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Getting Around Town: Transport in Miami

Bienvenidos a Miami! Most expats living in Miami experience a whirlwind of cultural impressions. Indeed, Miami has more in store for you than the average American city. Read our Expat Guide to learn more about Miami’s cultural makeup, demographics, healthcare, and transportation.
Whether by car, metro, or taxi, there is always a way to get around town.

Located at the southern tip of Florida, Miami is a major transportation hub. Many airlines have layovers here, and for flights from many Latin American countries the first port of call is Miami International Airport or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Unsurprisingly, numerous highways, interstates, and railroad lines begin and end in Miami as well. Similarly, both Fort Lauderdale and Miami are major destinations for cruise ships.

Hailing a Taxi in Miami

Around Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami, you should be able to hail a cab without issue. After all, they can be seen everywhere there, and you usually don’t have to wait all too long to get a ride. However, if you find yourself in a different part of the city, calling ahead to get a taxi might be a good idea.

If you’ve already ridden a cab in Miami, you may have noticed that taxis offer both metered and flat rates. Rates might change regularly, influenced, for instance, by fluctuations in US fuel prices. Fortunately, you are usually not required to pay extra for your luggage. Don’t forget to tip the driver at least 10–15% of the fare. Also, please note that in the United States, it is customary to sit in the back seat unless all the seats are occupied.

Be Patient: Driving in Miami

Many people moving to Miami from other parts of the United States take the Interstate down to the city. From Jacksonville, 340 miles (547 km) to the north, the I-95 leads south, straight to downtown Miami. Road trips are a popular way of experiencing the US, and one from New York along the I-95 to Miami would take upwards of 20 hours.

As you’re settling down in Miami, the city’s expanse may very well make it necessary for you to acquire your own car in order to get around properly. When exploring your new home by car, though, it’s a good idea to avoid rush hour traffic roughly from 07:00 to 09:00 and 16:00 to 18:00. Traffic can also be perpetually heavy around certain avenues, such as Palmetto Expressway. You should also keep your eyes open for construction sites, which can turn driving in Miami into a complete nightmare.

The car is probably the most popular mode of transportation in the United States. Read our article on driving in the USA to find out more about road rules, toll roads, and driving conditions.

More Options to Get around Miami: Train and Metrorail

If you enjoy traveling by train, head on over to the city’s Amtrak station, which, granted, isn’t exactly the fastest mode of transportation to and from Miami. For instance, a trip to New York would take around 30 hours. In order to get around Miami, you can also rely on the Metromover. This is a free mass transit train system operating in downtown Miami, which offers a great perspective of the city from its rails elevated above the streets.

The Miami Metrorail covers 25 miles (40 km) of heavy rail tracks on two lines to 23 stations, from Palmetto to Dadeland South. Trains depart every five to fifteen minutes between 05:00 and 01:00. Additionally, the regional Tri-Rail commuter trains connect Miami to the counties immediately to the north, Broward County and Palm Beach County.

Although trains, buses, and subways are rare in rural areas, they are often the preferred way to get around cities across the United States. Our article on public transportation in the USA offers more information.


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Ben F. Bagley

"I love this city, I really do, but discovering Miami in company of other expats was much more fun than on my own."

Maria Loura

"I am looking forward to the next InterNations Get-together here in Miami. Socializing with other expats from Latin America is always such a great time. "

Global Expat Guide