JACKSONVILLE, FL. September 9, 2020 – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) named Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager for 2020.
The APTA Awards program recognizes excellence in the public transportation industry in North America.
“This is a tremendous honor and one I accept on behalf of the nearly 800 JTA employees who continue to keep Jacksonville moving in the face of unprecedented circumstances,” said Ford. “The support and recognition from my peers is a sign that the JTA is headed in the right direction, and motivation to continue expanding mobility for our citizens.”
APTA is a nonprofit international association comprised of more than 1,500 public and private sector member organizations. Ford, who joined the JTA in late 2012, will be honored alongside 13 individual and agency winners during APTA’s TRANScend virtual meeting October 21-22, 2020, and formally honored at a ceremony during APTA’s 2021 TRANSform Conference & EXPO in Anaheim, California, scheduled for March 14-17, 2021.
Through Ford’s vision, the JTA designed, built and opened the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla or JRTC. This multimodal hub is the first of its kind in Northeast Florida, unifying traditional and bus rapid transit routes, the Skyway, shared mobility services, paratransit services, and intercity services such as Greyhound, RedCoach and Megabus in one shared facility in the historic LaVilla neighborhood.
Under Ford’s leadership, the JTA in 2014 completed the first major overhaul to its fixed-route bus operations in nearly three decades through the Route Optimization Initiative or ROI. This accomplishment streamlined bus routes, increased frequencies and added much-needed capacity for customers.
Ford also successfully initiated the build-out of the First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit network, the largest BRT system in the Southeast United States. Since 2016, the JTA has completed three BRT routes, comprising the Blue, Green and Red lines. The fourth and final BRT route, the 13-mile Orange Line will open in 2021 and connect the JRTC to the Orange Park Mall.
Ford’s vision to enhance mobility for all of Northeast Florida has also been priority as the JTA continues to grow its regional portfolio of services, helping customers in Baker, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties travel with paratransit, commuter shuttles and other on-demand transportation options.
Ford has reinvigorated the JTA’s historic role as a road builder in Duval County through the successful JTAMobilityWorks program that began in 2016 and includes 13 major road projects and improvements to 14 mobility corridors.