Trolleys and Buses, Tampa
Ambiance Transportation offers daily scheduled bus transportation service between Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.
From the website the coach is new and quite nice. The trip is approx 4 hours. They have reclining seats, overhead bins, AC, a on-board bathroom, and free movies on board so remember to bring your headsets.
Note due to high gas prices at this time there is a $5 fuel surcharge per passenger
DAILY Orlando to Miami Bus
7PM DAILY Daily $29 If Booked On-line $35 By Phone during the week
7AM on Fri., Sat., Sun ONLY $50 On-line or by Phone
DAILY Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Orlando Northbound
6AM Daily $29 If Booked On-line $35 By Phone
3PM Fri., Sat., Sun ONLY $50 On-line or by Phone
NOTE Reservations are Required. "Walk-Ups" and "Cash On-Board" are NOT accepted for security purposes!
Orlando Bus Station is across the Street from Festival Bay Mall in front of the Perfume Land and the Cell Phone Store at the parking lot. They have free parking.
Miami drop off is at Hotels in North/South Miami beach, Airport, and Kendal.
Note this company has another bus that goes between Orlando and Port Canaveral
Total cost to drive to Orlando and take bus to Miami
Work to Orlando bus station - 82 miles - 1.5 hours (cost at 23mpg @$4 gallon = $13.12)
+ $35 bus
Total $48 each way by bus (est 6.5 hours including arriving early etc)
Total cost to drive to Miami from Tampa
Work to Miami - 285 miles - 4.5 hours (cost at 23mpg @$4 gallon = $49 each way)
Cost $49 + tolls ($4?) + parking ($8? a day) + wear and tear on the car....
Absolutely one of the worst transportation systems in the world. First the bus is always late or absent all together, and when it does come it has an "out of service" sign on the front because the Driver was so damn busy doing "things" that they were running late, so they enact the standard policy of SKIPPING EVERY STOP WITH PEOPLE UNTIL THEY GET TO THE NEXT REST STATION!!! IF YOU'RE ON THE BUS YOU CAN'T GET OFF AT A STOP WITH PEOPLE AT IT BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WAITING AT THE STOP MAY WANT TO GET ON SO THE DRIVER WILL DRIVE TO AN EMPTY STOP OR BETWEEN STOPS AND LET YOU OFF, ONLY TO HAVE YOU WALK BACK THE WAY THE BUS CAME FROM AND PASS THE WAITING "PASSENGERS"....OR....THE BUS HAS SO DAMN MANY PEOPLE ON IT BECAUSE PEOPLE (ONE PERSON) IS STANDING UP (BY CHOICE) AND THE DRIVER IS TOO DAMN LAZY TO LOOK AT THE BACK OF THE BUS (WHEN STOPPED IN FRONT OF YOU AT A RED LIGHT) TO SEE THERE ARE ATLEAST 5 EMPTY SEATS!!! SO THE DRIVER DOESN'T OPEN THE DOOR CAUSING YOU TO BE LATE TO WORK BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO DO THEIR DAMN JOB! FORGET THAT YOU'RE HELPING TO PAY THEIR SALARY...IT'S THEIR SCHEME TO MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO RIDE THE BUS...(IF YOU CAN'T GET TO WORK EVERYDAY ONTIME THEN YOU CAN'T AFFORD A CAR, LEAVING YOU NO CHOICE BUT TO WAIT ON THE BUS TO PASS YOU AGAIN SO YOU'RE LATE BY THE TIME THE NEXT (LATE) BUS GETS TO YOU. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING ANYWHERE AFTER 5PM (7PM IN SOME PLACES) THE BUS STOPS EARLY HERE, SO HAVE A RIDE OR MONEY TO CATCH A CAB IF ONE COMES!!! AND FORGET ABOUT HOLIDAY'S (ANY HOLIDAY) THEY SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY!!!! I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL I GET MY DAMN DEGREE SO I CAN GET MORE MONEY, GET A CAR AND GET THE HELL OUT OF TAMPA!!!
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (or HART) operates the city buses and the TECO Streetcar in Tampa. The HART system runs 49 routes with its fleet of 214 vehicles providing transportation to about 40,000 people a day. Regular fares are $1.75, with discounts available for multi-day passes.
We rode the bus to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game in 2010. It was easy getting to the stadium, despite the game-day detours. Unfortunately, after the game, we couldn't find the bus stop, so we ended up taking a taxi home. Our bus + taxi commute ended up costing us more than just parking at the stadium.
The Suncoast Beach Trolley runs some 18 miles along the Gulf of Mexico from downtown Clearwater to Pass-A-Grille, through numerous little beach towns including Indian Rocks Beach. The cost is $1.75 per person whether you are going one stop or the entire route; $4 will get you a one-day unlimited ride pass. In Indian Rocks Beach, there seems to be a stop about every two or three cross streets, including stops directly in front of many parks, government buildings, and big restaurants.
You can pay as you board, using the automated fare boxes next to the drivers. These boxes take $1, $5, and $10 bills along with any coins, but do not dispense change.
Tampa does have a bus system that will get you from point A to point B if needed (most locals have cars and drive)
Like bus systems around the world – the fares are reasonable and range from 25¢ to $3.00. A variety of fare cards are available (1 day, 3 day, 31 day, 20 rides etc).
If you are trying to figure out what bus to take etc the best source is Google transit at
Tampa, like most of the US, is designed for the automobile. However, we do have a bus and trolley system. Both systems are run by HART (Hillsborough Area Transport System)
The Trolley ride is quite nice and a good way to travel between various sites. If your making multiple stops the trolley may be cheaper than paying for parking at your various destinations.
A one day unlimited bus and trolley pass is $6
A 31 day unlimited trolley pass is $10
ROUTE 97 - In-Town Trolley Downtown - Green Line – great for people wanting to see the sights of Tampa
Performing Arts Center to Channel District
Destinations: Tampa Convention Center, St. Pete Times Forum, Downtown Tampa Hotels, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Theatre, Florida Aquarium, Garrison Seaport, Downtown Parking Garages
FRIDAY - SATURDAY
6 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Every 10 Minutes
ROUTE 96 - PURPLE LINE – in-town trolley downtown – Great for business people going from hotels to downtown
Monday to Friday 6AM to 9 AM and 3 PM to 6PM – no weekends, no holidays
Destinations: Marion Transit Center, TECO Line Streetcar System, Downtown Tampa Hotels, Tampa City Hall, Federal and County Courthouses, Harbour Island, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa Convention Center, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa Theatre.
* All HARTride Fare Cards Accepted
31-Day Unlimited Ride - In-Town Trolley Fare Card - $10.00
The TECO Line Streetcar System is one of three streetcar lines in the city of Tampa, and is the main line that connects all of the touristy areas of the city. It connects the southern edge of downtown with Channelside and Ybor City along a 2.3 mile route, with 11 stops, making for a total trip time of a leisurely 22 minutes. The basic one-way fare is $2.00 per person while an unlimited day pass is $4.00 per adult rider. Key stops include the St Pete Times Forum, the Florida Aquarium and Channelside Mall, and three stops in Ybor City. Its eight cars run approximately every 15 minutes from before noon until 10 or 11 on weeknights and 2 am on weekends.
At its peak in the early 1900s, Tampa's original streetcar system had 53 miles of track and 190 cars, but it was discontinued in 1946. The new streetcar lines opened in 2002 after years of planning and some $30 million in construction costs. In 2006, 390,000 passengers rode the TECO Line streetcars. Hillsboro Area Regional Transit operates the TECO streetcars, as well as the purple line (route 96) and the green line (route 97) trolleys the operate closer to downtown.
BTW... for out of towners like me, TECO is the acronym used for the local Tampa Electric Company who paid for naming rights of the streetcar line.
Tampa has a comprehensive HARTLINE bus system, though nothing like as frequent or fast as buses in England or Europe. There is NO train service to or from Tampa, or within the Hillsborough County, trains are for commercial use only, no public transport. Most areas of Tampa are covered by a bus service, though the routes often seem strange, and only few buses seem to run direct from outlying areas into the city centre - downtown. Most seem to run between the major shopping malls, or University areas, and to get into the downtown area may take several different buses and at least an hour. Many of the buses only run hourly anyhow, and finish early evening. The Marion Transit Centre is the terminus of all Downtown buses, and from there you can a shuttle bus into the downtown area, that meets the Teco Electric Trolley Car into YBOR City, or another shuttle bus to HYDE PARK area. You can take a bicycle on the bus (they have a rack for 2 bikes on the front of the bus) BUT you need a special (free) pass to do that, and watch a training video to see how to work the rack. A day pass on the Hart Line is about $3.25 (at April 2007) The Cycle Pass is only available on personal application at the Marion Transit Centre in downtown Tampa.
See the web site for maps, timetables and full information.
For the most part while there are buses in Tampa they are not dependable for getting around the city. Most of them come once an hour and if you are lucky they stop.
When I lived there and didnt have a car I had to take the bus to work. It was very inconvinent and quite often, probably because most people do drive, the bus would pass me by.
My advice rent a car.
These In-Town trolleys take you pretty much all around downtown Tampa: Tampa Convention Center, downtown restaurants, the Tampa Museum of Art, Old Hyde Park Village, Channelside, the Florida Aquarium, and Historic Ybor City. This is an easy and cheap way to go around and get to know the city.
If you need to get from downtown Tampa to Ybor City you can use the trolley. It starts in front of the Tampa Marriot Waterside and drops off at Centro Ybor. I'm not sure exactly when it starts and stops running but you can probably call the Marriot to find out.
There is no efficient form of public transportation in Tampa. Due to the water table being so close to the surface there is no possible way to build a subway beneath the city so we are stuck with a poor bus system.
If you are staying in Orlando and dont have transportation, there is a Busch Gardens Shuttle Express offering a daily round trip.
There is a charge for the shuttle unless you have a 5 day park pass, then I think the fare is included.
If driving to the park there is ample parking which there is a charge for.