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Thread: Do you need a car in South Beach?

  1. #1
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Default Do you need a car in South Beach?

    For the people who have moved to south beach and are maybe being a waiter/bartender on lincoln road or one of the hotels...do u find you need a car/use your car?

    Or do you bring your car down and then just keep it parked in your spot and never use for fear of not finding another spot.


    I'm just debating if I should sell my car now or keep it in nj for a few months just incase i want to bring it down..

    I really don't mind public transportation.
    If I want to go shopping in nordstrom/bloomingdales/saks is it possible to take a bus/2 buses there from south beach? I read in my time out miami book that only the elderly and very poor take the bus. Is this true?? Where I live now, everyone uses the bus.

    What do you guys think?

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    I take the bus everywhere it's easy. You'll find all sorts on the bus not just poor or old, there's all ages and people, and many tourists. The website for transport is under miamidade transit, it shows all bus and rail journeys, and it's easy to get to the malls, Bal Harbour is about 30 mins away on the H and the S takes you to Aventura mall. There's a Macy's on Lincoln Road too. My fav bus is the local for 25c.

    I haven't missed a car at all except some days when I want to get off the beach, but there's pros and cons to having or not having one here. If you are moving to around Collins and 15th though parking may be an issue.

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    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Thanks so much, sounds like I'll be ok without one for now...think i'll keep in nj for a few months and maybe if i get a "professional" job where I need to cross the bridge I'll bring it.

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    sungal, the buses here are great. They actually talk! They say things like, "This is a Miami-bound S bus!" It's a very mixed crowd. You can get up to Aventura Mall in about 35 minutes on the S bus. It goes north on Collins.

    I used to go days on end without using the car at all when I lived on the Beach. It's easy to walk all over if you're in fairly good shape. Supermarket runs were the only time I really needed it, and I did have some friends I'd visit on the mainland from time to time, but you really can get by without it. Just make sure you have an umbrella with you during the summer months! The rain can start up very suddenly.

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    Sungal, from my experiences visiting Miami I would definitely keep your car and bring it down if you already have one. I totally understand wanting to have a nicer apartment or extra cash to blow at the mall. However, I think you will really enjoy the convenience of a car. Miami is a very sprawled out city, so most of Miami-Dade County is like a big suburb. It's not like the Northeast where there's a city and then suburbs surrounding it. So, as you will have friends and stuff to do all over the city, you will want to be able to get in your car and go. That being said, Miami's public transportation system isn't that bad, and you can use it to get around. It has a lot of buses and also the metro-rail. However, it is nothing like the one you are used to, and you are right that people don't use it. When I visited Miami I didn't have a car. I took the bus to Key Biscayne and to the Airport, I've also taken the Metro-Rail a bunch of times...It's not bad at all, but since you already have a car I would recommend bringing it down, it's worth the $100/month or so to insure it. From reading your posts, you want to live Miami-style...and for that you need a car. I felt the same way until I tried getting around there without one...lol. Skip cable and enjoy life in Miami beach instead. :)

    The best upscale shopping in Miami is in Coral Gables at Merrick Park or in Bal Harbour (Bal Harbour Shops). I think both are equidistant from South Beach. The shopping in Miami is AMAZING.

    Can someone comment about parking on Miami Beach? Do apartments usually come with their own parking place or is there affordable garages? Do hi-rises come with their own parking place?

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    I agree with Bondgirl that Miami proper (the mainland) is a very sprawled out city; however, if your whole life is on the beach, you don't really need to go over there very often. The most interesting places on the mainland are Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, and those are easy to reach on the bus and/or Metrorail. For the airport, the occasional Shuttle or a taxi ride is cheaper than the expense of maintaining a car. And paying for the Miami Beach parking sticker.

    I also agree about cable. I ditched cable and now watch everything I want to see on my broadband computer. I just can't deal with 88 channels of reality TV.

    Concerning parking on South Beach: some apartments provide parking for their tenants and some don't. The high rises usually do. Some include it in the rent while others charge an extra monthly fee. You have to check with the individual policy for each building you're considering.

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    If your entire life was on Miami Beach then you could live without a car. If you could walk to work, walk to the grocery store, etc., then yes. I'm not really familiar with life on Miami Beach because my friends/family in Miami all live in the mainland area. To get to Coral Gables you would take a bus to downtown Miami and then take the metro-rail and get off at the University stop. To get to the Grove you would get off at the Coconut Grove stop doing the same thing. I don't know though...I honestly think it would be worth it to keep the car you already have.

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    There are pluses and minuses to both scenarios, I guess. I had my car while I lived in South Beach, and it was nice to be able to escape to the occasional park or nature area once in a while when the population density of the Beach became too overwhelming.

    Helpful hint: If you do decide to bring your car to South Beach, always gas up on the mainland! Gas prices in South Beach tend to be about 30 cents per gallon higher than they are elsewhere!

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Yeah, life will get rather difficult without a car. I mean, I would advise driving it as little as possible around the beach, but you can get a residential parking pass and find a space and stay in it. But you will find South Florida is a very regional area, insofar as you may hear about something cool you want to do, but getting to it by anything other than car is impractical. This will also be true as you meet friends who live in the mainland, Broward County, or further north in Miami Beach.

    I highly recommend having a car. Makes life exponentially easier. I had one both times I lived in the Beach and I couldn't imagine not.

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    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Hmmm...this is why I'll be parking in my parent's driveway. After a few months, I'll decide if I should bring it down or just sell it..i really don't mind public transportation. plus my car is black..terrible for the hot weather.

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    Member Mario's Avatar
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    As mentioned earlier, public transportation works in certain parts of the city. Bus connections work between Miami Beach, Downtown, Coral Gables, Aventura, Little Havana, Design District.
    The metro rail system runs down to Dadeland Mall and north to Hialeah. In Hialeah, there's a combined metro-rail and tri-rail station (up to West Palm) and an Am-Trak station a block away.

    A car would be necessary if you decide to step out of this central grid system, like going to Miami Lakes, Miami Springs, Homestead, Kendall (mainly subrbs, very boring). If you decide to take classes at FIU, their main campus is 8 miles from South Beach.

  12. #12
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I think that's a good idea but if you have any aspirations of staying here (gasp!) long-term, you're def. gonna need it.

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    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Ahh..all the mixed reviews. Ok, my apt does not come with parking. Let's say I live on 15th and Washington, how would parking be around there? How much is a resident parking sticker?

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hey, last I checked, the sticker was in the $65 per year range. It may have gone up. At 15th and Washington, I would recommend heading west of Washington a few blocks, perhaps to Euclid, and then cutting back and forth up the east/west streets. The parking is there, but not as plentiful as it is on streets like Euclid, Jefferson, Michigan and Lenox...

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    There is garage at 12th and Washington, pretty close. Also 13th and Collins. Well worth $65 not to worry about finding a spot.

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    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Sungal, you will DEFINITELY need a car if you want to enjoy South Florida to the fullest. As everyone else has pointed out, you could get by on public transport if your life is centered on the beach and you can use the buses for certain excursions. However, deal with a few thunderstorms or decide you want to do stuff that will take you into the wee hours of night and you'll find yourself in a predicament. Waiting for a bus at night with a bunch of crackheads downtown isn't going to be fun or standing outside in a torrential downpour with lightning strikes isn't exactly a party either.

    Having a car will give you the freedom to explore the region (yes, because Miami-Dade County is like a "region") and save you time getting to and from places.

    It's just not the same without a car. Get a residential permit, park on the street, and use it when you need it.
    ORLtoMIA likes this.

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    Sungal,

    I'm from NJ and looking at moving to Miami sometime mid-summer.

    One thing you should definitely take into account is the extremely high cost of auto insurance in Miami. Driving in Miami

    I was just floored at how high insurance rates are in Miami. NJ is usually touted as having extremely high premiums, but I got some quotes from Geico, and they were all 40-60% the amount of my car lease/purchase payment. Granted I'm a <25 year old male looking at sportier cars (being female cuts the premium by almost 1/2)... but that is still outrageous.

    Good luck!

  18. #18
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    How much do these garages cost each month? Any website with a list of sobe garages?

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Sungal, here's a site where you can get garage locations and rates.

    The current rate for most of them is $70 per month, per decal, plus applicable sales tax.

  20. #20
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Wow, bargain! My garage now is $250...

    I can't believe a garage space is the same price as cable tv!

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