlantic Beach commissioners are discussing whether or not to help pay for part of the ferry's operations. Gulliford believes it’s a smart investment with a number of money-making possibilities.
“You get a captive audience sitting in the parking lot on both sides and you have a captive audience sitting on the ferry where you could put advertisements on inside,” said Gulliford.
The St. Johns River Ferry commission must raise the money by September 30.
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