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Using Public Transportation

Information about using public transport in Miami

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If you need to get around Miami and Miami Beach without a car, it is easy to do 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.

Buses
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.

Bus routes and times can be found here

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.

The South Beach local map can be found here

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.

The 150 Bus route and schedule can be found here

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 can be found here

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.

Metromover information can be found here

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 website for further information is here

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.

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.

For more information on Easy Cards click here

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.

About the Author:

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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