Getting around Miami
Due to the size of the city, getting around Greater Miami can be difficult. Nevertheless, Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) (tel: +1 305 468 5900; www.miamidade.gov) provides a variety of useful public transport options, including Metrorail, Metrobus and Metromover.
The Metrorail is a 40km (25-mile) elevated rapid transit system. It runs from Kendall northwards through South Miami, Coral Gables, downtown Miami and then northwest to the Hialeah district. Trains run approximately every 10-20 minutes on weekdays and less frequently during the weekend. The trains connect to the Metrobus and Tri-Rail.
Metrobus operates a comprehensive bus service with more than 95 routes, with some running every 24 hours. Blue and green bus-stop signs list the routes and destinations.
To pay your Metrorail or Metrobus fare, you need a reloadable EASY Card or an EASY Ticket. These are sold at all Metrorail stations and various sales outlets across the city or can be purchased on the EASY Pay Miami app. One-day and seven-day passes are available.
Downtown Miami is served by the driverless Metromover, an elevated, three-loop, fully automated monorail. It operates daily from about 0500 to midnight. The Metromover is free to all travellers. It is safe, air-conditioned, and it also provides unparalleled views.
The South Beach Local makes getting around South Beach a breeze. The bus runs every 10-15 minutes and is very cheap.
Although taxis are plentiful, it is not the norm to hail one in the street. They are easily available from taxi stands outside most hotels and shopping malls, although it is more common to telephone for one.
Greater Miami comprises 107 municipalities, but the city of Miami itself is divided into quadrants. Flagler Street runs east-west, thus dividing the city into north and south sections, while Miami Avenue runs north-south, splitting the city into east and west sections. Most Miami addresses refer to these quadrants.
Greater Miami traffic can be terrible; cars can come to an absolute standstill along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue in South Beach during weekday rush hour and nights over the weekend.
There is plenty of metered parking available in Miami, but you should check displayed information for rates and hours of operation. Most meters accept Visa and Mastercard as well as cash. On weekends, parking garages fill up with shoppers during the day and clubbers during the night. Further information on locations of car parks, hours and rates is available from the Miami Parking Authority (tel: +1 305 373 6789; www.miamiparking.com).
Hiring a car is relatively straightforward. Drivers must be over 21 years old, possess a valid national driving licence and a credit card. When arranging car hire, you should enquire about an all-inclusive rate and ask how this compares to the regular daily rate. An all-inclusive rate should include all taxes, airport fees and car-handling fees.
A Collision Damage Waiver (CWD), also known as Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), limits much much the car hire company can charge for repairs. Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI), sometimes called top-up liability insurance or Extended Protection (EP), increases third-party liability coverage. All-inclusive rates may also include a tank of petrol and additional drivers. There is usually an extra charge for child seats.
Major providers include Alamo (tel: +1 844 357 5138; www.alamo.com), Avis (tel: +1 800 352 7900; www.avis.com), Budget (tel: +1 800 214 6094; www.budget.com) and Hertz (tel: +1 800 654 4173; www.hertz.com).
Bike-friendly Miami has many hire outlets. They include the Miami Beach Bicycle Center, 746 Fifth Street (tel: +1 305 674 0150; www.bikemiamibeach.com) and Bike and Roll, 210 Tenth Street (tel: +1 305 604 1001; www.bikeandroll.com).
Citi Bike (tel: +1 305 532 9494; www.citibikemiami.com) is Miami's bike share scheme. Although membership is better suited to residents, visitors can buy access for anything from 30 minutes to a full day.
Miami occasionally holds car-free, bike-and-stroll days in and around downtown Miami, Brickell and the Miami River. Look out for details in the local press.