Many people are going to be traveling this holiday season. The Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald both point out that airports will be crowded and parking scarce for the Thanksgiving travel days. They offer tips like “get a ride,” but they neglect to offer the best suggestion to avoid both the parking issues and the vehicle traffic in the terminal: Tri-Rail. Parking is free at Tri-Rail stations, so put what you would have paid at the airport towards your Tri-Rail ticket and enjoy your gas savings as you zip along towards any of the three major South Florida airports. Or take the Metrorail and transfer to Tri-Rail whichever is closer to your location.

Once you get to the appropriate station, just hop on a connecting bus and head over to the airport. The connections take anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes to get from the train station to the airport terminal, so don’t forget to add in a bit of extra time. If you’re going to FLL or MIA, Tri-Rail provides the free shuttle bus to the airport. If you’re going to Palm Beach International, you’re stuck using Palm Tran routes 40 or 44, but it’s still free with the Tri-Rail ticket.

We all know it would be better if Tri-Rail consistently ran on time and you didn’t have any delays there. And it would be better still if Tri-Rail or even Metrorail went straight to the airport terminal without bus transfers. (We are all patiently awaiting the Miami Intermodal Center!) The last time I took Tri-Rail to the Fort Lauderdale airport, however, I waited much longer for the airplane than I did for the train and shuttle bus. If arriving two hours early for your flight isn’t bad enough, prepare for more delays waiting for your flight to get off the ground. A small delay with Tri-Rail will just cut into the 2 hour+ wait at the airport, so you should have plenty of leeway. It may be annoying to wait for your train or wait for the bus, but remember you’re only getting there to wait some more. Commercial air travel is public transportation. So instead of getting a ride in a car to the airport, why not make your trip public transit all the way?

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Gabriel- I can’t help myself but I have some serious issues with this article which ran in the Sun-Sentinel yesterday listing parking at “South Florida’s” Airports. What’s missing? MIA. Since when is MIA not considered a South Florida airport? Just another instance of the Sun-Sentinel segregating Miami from South Florida (Broward and Palm Beach) a serious nomenclature issue which needs to be resolved and shows the confusion caused by creating so many municipalities within the greater Miami region…

5 Responses to Air Travel Tips

  1. JMD says:

    When I came down for my presentation at Railvolution I flew out of Fort Lauderdale (I was supposed to fly into there too but ended up flying into Miami but that’s another story).

    From the Radisson downtown I took the MetroMover to MetroRail to Tri-Rail to the Fort Lauderdale shuttle.

    Despite 4 trains being canceled due to breakdowns I got to the airport just fine. I only wished that they would have something besides those small cutaway van buses for a shuttle since the bus was full and with everyone having luggage it was not a pleasant journey.

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  2. franklin says:

    Is it a good idea to leave your car parked at a Tri-Rail station for several days? Metrorail stations?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Let me put it this way… if I were going to do it, I’d park at MIA & take the shuttle to the Tri-Rail station. The biggest problem with leaving your car overnight at a station is the fact that thieves KNOW that neither you, nor anyone else, is going to show up between the last train of the night and first train the next morning.

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  4. JM Palacios says:

    I have left my car parked at the Cypress Creek Station and the Pompano Beach station while I flew out of state for a few days with no problems. I guess some of it may depend on your car and how tempting it looks. Do the sensible thing and don’t leave any valuables in the car (even though I left an empty bookbag in sight in my car at Cypress Creek without problems). For the holidays, though, if thieves want to steal cars, they may well look in people’s driveways, as they know so many people are traveling. So you could leave your car at home and face the same chance of robbery. If it really worries you, it would still be better to get a ride with someone to the Tri-Rail Station than all the way to the airport.

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  5. greentransitwoman says:

    I used to have to waste a ton of time trying to get all the different website

    for a trip pulled together. I found

    publicroutes.com a great tool that really gives transit directions and

    maps. On top of that they have driving directions if no buses go that way and

    there driving directions are amazing. Unlike

    href=”http://www.mapquest.com”> mapquest they provide both driving and

    transit.

    free transit directions
    On top of that they provide a tool for websites to provide

    href=”http://www.publicroutes.com/webtools/freelinkdirection.aspx”> free

    transit directions to their business. This means that now everyone can

    encourage people to use public transit to get to their store.

    The other really great thing is that directions can be sent straight to your

    cell phone so I do not have to write them down.

    accuracy
    Of course all this said, it is not perfect and accuracy is a work in

    progress. However, it is public transit and I have found them to be as

    acccurate as most city transit systems.

    vacation
    The best part is that when I am visting a city on vacation I can use

    publicroutes to get transit directions around the city. How cool is that?

    They also are developing a point of interest page making finding cool places

    even easier.

    I would love to hear what you think.

    Sarah Smith

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