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Best Florida Transportation Options (By a Local)

7 min read
Best Florida Transportation Options (By a Local)

Florida is a “long” state, and I’ve driven all over it – from north to south and east to west. Road trips can be long and getting around can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Thankfully, Florida transportation options are plentiful.

Depending on where you plan on staying or starting your Florida adventure, each major city has an international airport with plenty of transportation choices to get you to your destination.

Best Florida Transportation

From trains and buses to budget travel and luxury journeys, getting around Florida is a lot easier than you may first think. Here are some options for how to get around:

1. Take The Metro/Train

A green metro train stop to the train station.

Taking the train is one of the best public transportation options in Florida. In nearly every region of Florida, you’ll find an affordable rail ticket to get you where you need to go. It’s a great choice for solo travelers, families, and for those on a budget. I always love taking a train because you can just relax and not have to worry about any traffic.

If you’re flying into the Miami area, or just happen to be staying there, the TriRail system is an awesome option. The train runs from the Miami International Airport to Mangonia Park in the north. Depending on how many zones you plan on riding through, the fare can run from $2-$17.

If you plan on spending time in Orlando, the SunRail is your best bet. The system starts in DeBary in the north and runs through Orlando and down to Kissimmee. Tickets start at $2 and, depending on zones, can cost up to $10. You can also buy group passes.

A high-speed option that connects Orlando to Miami is the BrightLine train. With speeds up to 125 mph, this fast Florida transportation choice gets you from Orlando to Miami in around 3.5 hours. It has amazing onboard amenities, including snacks and WiFi, but it will cost a little more. Tickets range from $79-to $149 for a one-way ticket depending on the class.

2. Go By Shuttle

Shuttle bus on a highway on a sunny day.

Whenever I travel, I always find it nice to take a shuttle from one place to the next, especially if I just need to get to a hotel or an attraction. There are so many fantastic shuttle services that can be found in almost every city in Florida.

Shuttle transportation in Florida will depend on your travel needs, but, don’t worry, there’s an option for every scenario. For example, if you’re staying in Orlando and need to get to the Kennedy Space Center, there’s a shuttle that can pick you and your family up, and take you back when you’re ready.

There are also always shuttles that run from most airports that can take you to the most popular hotels and resorts. If you’re staying at an Airbnb or private residence, a private transfer might be a better option (more on that below).

3. Take a Taxi

Yellow taxi cabs and blurred city lights background at night with colorful bokeh

Taxi services can be found everywhere in Florida. I prefer taking a taxi when I don’t have a car because they arrive on your schedule and they’re fairly affordable. Of course, if you’re traveling with a large group, you’ll need to make sure your taxi can fit all of your passengers.

In Miami, Yellow Taxi and Miami Taxi are popular services with rates starting at $2.95 and $0.85 for each additional 1/6 mile up to one mile, then $0.55 for each additional 1/6 mile after. If you’re in Tampa, you can call Pick Me Up Tampa or Taxi Tampa with rates starting at $2.50, with additional fees of $2.40 per extra mile.

Orlando, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, you name it – all of the Florida cities have taxi cab services available. So, you’ll never feel “stuck” wherever you are.

4. Take The Bus

Public transportation bus in New York

The best public transportation in Florida is arguably the bus. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and it’s convenient. The bus is a wonderful choice for those traveling light; so long as you’re not hauling around a bunch of heavy luggage, it’s a great choice.

Each major city in Florida has a wonderful bus and public transportation system. In fact, the bus system in Jacksonville is hailed as one of the best on the East Coast. You can buy a day pass for just $4.50, and you can bounce around from downtown to the beaches.

Miami also has a fantastic bus service called Metrobus with day passes costing $5.65. Orlando’s bus system is called LYNX, and Tampa’s is run by the Hillsborough Area Transit Authority.

5. Call an Uber 

The customer Ordering an uber car via Online Apps on his mobile phone.

Much like a taxi, calling an Uber is awesome because they pick you up at your convenience. My favorite perk about Uber is that they are generally a bit cheaper than your normal taxi rates. Another positive about calling an Uber is that you can choose from a standard car, a luxury car, a van for larger groups, and even a car that allows pets.

No matter where you are in Florida, you’ll typically always be in an area that has Uber available. Of course, more rural areas might not have this option, so keep that in mind. Most tourists, however, are unlikely to be staying out in farm country (Florida has a lot of it!).

The price of your Uber will depend on what type of car you choose, how far you’ll be driving, and the time of day. Uber will increase their prices during high demand times or peak traffic hours. Download the Uber app to get a price estimate for your journey.

6. Drive Yourself

Rent concept drover holding smartphone with rent a car website on screen.

Of course, the transportation option with the most control and freedom is to drive yourself. It’s also the best choice when you want to have more privacy, if you’re traveling with small children, or if you plan on taking road trips around the state – which I highly recommend.

Renting a car can be expensive, so, it’s probably not the best option for those who are on a budget. But, if you can afford it, you can rent a car directly from the airport or any city from companies like Budget or Hertz. Click here to search for the most affordable rental cars in Florida.

Another rental car option that many people don’t know about is Getaround. This car-sharing app lets you rent people’s cars at bargain daily rates. They bring the car right to you, and you can choose from budget to luxury options.

7. Book a Private Transfer

Young Handsome Driver Standing near Luxury Car. Chauffeur Service

Booking a private transfer is like a combination of a shuttle, and a taxi or an Uber. A private car, van, or luxury SUV can pick you up from the airport or your hotel and take you wherever you need to go.

There are lots of amazing private transfer services all around the Sunshine State. For example, if you fly into Fort Lauderdale and need to get to Miami, you can book a private transfer that will take you there without making any additional stops for other passengers.

A private transfer option is ideal for when you need to get to a destination or attraction. For example, you can arrange for a private car to take you all along the Space Coast – and you don’t have to worry about driving in a city you’re not familiar with.

Getting Around Florida: FAQs

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Florida transportation:

Is there public transportation in Florida?

Yes. There are plenty of public transportation options all around the state of Florida.

What is the best way to get around in Florida?

The best way to get around in Florida will depend on where you’ll be, your plans, your budget, and who you’ll be traveling with. Renting a car is the best option for freedom and ease.

Does Florida have transport for the elderly?

Florida transportation caters to the elderly on their public trains and buses. There are also comfortable, private transportation options for the elderly as well.

Is public transportation free in Florida?

Generally, public transportation in Florida isn’t free. However, there are areas and days where you can find free transport. For example, in Miami, buses and Metrorail services will soon be free. There are also certain routes and times on the Jacksonville bus system that offer free rides.

What transportation do people use in Florida?

Most people in Florida drive or take the bus. Trains are also quite popular, especially the Brightline.

Is Florida public transportation good?

Yes! The public transportation in Florida is fantastic. It’s efficient, affordable, and covers a large area of the state.

Does Florida have a subway system?

No, Florida does not have a subway system. Since most of Florida is near sea level, it’s impossible to have an underground system.

What city in Florida has the best public transport?

The city in Florida with the best public transport would arguably be Miami. It has trains, buses, trolleys, and other options that can take you to every corner of the city.

Can you get around Florida without a car?

Yes, it is possible to get around Florida without a car, however, for longer trips that span the entire state, a car is probably the better and easier option. Find affordable rental cars here.

Is Miami Metrorail free?

Yes, the Miami Metrorail will be free as of November 13th, 2023.

Is there a fast train in Florida?

Yes, the fastest train in Florida is the Brightline which runs from Orlando to Miami at speeds of 125 mph.

Is Florida a walkable state?

The major cities of Florida are all very walkable. Once you leave the cities, Florida is very rural and is not easy to get around by foot alone.

In Closing

Finding your way around the beautiful state of Florida can be accomplished in so many ways. I love taking the train when I can because it gets you off the busy streets and highways. But, I also love hopping in a car and hitting the open road. It all just depends on how you like to roll!

The Florida transportation options are plentiful and available to every type of traveler on every type of budget. So, get out there and explore!

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