Since we decided to stay at the Sleep Inn Hotel near the airport but didn’t want to miss out on going to South Beach, I looked into options to get to South Beach inexpensively. Our goals once we arrived were to check out the area and get some authentic Cuban food.
I used Rome2Rio, my go to site when looking for transportation options when I am not familiar with the area. It’s similar to using Google Maps and selecting mass transportation, but in my opinion better as it gives several options as well as pricing for each option.
Getting to the Bus Station from the Airport
To get to the bus station from the airport, follow signs to the Metrobus (or Rental Car Center).
In order to get to the Metrobus terminal from the airport terminals, you will need to take the MIA Mover (lightrail train). The MIA Mover only has two stops and just moves back and forth between the two:
- MIA Station (airport)
- Central Station (Rental car center, Metrobus, Metrorail, & Tri Rail)
Once you leave the train, continue to follow signs for the Metrobus.
In September 2015, the cost to ride an express bus was $2.65, before your trip, make sure that you check the Miami transit site to get current pricing. Knowing that we both had to get round trip tickets, our cost would be $10.65 total for 4 tickets. To cover ourselves should we catch a another bus when we were in the South Beach area, we opted to get a 1 day pass for $5.65 each or a total of $11.30.
When purchasing your tickets, the machine will give you an option to purchase an Easy Card. Unless you are a frequent rider in the area, save yourself the $2 card fee and purchase a standard ticket.
Where to Catch the 150 Bus
Once you have your ticket purchased, continue to follow the Metrobus signs downstairs. Once you reach the platform, you will see all bus stops clearly called out on the columns. The 150 – Miami Beach Airport Flyer was located directly off the stairs to the left at bay 10.
The bus is scheduled to run every 20 minutes, but to see exactly when the bus is scheduled to arrive, you can download the Miami Dade transit app.
The Bus Experience
When you get on the bus, tap your transit card on the reader and head back to sit down. One thing that I really liked about this bus was that it was equipped with a luggage rack. Many of the people with luggage loaded their bags poorly which required people to have to shift bags around to fit all of the bags on the rack. I was very pleased that the driver didn’t just take off with the bags in the aisles, requiring people to put them on the racks before she would leave the station.
The bus runs express from the airport all the way to the Miami Beach area. Once the bus is in Miami, it will stop whenever a bus patron requests a stop or someone on the street hails the bus.
We looked at the 150 – Miami Beach Airport Flyer map and determined where we needed to get off. Once we hit the appropriate stop, we pulled the stop rope and opened the rear doors once the light indicated they were unlocked.
Andy and I are pretty experienced bus riders as we often took the CTA buses around Chicago. That being said the 150 – Miami Beach Airport Flyer bus was pretty on par with Chicago buses with the seats and cleanliness. We had both hurt our feet when we were in Denver visiting family so we caught the Miami Beach local bus a few blocks to catch the 150 – Miami Beach Airport Flyer back to the airport. Once we got on the Miami Beach local bus we were somewhat appalled. Not only did the bus not stop when we hailed it (2 different times), but once we finally got on it, the bus was filthy.
A taxi from the airport to the South Beach area could easily run you $30 or more. If you are willing to take a public bus instead, you can save quite a bit of money. That being said, there are trade offs like waiting for the bus and having to carry your luggage with you to the bus and on the bus. With the savings you can buy a few drinks once you finally make it to South Beach, which to me sounds like a much better use of the money.
We loved the cleanliness of the 150 – Miami Beach Airport Flyer as well as the fact that it had a built in luggage rack. The Miami Dade transit app was extremely easy to use and allowed us to track the arrival time for our bus.
Even if you aren’t a bus person, the next time that you make a visit to Miami you should give it a shot. Not only is it easy, it is cheap and earth friendly as well.