How to Tackle Miami’s Public Transportation

By Liz Cepeda | Mar 5, 2018
Everybody rides for free on Miami's Metromover to various locations throughout Downtown
Everybody rides for free on Miami's Metromover to various locations throughout Downtown

From elevated rails to free trolleys, Miami has a public transportation system available to make your stay here affordable and convenient.

Budget-conscious travelers will be thrilled to learn about Miami’s sprawling public transportation. Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus all provide low-cost options for you to take to the streets of Miami without splurging on taxis and rental cars. Not only is it an excellent way to see the sights in Miami, it’s also great for the environment and a smart way to avoid parking and garage fees. Here’s all you need to know to navigate Miami’s public transit like a pro.

Getting Around Miami Using Metrorail

Metrorail is a 25-mile elevated rail system similar to a monorail, but with two tracks. This is a fast and inexpensive way to get you from the Miami International Airport (MIA) through Downtown Miami all the way to South Miami. It’s an easy way to travel to the Civic Center, Jackson Memorial Hospital area, Hialeah, northwest Miami-Dade, with connections to Broward and Palm Beach counties at the Tri-Rail/Metrorail transfer station.

Need to get to MIA Airport? There’s also a special Metrorail Orange Line that runs out specifically to the airport. The Orange Line connects to the Miami Intermodal Center, a local transportation hub, and where it heads to the Miami International Airport via the MIA Mover.

Metrorail trip fares start at $2.25 (discount fares being as low as $1.10) and can be purchased with a pre-paid, rechargeable EASY Card or EASY Ticket at any Metrorail station or you can purchase online. Fair warning, you’ll need an Easy Card or Ticket as the fare gates do not accept cash. Unlimited daily passes, weekly passes and monthly passes are also available. There is also EASY Pay, a smartphone application that lets you purchase tickets for buses and trains within the Miami-Dade Transit system.

Plan where you need to go and check out the Metrorail map or download the Miami-Dade Transit Tracker app for fast access.

Getting Around Downtown Miami Using Metromover

If your trip will keep you within Downtown Miami, Metromover is hands-down the cheapest option. Metromover is a free public transportation service offering smaller loops around Downtown Miami and Brickell, and serves as a connection between Metrorail and Metrobus. The Metromover has three major “loops:” Omni Loop, Brickell Loop and Inner Loop. There’s also a Full Loop that runs the whole length of the track.

Metromover is great for visitors staying or traveling in Downtown Miami with an itch to explore some of the city’s most popular attractions in the area. The Metromover quickly drops you off near the AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat and lots of popular concerts; Museum Park, home of the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science; as well as the Art & Entertainment District where you’ll find the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

There are many shops and restaurants along the Metromover route so make sure you take advantage of this free way to avoid traffic and enjoy all the attractions the neighborhood has to offer.

Miami's City Buses

Metrobus operates more than 95 routes with close to 1,000 buses covering 41 million miles per year—that’s a lot of ground to cover! If you can’t get there with the Metrorail, hop on one of the metro bus routes that serve areas of the city that the rail doesn’t, such as Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Homestead or even as far as Fort Lauderdale or the Florida Keys.

The Metrobus system provides service throughout Miami-Dade County 365 days a year. Designed to intersect with Metrorail and Metromover, Miami-Dade County’s bus system serves all major shopping, entertainment and cultural centers, as well as major hospitals and schools. There’s even an express bus service that provides a quick and easy option for commuters during the hectic rush hour and a Marlins Shuttle all season long from Culmer Metrorail Station so baseball fans can catch a world-class baseball game while in town.

Bus rides start at $2.25 per trip. Like the Metrorail, the easiest way to pay for a bus ride is with an EASY Card or EASY Ticket. Visitors can purchase these online and at select stations. Some bus routes operate 24 hours a day, but check individual route schedules for hours of operation and specific schedules just in case.

If you’re staying in Miami Beach and are heading to Miami International Airport, Miami Beach Bus Route 150 provides an inexpensive transit connection to the airport from Miami Beach. This express bus runs every 30 minutes from Miami International Airport with stops at 41st Street, Alton Rd., Collins Ave., Lincoln Rd., and Washington Ave.

When vacationing in Miami Beach, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Route 120. This bus is the preferred circulator route by South Beach visitors and residents and stops frequently in popular spots around Miami Beach, Surfside, Bal Harbour, Aventura Mall and Haulover Park Marina. If you need a further reach when staying in South Beach, Route 120 also goes to the Downtown Bus Terminal where you’ll have easy access to the Main Library, Historical Museum, Miami Art Museum, Government Center Metrorail station, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, and the Omni Bus Terminal.

Miami's Trolley

For travelers looking for something quirky to get around town, consider Miami’s Trolley system. It’s a fun and, get this, free way to explore the city. For more information on Miami’s free trolley system and how you can jump on and off different routes, check out How to Use Miami’s Trolley System.

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