Though Miami's public transport network is considered one of the most extensive in Florida, the system is not quite up to the standards of other major cities like Boston or New York.
Given how spread out the wider metropolitan area is, transport authorities have struggled to integrate public transport in Miami as effectively as has been done in other cities. As a result, bus and train journeys can be slow and most residents prefer to drive.
Public transport in Miami
Public transport in Miami is overseen by Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) and consists of a fairly comprehensive bus network, a rail network and the Metromover, an automated 'people mover' that operates in Downtown Miami.
The public transport network uses an integrated ticketing system, and fares can be paid for using a rechargeable smart card called the EASY Card.
The bus system in Miami services the entire city, but buses often run late due to traffic congestion. Most bus services arrive frequently and there are a few 24-hour options.
Metrorail and Metromover are Miami's answer to a subway. The Miami Metrorail system is a single-line train system that serves the city and its surrounding areas. The system consists of more than 20 stations and connects areas in the city centre to outlying suburbs.
The Metrorail operates between 5am and midnight. Metrorail trains are fairly frequent, arriving every 12 minutes during peak hours.
The Metromover is a free automated shuttle that runs a limited route. The Metromover is the quickest and most efficient way to get around central Miami. This option will help newcomers avoid expensive parking and the gridlocked traffic Miami is famous for. The Metromover runs every day of the week between 5am and midnight, and arrives every minute and a half during rush hours and every three minutes otherwise.
Travelling by trolley is a fun and unique way to explore Miami and Miami beach. To make it even better, the trolley is also free in most neighbourhoods. The trolley operates seven days a week between 8am and 11pm on four different routes. Most trolleys run every 30 minutes, depending on the route. Notable stops include Miami Beach Botanical Garden and the Convention Center.
Taxis in Miami
Taxis in Miami are known for being relatively expensive but are widely available. It's usually best to book a taxi by phoning ahead of time. Another option is to get a taxi at designated ranks found outside most Metrorail stations. Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft are operational in Miami.
Driving in Miami
Most of Miami’s residents prefer to own a car rather than relying on public transport. While driving in Miami is no easy task, having a vehicle of their own affords newcomers an increased level of independence.
Navigating the streets of Miami is fairly straightforward because of the city’s grid system. Road conditions and signage are also generally good and the streets are clearly numbered.
Drivers who are new to the city should take extra care and be aware that locals are known for driving particularly aggressively and often break the posted speed limits. The experience of driving in Miami is made more frustrating because of traffic congestion during rush hour.
►For an overview of intercity and interstate transport, see Transport and Driving in the USA
►Accommodation in Miami gives information on finding a place to live in the city
"Public transportation in the city of Miami is pretty good with an elevated electric railway, trolleys, bike and car shares, bus and train lines." Read Emmanuelle's Expat Arrivals interview.
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