Miami International Airport is located just west of the city in an unincorporated suburban area. It is an important hub for traffic between North America, the Caribbean and Latin America, and one of the largest airports in the world. As a result, Spanish is just as likely to be understood as English. The international traffic makes MIA a large and congested place. Be sure to allow extra time when departing MIA, particularly if flying internationally, as you may face an hour-long line just to check your bags. Curbside check-in is an excellent idea.
Opa-Locka Executive is popular for general aviation and business jet travelers out of the Miami area. Air taxi and air charter companies such as Jetset Charter fly a variety of private charter aircraft and jets, from charter luxury Gulfstreams down to economical piston twins for small groups and individuals.
Fort Lauderdale International Airport is 25–40 minutes north of Miami proper, depending on traffic, and does not have nearly as many international routes. It only offers a small variety. However, it is smaller and less trafficked than MIA, making customs, immigration and security a bit easier to go through. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and other low-cost carriers generally use Miami's other airport, FLL, instead of MIA, making FLL a cheaper alternative in many cases as well.
Public transport is available to MIA and FLL. If you are arriving from FLL, there is a free shuttle to the Tri-Rail nearby train station. Tri-Rail trains connect West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Miami (note that this leaves you at the Miami Airport station, not downtown Miami). The cheapest way to get to Miami is to take the #1 Broward County Bus to Aventura Mall and transfer to the S Miami-Dade bus to downtown Miami via South Beach. The 93 also goes to Miami from Aventura Mall. This option is inadvisable if traveling with a lot of luggage.
At MIA, public transportation includes a free shuttle to the nearby Tri-Rail station, as well as to Metrorail and Metromover . Your best option is to take a taxi from the airport or rent a car, depending on what your stay involves (if you need to get around parts of Miami with no nearby Metrorail stations). MIA's car rental facilities are scattered around the airport and connected to the terminal by shuttle buses. FLL's facilities are more conveniently located in the parking garage adjacent to the terminals.
Also, riders can take the recently created 150 express bus if they are staying in Miami Beach. Or, they can transfer from the 150 (or the J or #238 bus, which charges a slightly cheaper $2 fare as opposed to a $2.35 fare) to the MetroRail at the Earlington Heights station. From there, riders can take the MetroRail to various places, including Government Center in Downtown Miami, where transfers are available to buses to most destinations. Many hotels are along the MetroMover which is one level down from the MetroRail Government Center station. Consult a map for the closest MetroMover station or bus route to your hotel.
Also, riders can take the J or 150 bus to Biscayne Boulevard and transfer to a southbound bus to Downtown Miami.
Currently at MIA, construction of the new Miami Intermodal Center is slated to become Miami's Grand Central station with hub connections of Amtrak, Metrorail, Tri-Rail, taxis, Metrobus, and all car-rental facilities. The M.I.C. is expected to be completed around 2012.
Miami offers different fare types for different amounts of rides. Beware that unless you purchase an EASY Card or EASY Ticket, you will have to pay twice in order to transfer between buses and between the bus and MetroRail. The full list of available fares can be found at http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/fares_schedule.asp
EASY Cards and EASY Tickets can be bought at Terminal E of MIA.
A map of transit run by Miami-Dade is available at
A map of Broward County Transit (which runs the #1 from Fort Lauterdale Airport is available at
Amtrak's Silver Service operates two trains daily to Miami from New York City, Washington, D.C. and other cities along the Eastern Seaboard. The ride from New York is about 24 hours but is often subject to delays, as Amtrak uses poorer-quality freight lines south of Washington and must cope with slow freight trains along the way.
There are frequent (at least 1 per hour) Tri-Rail trains every day to Miami from West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale on weekdays. However, on the weekends, the trains come every 2 hours. The weekday fare varies by distance but the weekend fare is $4 between any two stations on the line.
There are three main highways coming into Miami. I-95 runs along the Atlantic coast of the United States and terminates in Miami. I-75 comes in from the midwestern United States and runs through Atlanta and Tampa before terminating in Miami. Florida's Turnpike is a toll road mainly useful for those driving in from Orlando. The only southbound route from Miami is U.S. Highway 1, which runs through the Florida Keys all the way to Key West.
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