Yes, there really are free transportation options in and around Miami.
Miami-Dade County’s public transportation may still need much improvement, but several options are free. If you’re good with a map, you can piece a few of these routes together and go from city to city easily. (Hint: We need an app for that!)
Please note that I have only provided the free options here. There are other transit options that charge a fee.
This electric rail system high above ground takes folks around the downtown Miami area for free on a 4.4 mile loop that includes destinations like the American Airlines Arena, Bayside Market Place, Miami-Dade College and the Miami-Dade County School Board. There’s an inner loop and an outer loop so check the map. Operates seven days a week: Monday-Thursday from 5 am to 11 pm; Friday from 5 am to midnight; Saturday 6 am to midnight; and Sunday from 6 am to 11 pm. For the website and more info, click here. Connects with Metrorail and Metrobus (both charge a fee) at certain sites.
What began in recent memory by the City of Coral Gables has now spread to other cities in Miami-Dade County. Many of the trolleys have that vintage streetcar look and pick up passengers for free at commercial locations most frequented by commuters, such as along Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables and along Calle Ocho in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Each design varies according to the colors of the city, (for example, Sweetwater is blue and white, while Coral Gables is orange and green). The advantages: they are air-conditioned, provide wi-fi and generally one doesn’t have to wait as long as a bus to catch one (usually between 10 and 30 minutes apart). Click on the following website links for maps and more information:
You may have seen these electric cars, some with no doors, and all with large roof ads in Miami (Brickell, Downtown, Wynwood, Edgewater, Midtown, Design District); Miami Beach; Coral Gables and Key Biscayne. They provide transportation in usually congested areas where parking is scarce. They don’t go long routes, but the advantage is you can customize your travel and they don’t make the regular stops that trolleys and buses make. There’s also an app that you can download on your phone that allows you to request a free ride. Click here for the website and more info.
The good thing about these is that they allow you to get around within a city for free, with air-conditioning and can connect you to other transit options. The disadvantage is they can take a while to wait for (between 40 and 60 minutes apart).
- Miami Lakes Moover: This FREE bus operates as a fixed-route circulator within the Town of Miami Lakes providing connections to existing Metrobus stops and Metrorail, via the Ludlam Limited Route, with a terminal point at Main Street. It has a morning and an afternoon loop, and runs along routes that connect Main Street, Optimist Park, Miami Lakes Educational Center, Business Park East, Royal Oaks Shopping Plaza, Bob Graham Education Center, Royal Oaks Park, Barbara Goleman Senior High School, Business Park West, Miami Lakes K-8 Center, and Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School. Click here for the website and more info.
- Palmetto Bay IBUS: This FREE bus operates on weekdays along two routes (A and B) in the Village of Palmetto Bay and connects folks to the Miami-Dade Busway and Metrorail (both charge fees). Click here for the website and more info.
- North Miami NoMi Express: This FREE shuttle bus provides transportation along routes within the city from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays (except holidays). Has a total of 27-28 stops along each route, differentiated by green, blue, yellow and red. Click here to download a map and the schedule, or to view the website and more info.
- Aventura Express: This FREE shuttle bus provides transportation along routes within the city of Aventura on most days (except Sundays, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). Six routes divide the city into three sections: north (blue route), south (purple and yellow routes), and central (green, red and silver routes). Click here for more info.
You may also be interested in:
- Free Miami-Dade public transit for seniors
- Free transportation passes for the disabled are given to nonprofit agencies to distribute. Check out the Miami-Dade Transit Transportation Disadvantaged Program to see if you qualify.
- Reduced fares for those who qualify, such as honorably discharged veterans and more.
- $5 weekend fares all-day on Tri-Rail
- Miami-Dade Expressway authority offers toll rebate program
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