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How To Use Public Transport in Miami

February 16, 2012 By Jess in Miami: Travel News  | 29 Comments

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If you need to get around Miami and Miami Beach without a car, it is easy to so using public transport. Miami-Dade Transit is the 14th largest public transit system in the USA, and the largest transit agency in the state of Florida. Not only does Miami have buses and trains, there is also a completely free metro system running through downtown. Here is a guide to the Miami Dade Public Transport system and how to use it.

Metrobuses
The Miami bus service runs throughout Miami-Dade County 365 days a year. You can get a bus pretty much anywhere, from Miami Beach and Key Biscayne to West Miami-Dade, as far north as Diplomat Mall in Broward County, and as far south as Homestead, Florida City, and the Middle Keys. There are more than 90 bus routes and some run 24 hours a day, including the S route that runs through South Beach.

A single bus fare costs $2 and you have to pay with exact change only. This can be as many nickels, dimes or quarters as you like, or $1 bills, but the bus driver will not give you change if you have a $5 bill or more. No bus accepts pennies. The driver does not accept cash, instead you pay the machine in front of you as you step on the bus. See bus routes and schedules

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The South Beach Local
The South Beach local is a small bus that runs only throughout South Beach from 8am – 1am daily. It only costs 25 cents to ride the bus and is used by residents and tourists to get around South Beach. With a great route and schedule, this bus can get you anywhere you need to go within SoBe’s 23 block radius. South Beach local map

Airport Flyer
The 150 bus from Miami International Airport costs $2.35 and is the cheapest way to get to South Beach from the airport. The service runs every 30 minutes from the airport bus terminal located opposite Terminal E in arrivals. It has a section on the bus for luggage and is a very quick route straight to South Beach with only two stops along the way before stopping at the Collins Ave hotels through South Beach. The route runs all the way to South Pointe stopping every few blocks. 150 Bus route and schedule

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Metrorail
Compared to other cities, the Miami Metrorail system is very easy to navigate. With only one line running north and south through the city of Miami, the train runs from 5am – midnight 7 days a week servicing all 22 stops. The rail system does not go to many of the tourist hotspots and it does not run to the airport or South Beach. The trains offer free wifi and is used mainly by residents at the cost of $2 for a single journey. The Metrorail system does not accept cash. You must purchase an Easy Card to pay your fare before you travel. Metrorail route and schedule

Metromover
The Metromover is a people mover system that runs above the streets of downtown Miami and Brickell. It is completely free to everyone and connects to some of the Metrorail and bus stations. Major destinations include American Airlines Arena, Bayside Marketplace, Miami-Dade College, and the James L. Knight Center.

The Metromover has no driver as it is an electric automatic system. As it is free, do not be surprised to be in a busy car with one or two homeless people amongst you. It is a great system to get around downtown quickly, but be sure to take your hand sanitizer with you in your bag. More Metromover info

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Tri Rail
The Tri Rail is a commuter rail service, servicing Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Like the Metrorail, it is only one line running north and south. You can reach it in Miami from the Tri Rail Metrorail station or by an express bus from Miami airport.

The Tri Rail stations are not easy or convenient to get to if you are here on vacation. They are not near the coast line so if you are trying to reach your beach hotel, it will not be the best option to use. A one way fare costs between $2.50 and $7 and a return fare costs between $5 and $11.50, depending on your final destination. Tri Rail information

The Easy Card and Easy Ticket
Miami buses still accept cash as a form of payment but the Metrorail does not. An Easy Card looks like a credit card and is a pay as you go form of paying for your public transport. Buses and train stations all have fare boxes that you press the card up against and your fare is deducted from the value on your Easy Card. The cards are reloadable.

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Tourists and visitors to Miami who will only be here for a short time can purchase the Easy Ticket. It works like the Easy Card but is made of paper and expires after 60 days. These cards can be purchased at any train station and in sales outlets throughout Miami, including LeAnn drugs on 9th and Washington in South Beach. Easy Card info

Check your route at the links above before you set out on your journey so you know exactly where you are going. Don’t be afraid to ask the bus driver if you are lost, they are happy to answer your questions. The Miami Dade Public Transport system is cheap and easy to use and is a great alternative to renting a car or taking cabs. So try it out on your next vacation here, you will be surprised at how quick it can be to get around Miami.

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News,

A SoBe resident for 5 years, Jess’s writing focuses on healthy living in South Beach with a dose of British humor and a cheerful outlook on life in Miami. She can be found moderating the forum Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Jess.

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29 Comments on

"How To Use Public Transport in Miami"

Maria de los Angeles says:

Jess, great review. I have been using a lot of public transport lately due to some car issues.  One thing to keep in mind: you may end up adding a lot more time to your trip if you use buses and rail.  It took me two hours to get to Broward from South Miami via Metrorail and Tri-Rail as opposed to the usual 40 minutes without traffic.

One big plus is the Miami-Dade public transportation app. I use it all the time now on my iPhone. You can actually track the train in real time and schedules are published. Ditto for buses. This is a great bonus if you have a smart phone!

I have found Miami-Dade Public transportation customer service folks to be really helpful in planning itineraries.  When I have had to use a train/bus combo, I usually call ahead, even though Google publishes itineraries as well. But I like talking to a real person who can give me direct instructions.

The Easy Pass is also great, too. You can load different cash values and it saves so much time.

Thanks again, Jess!

Posted on 02/18/2012 at 6:43 PM

martine_aimee says:

Extremely useful! Thank you!

Posted on 02/19/2012 at 7:21 AM

Mario says:

Very useful info Jess!  But also remember that buses are effective mainly in the Beach/ Downtown areas, or if you have to take 1 bus on a straight route, like Flagler Street or Biscayne Blvd, and preferably not to far away.  But if you have to go to West Kendall or Hialeah, it’ll take a long while. Than again, that’s not so much the bus service’s fault, but more due to excessive suburban sprawl.

Posted on 02/20/2012 at 3:20 PM

Natalia says:

Very useful information indeed, I found answers for many questions. I am coming to Miami beach the first time and still thinking - what is the best way to get Coral Beach from Ocean Drive using public transport? Thank you!

Posted on 02/21/2012 at 2:54 PM

Jess says:

Hi Natalia.

Do you mean Coral Gables to Ocean Drive on South Beach?

If so, you can either use the metrorail from a stop near where you are staying to Government Center and then get the C bus to South Beach.
Or you can get the 24 bus from Coral Gables and catch the C again, depending on whether you are near a metrorail stop or not.

Have fun!

Posted on 02/21/2012 at 4:45 PM

Maria says:

Mario, that is true even with relatively short distances. I took Metrorail from South Miami to Government Center, then took a bus to mid Beach to 41st street. It took over 1.5 hours around 5 PM and the distance by car would have been 16 miles. If I actually had to use bus/metro in Miami for all my needs, it would be an incredible time suck—more so than moving around by car.  And the bus/metro service can be rather unsavory late at night if you are alone.  I still think that having a car is best here if you plan on moving around in very long distances frequently.

Posted on 02/21/2012 at 5:06 PM

Natalia says:

Hi Jess, thanks for the respond, I am terribly sorry, the place I have to get - it is Coral Springs, not Coral Beach! Both are coral though….. grin

Posted on 02/22/2012 at 2:16 AM

jess says:

Natalia, Coral Springs is a good 50 -60 miles away from South Beach. It is possible to get there but would take at least 2 hours on a few buses. You should use google maps and click on the public transport icon to find the best route for your destination address.

Posted on 02/22/2012 at 1:01 PM

Mario says:

@ Natalia, Coral Springs is in Northwest Broward, with bus, you might have to switch several times and it will take easily more than 2-3 hours.

@ Maria, yeah, if it had been only Metrorail to Downtown, it would have been quick.

Posted on 02/26/2012 at 2:19 PM

Mirna says:

Si alguien necesita está información en Español, haz clic aquí: http://forums.miamibeach411.com/spanish-forums-foros-en-espanol/11236-como-usar-el-transporte-publico-en-miami.html
Gracias, Jess!! Great article and very easy explanation.

Posted on 03/06/2012 at 12:26 PM

Gableslizard says:

Under “Related Stories,” you should include information about Decobike. Great articles! Thanks!

Posted on 03/24/2012 at 10:57 PM

Mikael says:

Hi.

Mikael from Sweden here. I´m planning a trip to Miami in September and I´m just wondering if Miami is a bicycle friendly city?

Posted on 03/28/2012 at 2:27 PM

jordan ali says:

Why cant the make the bus train on the 93 because it generally packed in there!

Posted on 08/03/2012 at 11:55 AM

Robbie says:

We will be staying at Perry South. What would be best way, from airport

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 4:24 AM

Gus says:

Robbie, the cheapest way is the Airport Flyer city bus (Route 150) -

http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/routes_detail.asp?route=150

The bus crosses Julia Tuttle Causeway, turns south on Collins, and passes right in from of the Perry.

Posted on 02/22/2013 at 3:35 PM

Cathrine says:

We forgot a big bag of clothes on the S route from Aventura mall today. The bus was full of people, and we almost didnt get of bevause it took some time to get pass all the people. in this hurry, we peobably lost the bag. The bus was arriving Lincoln road approximately at 08 PM. The bag was full of American Eagle clothes. The driver was an afroamercian lady with long red-looking braids. Do you know if it is possible for is to find the bag again, is there any “lost and found” office at Miami? I just wanted to ask..

Posted on 03/21/2013 at 9:49 PM

Jess says:

Best to contact Miami Dade transport and see if they have it,

Posted on 03/29/2013 at 10:39 PM

firefly says:

What is the best public transportation that will get us from South Beach to the Sony Ericksson tennis matches next Tuesday (28th)

Posted on 03/19/2014 at 5:36 PM

Gus says:

Hi firefly,

There is no easy way to get from South Beach to Key Biscayne. You’re looking at having to take two or three buses, each way, with it taking about 2 hours to get there. For times and schedules, call the Miami-Dade Metrobus travel planning office at 305-891-3131.

Good luck,

Gus

Posted on 03/20/2014 at 9:50 AM

Firefly says:

Thanx Gus.  Guess we will drive and become part of the traffic jam ..

Posted on 03/20/2014 at 10:12 AM

jess says:

The best way is any SoBe bus to Omni (120/C/S), then the free metro mover to Brickell, and then the B bus from Brickell station to Key Biscayne Sony Ericcson. Have fun!

Posted on 03/20/2014 at 3:49 PM

Damian says:

Hello All,

I will be staying in Plantation for a few days, would some one be so kind to let me know if it is easy to get to South Beach by public transport?
Thank you very much.

Posted on 05/07/2014 at 10:47 AM

Gus says:

Hi Damain,

Plantation is located in Broward County and South Beach is in Dade County.  I suggest call boingth counties public transportation offices and ask what they suggest. You can reach them at these phone numbers:

- Plantation Public Transportation: 954-797-2200
- Miami Public Transportation: 305-891-3131

Posted on 05/08/2014 at 9:06 AM

Tricia says:

Hello!
Quick question has anyone tried to share a monthly metro bus pass? Like one monthly pass that two people swipe back to back to get on the same bus? I know its kinda cheating but does it work? My boyfriend and i take the same bus to work every day but its only one bus 5x a week its not worth it to buy two monthly passes…

Posted on 06/22/2014 at 9:06 AM

Elizabeth H Hamilton says:

Tricia,
No. It’s not allowed. And on the Metrorail you need to reswipe the card as you exit so that definitely shows it wouldn’t work! Probably you should just buy a regular “Easy Card” for each. It’s not a monthly pass. The value is good till you use it up.
Hope that helps!
Gableslizard

Posted on 06/22/2014 at 11:52 AM

Rivka Lerner says:

from Aventura mall to south beach public transportation like busses no info on this page

Posted on 07/20/2014 at 8:34 AM

elliot says:

I put $ 20 on my pass it’s doesn’t let you pay for two people even though I have money on the card I think that’s not right if I have money on it I should be able to pay for two people

Posted on 08/07/2014 at 3:27 PM

Mel says:

A bus ticket in Miami is currently 2.25 and about to be 2.50, your website says 2.00 so you should update the info. smile

Posted on 09/28/2014 at 8:16 PM

Gableslizard says:

The article needs to be updated to reflect that theMetrorail now provides service to the airport and that there are now two lines.

Posted on 09/28/2014 at 8:27 PM

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