Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bus Route Backers, Opponents Spar

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bus Route Backers, Opponents Spar

Article excerpt

Beaches residents squared off against the Jacksonville

Transportation Authority and each other when JTA officials

announced that a proposed route to Baptist Medical Center-Beaches

would be the same one that was discontinued earlier in the year.

At the conclusion of Thursday's often heated meeting, JTA

Director of Mass Transit Mike Blaylock said officials will

review the public's comments and schedule another meeting to

take place in about 30 days. At that meeting, they will go over

the schedule and route again.

There is no set date for the resumption of service to the

hospital, said JTA Deputy Director Phil Phumprey.

The proposed hospital route has the buses traveling on 13th

Avenue South, Roberts Drive and 16th Avenue South, as they did

for about two weeks in April before residents' complaints caused

the JTA to discontinue service.

Before the meeting, the JTA presented a proposed route that had

the bus traveling on several more roads on its way to and from

the hospital. However, Jacksonville Beach Director of Public

Works William Edwards told the JTA that 12th Avenue South, one

of the streets the bus would have traveled on, couldn't handle

the load of a bus, Phumprey said. Edwards recommended the buses

travel on 13th Avenue South, 16th Avenue South or 10th Avenue

South, Phumprey said. The JTA decided the best alternative was

to return to the original route with a reduced number of trips.

To some residents of 13th Avenue South and 16th Avenue South,

who question the need for the bus service, that's not enough.

When the buses ran in April, Sandra Shore of the 900 block of

13th Avenue South said she never saw more than a handful of

people on the bus. Though she appreciated the fact that the

number of trips had been decreased, Shore wondered who would

ride the buses early in the morning. …

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