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Who owns Miami’s transit? It’s complicated.

Getting around Miami-Dade without a car can be tough.

We learned the hard way when we took public transit with Miami Beach commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez for public transit day. From using the bus, to the trolley, to connecting with 311 for some extra help, we had to climb through three layers of government to get to where we were going. And that was just on one three-mile trip!

That’s because there are both county-level and city-level governing agencies. With a fragmented system, it’s also pretty hard to coordinate all of those different services. In an ideal world, you could get off of the Metrorail and, boom, a city trolley would pick you up the same spot you got dropped off.

But in Miami-Dade County, that would take collaboration between two, maybe three different agencies. And it usually doesn’t happen. If you’re trying to use trolleys to navigate from city to city — forget about it. The stops rarely intersect.

We’ve also noticed a lot of you tagging us on Twitter and on Facebook about your transit woes or contacting Miami-Dade County when it’s something the City of Miami has control over.

We thought we’d make a little guide to who owns Miami transit, both to illustrate just how separated these services are and to help get your questions, concerns, or praise to the right office.

Metromover

A 4.4-mile electrically-powered, elevated tram on wheels that connects to the Metrorail at Government Center and Brickell stations. Major destinations are the American Airlines Arena, Bayside, Miami-Dade College, and the Miami-Dade County School Board.

Cost:
Free
Who runs it:
Miami-Dade Transit
Contact:
305-891-3131, Option 2 (toll free), or on Facebook or Twitter

Metrorail

A train with 23 stations each a mile apart, running from Kendall through South Miami, Coral Gables, and downtown Miami, to the Civic Center/Jackson Memorial Hospital area, and to Brownsville, Liberty City, Hialeah, and Medley. It connects to Broward and Palm Beach at the Tri-Rail/Metrorail transfer station.

Cost:
$2.25 // Park at any Metrorail lot or garage for $4.50/day.
Who runs it:
Miami-Dade Transit
Contact: 305-891-3131, Option 2 (toll free), or on Facebook or Twitter

Tri-Rail

A 72-mile train from Miami to Mangonia Park with 18 stations that runs through Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.

Cost:
Depends on how far you go, ranges from $2.50 to $6.90
Who runs it:
South Florida Regional Transportation Authority
Contact: 800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245) // 954-783-6030, or on Facebook or Twitter

Metrobus

Aka the bus. There are about 95 routes, with roughly 800 buses. Service runs from Miami Beach to West Miami-Dade, and from the edge of Broward County down to Homestead.

Cost:
$2.25
Who runs it:
Miami-Dade Transit
Contact: 305-891-3131, Option 2 (toll free), or on Facebook or Twitter

Trollies

Free circulator trolley service operated by Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and 24 other municipalities using half-cent surtax funding.

Cost:
Free
Who runs it:
Each individual city, through a couple different companies
Contact:
If you’re in Miami e-mail [email protected] or dial 311.
If you’re in Miami Beach e-mail [email protected] or call 305-673-7117
Editor’s note: If you’re interested in any additional routes, Code for Miami volunteers have compiled a full list here.

Jitney

A fleet of roughly 13 for-hire buses that typically operate on a fixed route but not at fixed times — just wait along the street or a bus station and wave it down. There should be one every 10 minutes or so. There’s a complete list of the routes here and here

Cost:
$1.50
Who runs it:
Individual contractors, but they’re vetted and approved by Miami-Dade County.
Contact:
Miami-Dade Transit
Contact: 305-891-3131, Option 2 (toll free), or on Facebook or Twitter

Water taxi

A water taxi from the mainland to Miami Beach, with pickup and dropoff points at Bayside Marketplace, Miami Beach Marina, Sea Isle Marina, Virginia Key, and Hyatt Miami.

Cost:
$20 for Miami Beach residents, $30 for all others
Who runs it:
Water Taxi Miami
Contact: 305-600-2511

Bike lanes

Though they’re rare, bike lanes can be spotted in certain parts of the county.

Cost:
Using it is free
Who runs it:
Various different agencies. It depends on who owns the road. If it’s a city-owned road the city manages it. If it’s a state owned road the Florida Department of Transportation manages it. Call 311 to route you to the right agency.

Brightline

A high-speed rail system that’s still under construction. It’s going to link Miami to Orlando. The first stations being constructed are in Miami, Broward, and West Palm Beach.

Cost:
The company hasn’t officially announced prices but the South Florida Business Journal reported that the company expects a range from “$11 for a one-way ride between Miami and Fort Lauderdale $143 for a business-class trip between Miami and Orlando.”

Who runs it:
All Aboard Florida
Contact: Call 305-520-2300 or e-mail [email protected]

  • Ernie

    A group of volunteers from Code for Miami have created a crowd sourced spreadsheet for those interested here:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iQKNN8TRRSO2uWL2aAfnZCFv_loKShiyXMjWfXVYp9g/edit#gid=0

  • Ernie

    A group of volunteers from Code for Miami have created a crowd sourced spreadsheet for those interested here:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iQKNN8TRRSO2uWL2aAfnZCFv_loKShiyXMjWfXVYp9g/edit#gid=0

  • Cristina

    FYI if an incident happens and you need to call the police be mindful of “where you are”. For example if there is an incident on the metrorail or metrmover platform call Dade County Police. Now if the incident happens on the street then you need to call City of Miami Police (if you are in Downtown). It’s a shit show especially if you need immediate help!!!

  • Cristina

    FYI if an incident happens and you need to call the police be mindful of “where you are”. For example if there is an incident on the metrorail or metrmover platform call Dade County Police. Now if the incident happens on the street then you need to call City of Miami Police (if you are in Downtown). It’s a shit show especially if you need immediate help!!!

  • Vice-Queen Maria

    Great roundup for those who are just starting to #miamischlep, Roshan!

    Miami Beach finally did the right thing and connected the free trolley for the entire city. I rarely use the bus here. Even Bay Harbor and Surfside and Sunny Isles have free rides. People should call their local municipalities.

  • Vice-Queen Maria

    Great roundup for those who are just starting to #miamischlep, Roshan!

    Miami Beach finally did the right thing and connected the free trolley for the entire city. I rarely use the bus here. Even Bay Harbor and Surfside and Sunny Isles have free rides. People should call their local municipalities.

  • Ernie

    Hey Roshan, you didn’t include all of the municipal trolleys. Each, of course, owned by each municipal city separately.

    EDIT: I didn’t read it thoroughly enough. But if you want to include the WTF scale there are A LOT OF MUNICIPAL TROLLEYS IN DADE COUNTY. Sweetwater! Opa-locka! Etc!

    • Vice-Queen Maria

      Also Doral and North Miami. Hialeah has irá own jitney, the Conchita Express $2 picks up at Hialeah station.

  • Ernie

    Hey Roshan, you didn’t include all of the municipal trolleys. Each, of course, owned by each municipal city separately.

    EDIT: I didn’t read it thoroughly enough. But if you want to include the WTF scale there are A LOT OF MUNICIPAL TROLLEYS IN DADE COUNTY. Sweetwater! Opa-locka! Etc!

    • Vice-Queen Maria

      Also Doral and North Miami. Hialeah has irá own jitney, the Conchita Express $2 picks up at Hialeah station.