As a tourist, one of the first things on your mind is transportation at your next travel location. Is transportation stress-free? How much is a bus ticket? How long does it take to get around town? Even though Jacksonville is the most populous and largest city in Florida, you’ve got quite a few options for public transportation around town.
How to Get to Jacksonville
Since scientists are yet to figure out teleportation, we’ve got to get to North Florida before we can try all the exciting things to do in Jacksonville. There are multiple paths for getting into Jax, and we are going to explore them all.
Airport: Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
As the sixth-largest airport in Florida and processing over 7.9 million passengers per year, JAX is served by major domestic carrier airlines (United, Southwest, Delta, American Airlines and JetBlue) and 13 commuter airlines. Among the free Wi-Fi, rocking chairs, accessibility options, the JAX airport has two really great options: it’s only 15 minutes from downtown, and they have direct public transit service to Jacksonville Transport Authority’s bus network.
Read more: Ultimate Guide to JAX, Jacksonville’s Sweet International Airport
If you’re flying in with your private jet, the Craig Municipal Airport and Herlong Airports are available.
Taking a Bus to Jacksonville, Florida
One of the benefits of traveling via bus is great pricing, with some bus providers starting at $7.99. If you’re thinking you’re going to be cramped up and it will be stuffy, you’re wrong! Many bus providers offer air conditioning, reservation, and some great amenities such as Wi-Fi, charging sockets, and snacks. Traveling via bus also allows you to see scenic routes and is the most eco-friendly mode of transportation. Pricing though is majorly dependent on the state you’re traveling from.
Driving to Jacksonville, Florida
First, be sure to turn on your Google maps while driving; we want to ensure you arrive in Jacksonville. Okay, suppose you would like to travel in your private car. In that case, there are three interstate highways, with the most popular being Interstate 10 and Interstate 95 because it is accessible for drivers coming in any direction. For intra-state travel, there are eight major arterial highways. You can also rent a car from your local car rental service.
Train Travel in and around Jacksonville
With an average of 37 direct daily trains and two train lines, daily railroad passenger service to and from Jacksonville is provided by Amtrak. Operating in Jacksonville since 1974, the Amtrak station connects the city with all other locations in the Amtrak system. Ticket prices depend on your destination. The service is excellent with top-notch accessibility functions, but don’t expect freebies like free Wi-Fi and food.
Jaxport Cruise Terminal
If you don’t know Jacksonville, it is known for gorgeous beaches and water access. While cruise lines aren’t exactly the cheapest ticket to Jacksonville, we have a cruise terminal with plenty of rooms and restaurants if you’re thinking of arriving in style. Currently, Carnival Cruise Lines is the only line sailing out of Jacksonville with itineraries to known to go the Bahamas and Key West.
How to Get Around Jacksonville, Florida
By now, we expect you have already booked the next flight, bus, train, or cruise to Jacksonville, and you are thinking about getting around. Here’s how!
Car Rental in Jacksonville, FL
There are multiple local car rental services at the airport. Car rental services go upwards of $30/day depending on either short term or long term
Ride Share Services in Jacksonville
Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, and many others are available. There are options for luxury premium, low-cost rides for large groups, and economy personal rides. Also similar in this category is Readiride, offered by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), which provides affordable and on-call transportation to customers. They are available from Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Jacksonville Transportation Authority
The JTA is responsible for all public transit in Jacksonville and the road infrastructure connecting northeast Florida. Established in 1955, they are responsible for the two rail and 46 bus lines in the city of Jacksonville. Here are a few of the services JTA offers:
Regular Bus Service: With 220 vehicles and 56 routes, there’s nowhere you will go in downtown Jacksonville that the bus doesn’t cover. If you’re planning on heavily using the bus during your visit, there is an option to get discounted prices with the STAR ticket.
Jacksonville Skyway: This is a 2.5 mile-long monorail system. It goes across the famous St. Johns River and ends at Florida State College at the Jacksonville’s downtown campus. Each car is air-conditioned and eco-friendly.
JTA Connexion: Accessibility is paramount in Jacksonville, and there are plenty of offerings for people living with disabilities. This paratransit service provides destination-to-destination shared public transportation for people with disabilities.
Mayport Ferry (St. Johns River Ferry): The Mayport Ferry has been operating since 1948 and is an automobile ferry between Mayport and Fort George Island. Run by JTA, it also helps connect segments the East Coast Greenway, a 3000-mile-long system of trails connecting Maine to Florida. This is one sure way to ride with lots of fresh air and an ocean view.
All of these options are easily accessed through the MyJTA app, where riders can book early and get jaw-dropping discounts
Hiking or Biking: If you want to experience the outdoors of Jacksonville, this is definitely a terrific way. Jacksonville has the most extensive urban park system in the country, with over 80,000 acres of green spaces. Bikers are not left out with plenty of biking trails in the area, including the famous Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail. There are multiple bicycle rental companies with great pricing options.
At the end of it all, this list is inexhaustive with electric novelty options such as the Go Tuk’n shuttle service or the upcoming extension of the Jacksonville Skyway. Just name your location, and there is definitely a transportation option for you.