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St. Johns River ferry officially back on the water

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Updated: 1/13 1:58 pm
MAYPORT, Fla. -- After more than a month of undergoing repairs, the St. Johns River ferry is back up and running.

"Hallelujah we need it, we definitely need it,” said Kathy Bushnell.

Bushnell told Action News she's been riding the ferry since 1965.

Like many others, Bushnell depends on the ferry for transportation.

Nicol Hoffman said it was a headache trying to get to work while the ferry was out of commission.

“I thought I was actually going to have to go find another job to be honest," said Hoffman.

Hoffman said she uses the ferry six days a week to get to work.

She said it's a much faster than driving.

Cars lined the ferry parking lot all throughout Sunday.

"It’s important for me to get back and forth work because it cuts off about 20 minutes of my time,” said Hoffman.

Funding the ferry has been an issue in the past.

Mayor Alvin Brown and council members said they've found short term solution, but are still working on plans to pay for it’s long term future.

Brown said, "The key is the public private partnership, we all have to work together to make sure that its sufficient, the key is getting the private sector to invest in it, getting the grants and funding to do it.”

"Extending the gas tax because the JTA (Jacksonville Transit Authority) under my proposal will operate the ferry for the next 20 years as a part of our agreement," said Bill Guilliford, president of Jacksonville City Council.

Drivers who use the ferry said they'd be willing to shell out more cash as long as it runs forever.

"I think the most important part is that its back and it needs to stay back,” said Bushnell.
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