Newcomers moving to Jacksonville from prominent US cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles with their sophisticated public transportation resources may find that getting around requires a bit more effort than they are accustomed to.

Jacksonville is a sprawling city and getting about without a car may prove difficult. The city’s public transport networks are fairly limited and only serve the downtown area sufficiently.

Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are well established in Jacksonville and provide an excellent alternative for those who don’t drive.

Public transport in Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) oversees the city’s public transport network. The system consists of a fairly extensive bus network and a monorail system.

Ferry in Florida by Brandon Wright from Unsplash


Although Jacksonville’s bus service connects much of this massive city, the system has limitations. Buses in Jacksonville rarely run on time and commuters can expect to wait between 30 minutes and an hour between services, which can be incredibly frustrating.

While operating hours are occasionally extended to accommodate special events, generally speaking, buses in Jacksonville stop running at around 8pm or 9pm, depending on the route. Bus fares are cheap, and those planning to use buses as their primary mode of transport should consider investing in a STAR Card, which offers daily and weekly passes at discounted rates.


The Skyway is Jacksonville’s free elevated monorail service that connects points of interest in the city centre. There are eight stations across two lines: the Downtown line and the Southbank line.

The Skyway operates during the week from 6am to 9pm. From time to time, additional weekend services will be made available when a special event occurs. While the Skyway provides a great way to get around Jacksonville’s city centre, visitors rather than long-term residents typically use it.

River taxis and ferries

Those looking to take the scenic route can consider the St Johns River taxis or ferries, which transport passengers across both sides of the river. One of the last remaining public ferries in Florida, St Johns River Ferry moves cars and people between Mayport and Ft George Island. 

Useful links

Taxis in Jacksonville

Several traditional taxi services operate in Jacksonville, but fares can quickly add up considering the size of the city and distance between places.

Taxis are readily available in the city centre, especially near tourist hotspots. New residents may find it more difficult to access taxi services in the suburbs, though, as most people use their cars to get around. So it's best to have a number on hand and book ahead of time when travelling from the suburbs.

Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft have an established presence in Jacksonville. Rates are also generally more reasonable than the equivalent taxi ride. Users need to download the relevant app onto their smartphone and register for an account using their bank card.

Useful links

Cycling in Jacksonville 

In recent years, cycling has become a popular pastime in Jacksonville. Cycling isn't the most efficient way of commuting in a city as large as Jacksonville, but having a bike is useful for getting around the downtown area.

Cycling is not just a great way to stay active but also provides an excellent opportunity to explore parts of Jacksonville that aren’t always accessible by car.

Walking in Jacksonville

While commuting on foot isn't practical, new arrivals will find that many of Jacksonville's suburbs are incredibly walkable and safe.

Once in the city centre, walking is a great way to explore the hidden corners of Jacksonville at a leisurely pace. Areas such as Riverside, San Marco and Fairfax are rated as the city's most walkable.

Driving in Jacksonville

Driving in Florida by Julius Hildebrandt

Given the size of the city, driving is the most practical way of getting around Jacksonville. Having a car makes life infinitely easier and allows people to explore Jacksonville and its surrounds leisurely. Most Jacksonville residents own a car, and investing in a vehicle will help newcomers get acquainted with the city faster.

New arrivals to Florida can drive on their foreign or out-of-state driving licence initially, but must get a Florida licence within 30 days of officially becoming resident. Expats must take a knowledge-based exam and practical driving test to obtain their Florida driving licence. 

Useful links

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global (10% off family health plans in June)

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!