Public transportation in Miami is growing by the year, and with a few different options throughout the Magic City, you’ll be sure to find the one that’s right for getting from Point A to Point B on your trip, no matter how long or short it is. Although the city is still lacking quite a bit compared to other big U.S. cities, it is still possible to get from one place to another and back without having to rent a car or attempt your journey on foot.
How to Ride the Metrorail
Miami’s 25-mile, dual-track Metrorail system takes to you Miami International Airport and runs from Medley in northwest Miami-Dade to Pinecrest with connections to Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Metrorail operates seven days a week from 5 a.m. to midnight, daily, and has a place for you to store your bikes at stations and onboard the trains. Wi-Fi is available on most trains.
- Fare Rates: A single ride costs $2.25 and daily parking fees at stations are $4.50. Unlimited one-day, seven-day, and one-month passes are available for $5.65, $29.25, and $112.50 respectively. There are also discounts for Medicare recipients, people with disabilities, and students (K-12).
- How to Pay: Purchase an EASY card or EASY ticket in order to ride Miami’s Metrorail at a station. The fare gates do not accept cash. You can also use the EASY Pay Miami app.
- Routes and Hours: The Metrorail has two lines (Orange and Green) that make stops along South Dixie Highway, in the city center, at the airport, and in Medley including Dadeland South, Coconut Grove, Brickell, downtown, Civic Center, and Brownsville. The lines make the same stops until Earlington Heights. From there the Orange Line goes to the airport while the Green Line goes to Palmetto station in Medley.
- Accessibility: All Metrorail stations are ADA-compliant with elevators. If a passenger with disabilities is at a train station with a broken elevator, a Custom Protection Officer will help provide back-up transportation.
How to Ride the Metrobus
Miami Metro bus serves various areas throughout the city including Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, West Miami-Dade, Broward County, Homestead, Florida City, and the Middle Keys. Buses, like the Metrorail, are equipped with bike racks and there is free Wi-Fi available.
- Fare Rates: Metrobus fares are the same as the Metrorail. A single ride costs $2.25 unless you're on an express bus traveling between counties, which costs $2.65. Transfers between regular buses are free if done within 3 hours of the first use. Shuttle buses are $0.25, transfers from a bus to express bus are $0.95, and transfers between rail and bus are $0.60. There are discounts available for Medicare recipients, people with disabilities, and students (K-12).
- How to Pay: You can use an EASY Card, EASY Ticket, the EASY Pay app, contactless payment methods, or cash to ride the Metrobus. Just be sure to have exact change if paying in cash.
- Routes and Hours: There are around 95 different bus routes servicing Miami and surrounding counties. Hours change depending on the route but most buses run at least from 5 a.m. to midnight. To know specific route hours and to plan your journey visit the Miami-Dade Country Metrobus website.
- Accessibility: Most Metrobus are accessible with wheelchair lifts or ramps available. People using wheelchairs have priority boarding and exit. If a bus is unable to accommodate a passenger, and the next bus is more than 30 minutes away, alternate transportation will be arranged.
Riding the Metromover
This free (yes, free) mass transit automated people mover is operated by Miami-Dade Transit and serves the downtown area including Brickell, Park West, and the Arts & Entertainment District neighborhoods. It operates seven days a week at no cost from 5 a.m. to midnight and will get you to and from major destinations like American Airlines Arena, Bayside Marketplace, Miami-Dade College, and the Miami-Dade County School Board.
The City of Miami has a free trolley with routes throughout Little Havana, Coconut Grove, Wynwood, Coral Way, Brickell, Allapattah and more. For information about the schedule, planned detours, or maps visit the Miami Government's page on the Trolley's website.
Miami is not really known as a bike-friendly city; it’s actually listed as the fourth-most dangerous city to bike in the U.S. If you do want to ride, though, do it as a way to see the scenery. Some great places to bike in Miami include South Pointe Park and Pier, Amelia Earhart Park and Everglades National Park. Always wear a helmet and take extra precautions if you plan to bike at night or somewhere like Rickenbacker Causeway or any other bridges or causeways.
You can pick up a car at Miami International Airport and drop it off there again before your departure. There are other car rental locations spread out around town. If you don’t need a car for the duration of your trip, but just a few days, you can reserve one in the Miami Beach area or near the downtown/Midtown neighborhoods. Parking in Miami is a breeze, but if you’ll be staying at a hotel, make sure to check their valet and parking fees ahead of time. There is also a fairly new app called Getaround, which allows you to rent a local’s car for the day or just a few hours at a reasonable price. With this particular app, you can reserve a car nearby (often in walking distance) within minutes. The car unlocks and locks again with the app, which requires you to inspect for any bumps or scratches and take a photo of the gas level at pickup (and dropoff). As long as you leave the car with the same amount of gas it had at pickup, you should be fine; otherwise, you might be charged to refill the tank.
Tips for Getting Around Miami
- Miami parking can get quite expensive. Taking public transit is a great way to avoid those high parking fees.
- Renting a car is always a good idea in Miami, but if you plan to drink, park it and take public transportation or rideshare.
- Make sure to carry a debit or credit card. Cash is not accepted at the fare gates for the Metrorail.
- If you're driving, don't get gas near the airport. The cost is often upwards of $4.99 a gallon.