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Getting around: stress-free transportation in Miami

Miami is a bustling city with countless places to visit, things to do and sights to see.

Both the city and the university offer various methods of transportation for students to visit these locations safely, quickly and economically.

In an effort to maximize useful parking spaces for students who need them the most, the university stopped allowing first-year resident students from parking a car on the Coral Gables campus.

However, freshmen should not be discouraged.

Zipcar, an on-campus rental car service, allows students to register online for a $35 fee in order to rent out cars for a rate of $8 an hour. They are available on a reservations-only basis, and this price includes all insurance and gas costs. Though the program only began with three cars, it is currently in the process of being expanded.

“It’s really easy to rent out, and it’s not too expensive either,” sophomore Zach Rutta said. “I thought it would be a big deal that I wouldn’t be able to park a car on campus, but Zipcar makes things much easier.”

The university also offers a comprehensive shuttle system that takes students to the Shops at Sunset Place, the nearby shopping mall, and Publix, the local grocery store. In addition, an extensive internal shuttle system makes it very easy to travel between classes across campus.

If you plan on making a trip to Dadeland Mall or Downtown Miami, Miami-Dade County provides Metrorail, a major mode of public transportation in the county that links Dadeland Mall with northern Miami Dade. The cheapest way to ride all county public transportation services is by purchasing a monthly MetroPass, but you can also pay the $2 fare as you go.

Additionally, Metrobus, Miami-Dade’s busing system, provides comprehensive routes throughout the county. The closest stop to campus is located right across the street from the University Metrorail stop on Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

Most Miami-Dade buses are fitted with bike racks that allow you to attach your bicycle to the front of the bus. Just let the bus driver know beforehand that you have a bike.

“Sometimes they’ll get delayed because of the traffic, but the public buses are actually pretty reliable and consistent around campus,” sophomore Michael Crow said. “After using the bus system a while you actually get used to the online maps they have.”

UBike, a part of the “Green U” program, which is the university initiative to promote environmentally friendly practices in the immediate community, offers discounted beach cruiser- style bicycles to students.

These bikes can be purchased at the beginning of the semester from the bookstore and are offered in a variety of colors. Just be sure to buy one early because they sell out fast.

“I was at first worried that I wouldn’t be able to get around,” Rutta said. “But there’re so many options to help you get around. Even still, it’s Miami – a nice walk in beautiful weather could never hurt, right?”

August 22, 2009

Reporters

Ramon Galiana

News Editor


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Getting around: stress-free transportation in Miami”

  1. Way to go, Ramon and UM!
    Check out the City of Miami Bike Miami blog & Rides for more information about riding safe in South Florida :)

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