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Getting Around Miami Without a Car

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Miami is one of the cities where most people often rent a car.

While it is a good option if you’re with a group, it’s unnecessary if you’re travelling alone or in a couple. 

So how to get around Miami without a car?

Well, I’m glad you asked because that’s what today’s post is going to be about!

Let’s first go over how to get around in Miami area, covering the main routes:

Miami Airport → Miami/South Beach

Are you looking for the best way to get from Miami Airport to South Beach? You have several options:

Public Transportation: Miami Airport to South Beach

Miami International Airport is the closest airport to the beach areas and it is quite easy to find public transportation from Miami Airport to South Beach or Miami Beach.

What used to be called Miami Beach Airport Flyer (Route 150) is now Miami Beach Airport Express, also Route no. 150.

This Miami Beach Airport Bus runs every 20-30 minutes from 6am to 11:40pm and goes straight to Miami Beach without stopping in between. A ticket costs only $2.25, so it is the cheapest way from Miami Airport to South Beach.

You can then choose from a number of stops along the Miami Beach and South Beach. The main ones, where every airport express bus stops are these four:

  • 41st & Alton Rd
  • 41st & Indian Creek
  • Lincoln Rd & Washington Ave
  • South Pointe Dr & Washington Ave

Find more info on the Miami Beach Airport Express here.

This bus is by far the best way to get to South Beach from Miami Airport.

BUT – if you’re just looking to get to downtown Miami from the Airport, your best option is to use the Metrorail (Orange line). The fare between Miami Airport and the City is $2.25.

For both the Airport Express no. 150 bus and the Metrorail, you’ll first need to take the Airport Mover to Airport Metrorail Station.

Metrorail station at Miami Airport
If you’d like to Use the Airport Express or the Metrorail, first access the Metrorail station.

Taxi

Taxis are convenient, but a lot more expensive than the public transport, of course.

However, when your hotel is far from any stop or you just don’t want to look for it with all your luggage, it’s the best option. Similarly, on your way back, taking a taxi from South Beach to Miami Airport is a good idea.

For the most optimum cost-to-comfort ratio, choose the public bus as the best transportation from Miami Airport to South Beach and then, on your way back, simply take a cab.

The cost of taxi from Miami Airport to South Beach is $35-$40. Taxis originating at the airport charge a flat fee, which includes road tolls already. You’re still expected to tip if you’ve been satisfied with the service.

Cabs from Miami International Airport to South Beach, as well as other Miami destinations, can be booked at a designated taxi stand at the lower level outside the baggage claim area.

Uber or Lyft

Ridesharing is possible too. Expect to pay about $20 for a trip from Miami Airport to South/Miami Beach.

Private Transfer

For the most comfort, you can make use of a private transfer between Miami Airport and Miami beaches. This private sedan transfer is for up to 3 persons.

Shuttle

Shuttles also operate at Miami Airport, especially the Super Shuttle company. However, as of 2020, their reviews are so bad that it seems risky to use this option.

See, there really is no need for renting. Visiting Miami without a car can be done easily, even when it comes to travel between the airport and your hotel.

Fort Lauderdale Airport → Miami/South Beach

Public Transportation

Fort Lauderdale has worse connections to Miami/South Beach. It’s possible to make the trip by a public bus, but you need to change once and it takes around 2 hours in total.

This is officially the cheapest way to get from Fort Lauderdale to Miami and Miami/South Beach. The whole trip costs around $5 in total.

You can take the bus route #01 from Fort Lauderdale to Aventura Mall Bus Terminal and then transfer to a bus that’ll take you to South Beach, e.g. #120.

I took the public bus and it was, above all, a unique people-watching experience. If you have large luggage with you, I don’t recommend this option.

Shuttle

There are many shuttle services as well. I haven’t tried any, but people seem to recommend Go Shuttle – it costs about $25 and leaves once it fills up.

As it’s a shared service, it might take only a little less time than the lengthy bus service described above, but at least you won’t have to transfer. You can book your trip easily via their Go Shuttle app.

Taxi

If you opt for a taxi, it’ll cost you around $70. Let your budget decide.

Uber or Lyft

Based on my research, a ride through Uber or Lyft should cost around $40. Make sure to get a price estimate first before booking your ride.

Miami Beach welcome sign
Welcome to Miami Beach!

Miami Beach to South Beach and Vice Versa

Whether you want to get from South Beach to Miami Beach or the other way round, it’s easy to do even without a car.

The beaches are well connected by the Miami Beach Trolley. It’s a free bus coming every 15 minutes, covering all the beaches!

There are four loops the Beach Trolley travels in: South Beach Loop, Middle Beach Loop, Collins Express and North Beach Loop. Find current info here.

You can also download the ‘Miami Beach Trolley’ app on both Android and iOS to get real-time info on hours of operation and routes.

South Beach Trolley, a free transportation in Miami
South Beach Trolley – little and free :)

Freebee is another free service, this time you can hail a ride in a small electric vehicle. The service covers both Miami Beach and South Beach. See more on Freebee below in the Miami City section.

Getting Around Miami Beach and South Beach

Wondering how to get around Miami Beach without a car?

Have you considered walking? :) I walked a great deal in both South and Miami Beach and it can be done easily.

For longer distances, the public transport in Miami Beach and South Beach works well. And it can even be free – look out for the free Miami Beach Trolley (more info above).

As for local buses, the cheap Metrobus covers the area too:

South Beach Local Bus

  • Route 101 Route A – covers also Miami Beach
  • Route 103 Route C – connecting bus routes to Miami Beach
  • Route 113 Route M – covers also Miami Beach
  • Route 119 Route S  – covers also Miami Beach
  • Route 120 Beach MAX – covers also Miami Beach

Miami Beach Local Bus

  • Route 9  – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 10  – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 16  – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 22
  • Route 75
  • Route 79 Street MAX  – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 93 Biscayne MAX  – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 101 Route A – covers also South Beach
  • Route 105 Route E – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 107 Route G
  • Route 108 Route H – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 110 Route J – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 112 Route L – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 113 Route M– covers also South Beach
  • Route 115 Mid-North Beach Connection – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route 119 Route S – covers also South Beach
  • Route 120 Beach MAX – covers also South Beach
  • Route 183 183rd Local – connecting bus routes to South Beach
  • Route NMB Line
Inside a public bus in Miami
Aboard the Metrobus :)

More info on Metrobus follows.

Getting Around Miami’s Beaches on a Bike

South Beach and Miami Beach are both covered by the local bikesharing called Citibikes. You can easily rent a bike per hour. More info on Citibikes here.

You can also rent a bike and enjoy it for an hour or several days. Check out this South Beach Bike Rental, which includes comfortable cruiser bikes, a helmet and a lock. With a few friends, we actually rented these cruisers and went for a day trip all the way to Key Biscayne! So much fun.

Citibikes for rent in South Beach Miami
Citibikes can be found all over Miami Beach incl. South Beach and Downtown Miami.

Rollerblading

How about putting on roller blades and exploring with wheels on your feet? You can do so in South Beach. Discover the area on rollerblade-friendly oceanfront paths and through parks. This South Beach Rollerblade Rental offers hourly or all-day options.

Ocean Drive street sign
Ocean Drive runs along the coastline in South Beach

Miami City and Around

And now – how to travel around Miami City? I can assure you there are no less options:

City of Miami Trolley

Miami Public Transport also operates a free trolley, arriving every 15 – 30 minutes.

More info on the Miami Trolley can be found here. Don’t hesitate to also download an app called “City of Miami Trolley” on both Android and iOS.

City of Miami Trolley in Florida
City of Miami Trolley – free transportation in Miami City

Metrobus

City Buses are plentiful in Miami and the surroundings and they run quite often. For me, it was sometimes difficult to navigate the bus routes and schedules, but the locals and bus drivers were very helpful.

The buses are always just a few dollars. When it comes to network coverage, this is the best Miami transportation option. Cheap Miami travel doesn’t get much better than that. See also two free options below.

Metrobus Official Page

Outside view of a public bus in Miami Florida
With the Metrobus, you can get almost anywhere in Miami

Metrorail

Metrorail is great especially if you need to travel to the outskirts of Miami, be it Coral Gables or Coconut Grove. It’s a nice urban train network and the fastest way to get anywhere. It also connects to the Miami International Airport.

View of Metrorail in Miami on elevated rail tracks
The Metrorail can cover large distances quite quickly.

Metrorail Official Page

Metromover

My absolute favorite for getting around Miami city is the Metromover! It’s an elevated, self-driven train that’s free and features wifi access! 

Plus, it’s really cool to ride above the city, through and among buildings.

I rode it several times, more for the fun of it rather than reaching any real destination. :)

Metromover covers just Miami downtown and Brickell financial district. Many of Miami City’s most popular attractions lie within a walking distance from a Metromover stop.

The Metromover not only looks cute but gets you anywhere you might need in Downtown Miami. It’s the best free transportation in Miami.

I consider the Metromover and local buses to be the best way to get around Miami.

Metromover Miami
Here comes the cute Metromover!

Metromover Official Page

Tip: Download the official transit app of Miami-Dade called ‘GO Miami-Dade Transit’ to plan your trips on the Metrobus, Metrorail or Metromover. You can also purchase a 1-Day or 7-Day pass.

Taxis

Taxis around Miami are pretty good and not too expensive for the US. However, I’d consider using a taxi only if none of the other options is available. If you don’t carry cash, make sure with the driver you can pay by a card.

Miami cab companies include USA Taxi, Super E-Z Taxi, Central Cab and Yellow Cab.

Taxis in Miami
Taxis are easy and plentiful in Miami

Ridesharing

As of 2020, both Uber and Lyft operate in Miami area. Many times, getting a ride in either can cost a lot less than a traditional cab, depending on what type of vehicle/service you choose.

Freebee

This service didn’t exist when I was in Miami, but it sounds really cool. It’s a free ride in an electric vehicle! However, the reviews are mixed, so use with caution.

Freebee is available as an app called ‘Ride Freebee’ on both Android and iOS.

Bike Sharing

The Citibikes network covers Miami City too! I personally wouldn’t ride it in the Downtown, but it can be nice if you explore the calmer neighborhoods. More on the bikes here.

Tip: If you plan to use the public transport in Miami, you may consider getting the local transport card. The EASY Card is a convenient way to pay for fare in the Metrobus or Metrorail network. You can get it at any Metrorail station. Another option would be to get a day pass from the GO Miami-Dade Transit app.

Between Miami’s Beaches and Miami City

Miami’s beaches are located on a barrier island connected to Miami City on the mainland via MacArthur Causeway crossing Biscayne Bay.

At first, I was quite puzzled as to how to get from Downtown Miami to South Beach and vice versa.

If you’d like to walk, you could technically do so via the Venetian Causeway instead, but it would take you nearly 2 hours!

Venetian Causeway is, however, great for biking. You can make use of the bike sharing option called Citibikes (mentioned above) or rent a bike.

Bike lane on Venetian Causeway in Miami
Bike lane on Venetian Causeway

Metrobus

I think that’s the easiest way to get between the South/Miami Beach and Miami City. Metrobus lines crossing over Biscayne Bay include:

via MacArthur Causeway:

  • 113 Route M
  • 119 Route S
  • 120 Beach MAX

via Venetian Causeway:

  • 101 Route A

via Julia Tuttle Causeway:

  • 150 Miami Beach Airport Express

Water Taxi

Ok, this is an option I did not try, but I’m listing it so that you have complete information. A unique way to get from Miami City to South Beach or vice versa, is to get a water taxi and hail a ride on a boat. :) Find more info here.

Taxis and ridesharing, such as Uber and Lyft, are available too, of course. See more info in the previous section.

South Beach sign
Awesome South Beach

So as you can see, getting around in Miami without a car is a breeze!

Miami is full of friendly people and bus drivers can be really nice even if the first impression doesn’t suggest that, so don’t be afraid to ask! And if you speak Spanish, put it to good use while you’re in and around Miami.

If you’re still unsure as to whether or not rent a car for a trip outside of Miami (Keywest is a must-see!), just know that it’s all manageable without a car as well. There are many tour agents located on Collins and Washington Avenue, so seeing more of Florida is a piece of cake.

There’s more to convince you to give the public transportation a chance – the network works well and you’ll have some great opportunities for people watching!

What to do in Miami, you ask? Here’s a guide from a friend of mine stating all the free things to do in Miami.

What has your experience been with the transport in Miami? Tell me about it!

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Getting around Miami is very easy and quite cheap too - see the many transportation options. And no worries - we haven't forgotten the beaches!
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Aaron Jenkins

Tuesday 9th of July 2019

Thanks for sharing this one. nice job.

jennifer S

Thursday 19th of July 2018

I appreciate for your blog post, Thanks for sharing. its great choice to traveling same city on rent vehicle on cheapest price.

Sonja

Thursday 16th of June 2016

What about bicycles? The indie film "The Strongest Man" provides some great inspiration! :-)

Veronika

Saturday 25th of June 2016

Really? I haven't seen the movie... I mean it's fine to just ride up and down from South Beach to Miami Beach and further to the North, but other than that the traffic's crazy..!

pragati

Tuesday 14th of April 2015

Miami traffic is crazy..and super fast...so it might be better to take all these options....except if you are going to Key West, it might be fun driving yourself.

Brianna

Wednesday 1st of October 2014

These are great tips. I especially like using shared van services. Much cheaper than a taxi and much quicker than a bus.