Here’s how to get to airports in South Florida.
Now that Park ‘N Fly, the cheap parking lot near the Fort Lauderdale airport, is gone, some of us are frantic to figure out the best way to get to our flights. Do we need to look for new off-site land? Want to park near the terminal? Take an Uber? Ride Tri-Rail or Brightline? Or maybe recruit a friend to drive us?
Park ‘N Fly closed on June 27 and the site is expected to become a warehouse and distribution center. The remaining alternatives have their pros and cons in terms of cost and convenience, but at least we have several options and airports to choose from when booking future trips.
Of course, the easiest way to get to the airport is to have a friend or relative drive you. This way you don’t have to pay for transport or parking and you can get off directly at your terminal. (In return, promise them you’ll bring them a really cool gift from your vacation.)
Otherwise, here’s a guide to the three major airports in South Florida and the choices for ground transportation or airport parking.
Off-site parking: Try Park ‘N Go at 1101 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale, where rates start at $13 per day. The company offers free shuttles to and from the airport. Details: bookparkngo.com. There is also Self Park FLL, at 901 Old Griffin Road, Dania Beach. Rates offered online in July and August start at $12.95 per day, and the company also offers free 24-hour shuttles. Details: selfparkfll.com.
Airport car parks: The airport charges a maximum of $15 per day for long-term parking. It’s $25 a day if you want valet parking. There is also an overflow court owned by the airport ($10 per day), but it only opens on holidays; signs will show you the way. Details: broward.org/airport/passengers/parking
Public transport: You can take Tri-Rail to a stop called “Fort Lauderdale Airport”. However, the stop is not at the airport. You must take a shuttle that runs along Griffin Road to your terminal. The free bus usually waits for the arriving train. Drivers are helpful and someone on site answers travel questions from 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays. Details: tri-rail.com.
If you’re coming from West Palm Beach or Miami, the Brightline high-speed rail station is in downtown Fort Lauderdale at 101 NW Second Ave., so you’ll need to connect to the airport again. Brightline offers hourly airport shuttles and a free service called Light line+ which offers private or shared rides if you have an additional destination after arrival, including the airport. One-way fares on Brightline start at $10 and, depending on the time of day and if you want a first-class ticket, can go as high as $27. Details: gobrightline.com.
Broward County Transit can get you to the airport on its Route 1 bus, which also serves the Aventura Mall and Young Circle in Hollywood. The airport stop is at the Rental Car Center which is Stop 7. The cash fare one way is $2. Details: broward.org/BCT.
Go private: You can always take Uber or Lyft, rent a car service, rent a car, or get a free shuttle to or from your hotel. A taxi from the airport to Port Everglades is about $17; it’s about $70 in Miami Beach. The airport also has a list of approved carpooling servicesincluding limousines and other car transport. Details: broward.org/airport/passengers/Transportation and click on “Options”, then on “Ride sharing companies”.
Park your car: If you want to leave your car at or near the airport, PBIA offers several options depending on how much you want to spend. Premium parking is just outside the baggage claim area and costs $30 per day. There is also short-term parking a little further away for $17 per day, and long-term parking for $13 per day. The cheapest option is the Economy bundle for $7 per day. For Economy, you must take a return shuttle; it leaves every 15 minutes. Details: pbia.org/parking.
Public transport: Take Tri-Rail to the West Palm Beach station, 203 S. Tamarind Ave., and take a free ride to the airport via Uber or Metro Taxi. For Uber, you have to queue in advance and use a voucher offered by Tri-Rail; taxi requires 30 minutes notice. Tri-Rail fares range from $2.50 to $8.75, depending on length of trip. Details: tri-rail.com
You can also take Amtrak to West Palm Beach and take a shuttle to the airport, or use Palm Beach County’s public bus system, Palm Tran, which has several lines that go to the airport and costs $2 . Details: amtrakguide.com/stations; palmtran.org.
Go private: There is a lot of private car, limousine and shuttle services that offer trips to the airport. A Lyft ride on a recent day from Boca Raton to PBIA cost between $32 and $39, depending on how fast you wanted the car to come. If you are arriving at the airport, proceed to the ground transportation desk located on the baggage claim level, past carousel 6, and someone will be able to help you find your way to your destination.
Off-site parking: The airport directs visitors to CheapAirportParking, which connects you to several hotels offering paid parking to the public; the cheapest is the Marriott MIA Airport at $10 per day. All hotels offer shuttles to get you to your terminal. Miami East Hampton Airport, 3449 NW 42nd Ave, also offers a $10 daily rate. There is a Park ‘N Fly at 3901 NW 28th St., with rates starting at $10.95 per day. Details: cheapairportparking.org; hilton.com/en/hotels/miaaehx-hampton-miami-airport-east; pnf.com/airport-parking/mia-miami-airport-parking
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Airport car parks: You can park in a airport garage for $17 a day. The maximum stay is 45 days. Valet parking is closed. The airport has installed Quick Pay kiosks so you can finish the bill before entering the payment queue. Details: miami-airport.com/airport-parking.asp
Public transport: Tri-Rail has a Miami Airport Stop; you must take a MIA Mover connector to access your terminal. Tri-Rail fares range from $2.50 to $8.75, depending on length of trip. Details: tri-rail.com/stations/miami-airport
Light line stops at his Miami Central Station and offers shuttles to MIA depots. One-way fares on Brightline start at $10 and, depending on the time of day and if you want a first-class ticket, can go as high as $27. Details: miamicentral.com/brightline
There are six public bus routes that connect to the airport from Miami-Dade County locations, including Miami Beach. All Metrobus routes are $2.25. Details: Details: https://www.miamidade.gov/global/transportation/metrobus.page
Go private: For Uber or Lyft, go to Level 1 Arrivals, Medium Median. The cheapest Lyft route to Fort Lauderdale starts at $45. Taxis cost $6.90 for the first mile and $2.40 for each additional mile. If the taxi has to wait for you, it’s 40 cents per minute. Details: miami-airport.com/taxicabs-shuttles.asp
Miami airport officials warn travelers not to accept offers to transport people at the airport: “Soliciting ground transportation is an illegal activity and many illegal attorneys are unlicensed and uninsured. For safe and legitimate ground transportation, be sure to go to the designated taxi ranks located on the lower level, outside the baggage claim area, where uniformed Aviation Department personnel Miami-Dade will be happy to assist you.
Send Lois your questions about living in South Florida. She can help you with the essentials for day-to-day navigation, whether you are a beginner or a native. Email AskLois@sunsentinel.com.