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Florida Transport

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Florida has a number of regional airports, making flying by private plane an easy option across the state. Southwest Airlines provide regular intra-state operations.

Road

Florida has four major interstate highways within its borders: I-10, running east to west from Jacksonville to the Alabama border near Pensacola; I-75, running north to south from the Georgia border near Lake City and down the Gulf Coast to Naples before crossing the Everglades to Hialeah in Miami-Dade county; I-95, running north to south from the Georgia border near Fernandina Beach along the Atlantic Coast to Miami; and I-4, running east to west from Daytona Beach to Tampa.

To cross the state diagonally (which direction), you can use Florida’s Turnpike, a toll motorway, which runs southeast from I-75 south of Ocala to Orlando and then south to Miami. Florida also has several interstate highway spurs and bypasses, including I-275 through Tampa and St. Petersburg, I-295 around Jacksonville, I-595 near Fort Lauderdale, and I-195 and I-395 through Miami. Most other high-speed motorways in and around Miami and Orlando are toll roads, some of which no longer feature cash toll booths. See the Florida Department of Transportation’s website on the SunPass prepaid toll programme (

Side of the road

Right

Road Quality

As with most of the US, there is an excellent network of highways in Florida and all major roads tend to be well-paved.

Car Hire

The minimum age to hire a car is 21. Drivers under 25 will be subject to a surcharge of $20-25 each day which is payable on collection.

Driving a car is considered as being the best way to get around Florida. In fact, most people tend to hire a car if they desire to travel across the state. The major national car rental companies available in Florida include Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Hertz and National.

Taxi

Intercity taxi services can expensive but ride-share businesses like Lyft and Uber typically have lower fares.

Bike

Florida is great for cycling due to its flat topography. Florida has many coastal biking paths, historic bike routes and long-distance trails in the centre of the state. For example, the 402km (250 miles) Coast to Coast Trail, one of the longest paved bike trails in the state, connects Titusville with St Petersburg.

Coach

Greyhound Lines (tel: +1 800 231 2222, in the USA only; tel: +1 214 849 8100, outside the USA; ) operate intercity coach services in Florida. Using the Greyhound Lines services, the average travel time between Miami and Orlando is approximately 4 hours 30 minutes; between Orlando and Tampa is approximately 1 hour 40 minutes; between Miami and Key West is about 4 hours 30 minutes. On the Greyhound website, you can view the fares, schedules and travel times between other city pairs.

Regulations

In the US, people drive on the right side of the road. You can find the legal speed limits posted along the right side of the road. After coming to a complete stop, turning right on a red light is permitted if the way is clear and there isn’t a ‘NO TURN ON RED’ sign. Headlights must be on from sunset to sunrise as well as in fog or heavy rain. It is mandatory that all car passengers wear seatbelts. Children under the age of 4 must be in a car seat. Children aged between 4 and 5 must be in a safety seat or a booster seat. Driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs is illegal.

Breakdown services

In the event of an emergency, drivers may dial *FHP (*347) on the interstates and highways in Florida in order to reach the state police (Florida Highway Patrol). Speciality towing and roadside repair services can be arranged through *FHP, however, charges do apply.

Documentation

In Florida, visitors may use a foreign or international driving licence for short trips. The driving licence must be up to date. Any car driven in the state of Florida must be covered by insurance.

Urban travel

There are local bus and trolley operators in most of Florida’s major cities. In Miami, express buses, such as the Airport Flyer, connect Miami International Airport with South Beach. In Orlando, the I-Ride Trolley operates as a tourist bus along International Drive.

Rail

Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245 or +1 215 856 7924 for international visitors; ) offers limited rail services in the state. There is a commuter service, Tri-Rail (tel: +1 200 274 7245 ), in South Florida. Central Florida has a similar rail service called SunRail (tel: +1 855 724 5411)

Rail Passes

Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245 or +1 215 856 7924 for international visitors; ) offers multi-day rail passes for travel throughout the United States. The prices for youth (ages 13-15) and adult (16+) tickets are $459 for the 15-day pass, $689 for the 30-day pass and $899 for the 45-day pass. Child (ages 2-12) tickets are significantly cheaper.

Water

It is possible to get around parts of Florida by ferry. For example, there is a year-round, high-speed ferry service from Fort Myers and Marco Island to Key West provided by Key West Express (tel: +1 239 463 5733). The journey time is around 3 hours 30 minutes each way; driving can take 7 hours.

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