Virgin Brightline Train – West Palm Beach Airport – Fort Lauderdale Airport – Miami Airport

Unfortunately the Virgin Brightline train does not operate to or from Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) or West Palm Beach Airport (PBI). The trains operate between stations near, but not directly at, these airports.

Transfers are needed between MIA and the Brightline Miami Station, FLL and the Fort Lauderdale Station and PBI and the West Palm Beach Station.

If you need less luxury and easier train access, I suggest you consider Tri-Rail.

Brightline Train Route Map

You can see a larger map here – Brightline Route Map

MIA Transfer Options

  • MetroRail Orange Line – Board at the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Station – 15 minutes – $2.25. A short walk outside over a rough sidewalk. Then board FREE MIA Mover to terminal – 4 minutes
  • Taxi – Choose from two pickup areas outside the station – 20 minutes – estimate $30
  • Uber/Lyft – Choose from two pickup areas outside the station – 20 minutes – estimate $16
Overtown Station - Northbound
Overtown Station – Northbound

FLL Transfer Options

  • Broward County Transit Bus – Route 1 – Board at Broward Central Terminal. This is a short but rough walk in a sketchy neighborhood – Arrive at Upper Level of Rental Car Center – 25 minutes – $2.
  • Taxi – Pickup area outside the station – 15 minutes – estimate $16
  • Uber/Lyft – Pickup area outside the station – 15 minutes – estimate $11
County Bus Route 1 at FLL
County Bus Route 1 stop at FLL (across the road from Terminal 1 – use the cross bridge)
County Bus 1 South at Central Terminal Fort Lauderdale
County Bus 1 Southbound to FLL at Central Terminal Fort Lauderdale (across from Brightline)

PBI Transfer Options

  • Palm Tran buses are nearby but inconvenient to the Airport.
  • Walk 4 blocks to the Tri-Rail Station and take the FREE shuttle bus (not a good option)
  • Taxi – Pickup area outside the station – 10 minutes – estimate $18
  • Uber/Lyft – Pickup area outside the station – 10 minutes – estimate $11
WPBI Tri-Rail Bus at PBI
WPBI Tri-Rail Bus at PBI (outside baggage claim across the road)

Brightline Train From West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale

Takes about 40 minutes and cost between $10 and $30 depending on time of day and options booked.

Brightline Train From Fort Lauderdale to Miami

Takes about 35 minutes and cost between $10 and $30 depending on time of day and options booked.

Brightline Train from West Palm Beach to Miami

Takes about 75 minutes and cost between $15 and $35 depending on time of day and options booked.

Link to the Brightline Home Page

Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Port of Miami – Tri-Rail and MetroRail

FLL to Port of Miami Trains

Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Port of Miami via Tri-Rail and MetroRail offers the cheapest transportation options for cruise passengers. It may not be the most convenient but you do not have to deal with rush hour traffic and you can save a good bit of money.

How long will FLL to Port of Miami take?

  • The Tri-Rail section of the ride = about 30 minutes
  • The FREE shuttle bus from FLL to the Tri-Rail Station – about 15 minutes
  • The Green Line of MetroRail from MetroRail Transfer Station to Overtown Station = about 20 minutes
  • From Overtown MetroRail station to PortMiami via a rideshare service = about 10 minutes
  • Waiting Time? Add 30 minutes in total

Total travel time = about 1h45mins

How much will FLL to Port of Miami cost?

In 2019:

$3.75 for Tri-Rail + $2.25 for MetroRail (discounts for certain payment methods) + $7 for Uber = $13 or $9.50 per person when two travel together.

  • By the way, if you want to avoid MetroRail, Uber from the Tri-Rail/MetroRail Transfer Station to the Port of Miami cost about $17 and will take roughly 30 minutes.
  • Once you arrive at Overtown Station, you can save even more money if you use public transportation such as the FREE Metromover and Coral Way Trolley (to PortMiami), but this will take too long and you may end up a long way from your cruise terminal.

How does Tri-Rail compare to other transfers?

With two people traveling, a taxi or private sedan fare from FLL is roughly $40 per person, a shared shuttle about $25 pp and Uber roughly $20 pp. Then consider the tip as well.

A road transfer takes 45 mins to an hour but is very traffic dependent.

Route Map

In the map below you can trace the complete route from FLL to PortMiami. For a larger map, go here: FLL to PortMiami Route Map

Tri-Rail from Fort Lauderdale Airport

Please read my detailed description of how to ride Tri-Rail from FLL to Miami Airport MIA. BUT – this time please choose the Tri-Rail/MetroRail Transfer Station as your destination and not MIA!

Tri-Rail Train
Tri-Rail Train

Arriving at the Tri-Rail/MetroRail Transfer Station

Exit Tri-Rail and look for the Green Line MetroRail train going south to Overtown MetroRail station! Buy a ticket at the kiosk (you will need an EASY Card or EASY Ticket for a discount transfer fare). An attendant is available to assist you with tickets during the day but hours are limited!

The ride to Overtown takes about 20 minutes.

MetroRail-Train
MetroRail-Train. NOTE – The Orange Line is shown. Please transfer to Green Line South

Arriving at the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre MetroRail Station

I suggest to arrange your Uber or Lyft ride while a few minutes away from the station! This way you do not have to wait long.

Tell your driver which cruise line/ship and/or the terminal (if you have this information).

The ride should take about 10 minutes depending on traffic conditions.

MetroRail - Green Line
MetroRail – Green Line from Tri-Rail Transfer Station to Overtown Station

Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Miami Airport MIA – Tri-Rail

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami Airport via Tri-Rail is the cheapest option. It may or may not be the most convenient choice – that depends on you!

At $3.75 one-way the price is right. The question is, can you and your party handle the following challenges:

  • Lifting and pulling luggage into a bus, off the bus, into the train, off the train then into elevators or up and down escalators, into a tram and off the tram
  • About 90 minutes travel time
  • Waiting outside (under cover) in the Florida heat

Map of the Route

Here is a link to a large version of the Map – FLL to MIA Transportation Map

Fort Lauderdale Airport Procedure

You may want to purchase water and/or a snack for your train trip.

Once you claimed your luggage, look for the signs to Ground Transportation then step outside looking for the Tri-Rail bus stop.

Tri-Rail FLL Sign
Sign to the Tri-Rail Bus Stop

There are 3 stops – at west end of Terminal 1, between Terminals 2 and 3, and between Terminals 3 and 4. The bus arrives at Stop 1 then Stop 2 then Stop 3 in this order. See image below.

Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stops
Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stops and travel direction

You are looking for bus FLA Fort Lauderdale Airport Station as shown below.

Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stop
Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stop
Tri-Rail FLL Bus to Airport Station

The route to the station changes somewhat between weekends and weekdays but the trip takes only 15 minutes or less.

At the Tri-Rail Station, purchase your ticket from one of the kiosks, cash, credit or some debit cards. Your destination is Miami Airport Station. You CANNOT purchase tickets on the train!

Purchasing your Tri-Rail Ticket

For Tri-Rail Schedules, please visit Tri-Rail.

The train may stop 6 times before arriving at Miami Airport and plan for about 45 minutes travel time. Restrooms are available onboard. Do not expect much in terms of scenery along the route! You can take a nap and not miss a thing.

Inside a Tri-Rail Train
Inside a Tri-Rail Train

Miami Station Arrival

Take the stairs, escalator or elevator and follow the signs to the Airport then look for the MIA Mover – a short walk.

Look for the signs to the MIA Mover

MIA Mover is a driverless tram to the Airport Terminal. The ride takes about 3-5 minutes.

MIA Mover
MIA Mover

You arrive at the Airport Terminal on Level 3. Use the diagram below to find your way from there!

MIA Floor Levels
MIA Floor Levels – MIA Mover is on Level 3

Palm Beach International Airport to Port of Miami

How to get from Palm Beach International Airport to Port of Miami (PortMiami), or vice versa?

Cruise passengers find occasional cheap or convenient flights to PBI then wonder if it makes sense when compared to more expensive flights to MIA or FLL. It is roughly 75 miles (120 km) by road depending on the route.

Some Concerns

It depends! You have to consider your arrival time, the number of people in your party, your budget, the amount of luggage you are carrying, your mobility (walking and getting on/off trains and buses and vehicles), and so on.

If you land early there’s the potential traffic delays between West Palm Beach and the Fort Lauderdale / Miami areas. During morning rush hour the highways are busy! (I-95, Florida’s Turnpike and even Rte 1) .

Giving the uncertainty of the traffic situation, I generally recommend to avoid road transfers in the early morning (rental car, rideshare, taxi, shuttles) and to book a train ticket on either Tri-Rail or Brightline. After 9am, the traffic situation improves!

You also have to consider flight delays if you arrive on the morning of your cruise! It can get stressful if you arrive late AND you are still 2 hours or more from PortMiami!

Available Options

Nevertheless, here are your options:

  • Rental Car – I’ve seen rates as low as $55 one-way in a mid-size car. 1h30mins
  • Rideshare – Estimate about $80 for UberX (1 – 4 passengers with few bags). You may experience surge pricing during peak hours (just wait a while and try again). Pickup is on the Arrivals level.
  • Taxi – Don’t. It is too far.
  • Shuttles – Shared shuttles are not readily available. Private transport will cost upwards of $180 per one-way trip (up to 4 passengers).
  • Rail – Tri-Rail or Brightline to Miami (no service to PortMiami). Tri-Rail has a free shuttle from PBI to the station. Fare is $6.90 plus cost of one transfer ($16). 2 hours. Brightline will cost $15 – $35 depending on options plus cost of two transfers ($13 + $16). 1h15mins

Rental Car Advice

Once you arrive in Miami, not all rental car companies offer free shuttle transfers to PortMiami! Be careful who you book with and where you drop off!

For rental car options with free shuttles to PortMiami, please read Rental Car Drop off with Shuttles.

Rail Advice

Unfortunately neither Brightline nor Tri-Rail stops at Palm Beach Airport. As shown on the map below, you need a transfer service to either station.

Palm Beach Airport Rail Transfers
Palm Beach Airport to Tri-Rail or Brightline

The Tri-Rail transfer is a free bus service. To board the shuttle to Tri-Rail from PBI, follow the signs in the airport to Ground Transportation. The stop is located on Level One, Baggage Claim- you will see signs for TRI-RAIL.

A rideshare fare from PBI to these stations cost about $13 per trip.

Brightline takes you closer to the Port of Miami. Their Miami station is connected to PortMiami via the FREE MetroMover and FREE Trolley bus (but this takes a long time) or use rideshare for about $8 (recommended).

With Tri-Rail you normally disembark at the Miami Airport Car Rental Center and take rideshare from there ($18 and recommended) . You can also exit at the Tri-Rail station and transfer to MetroRail to reach downtown from where you can rideshare or use the FREE trolley bus.

Links

Please visit Tri-Rail for fares and schedules.

Please visit Brightline for fares and schedules.

Port of Miami Rental Car Drop off – FREE Shuttle

Port of Miami Rental Car Drop Off locations with shuttles closest to the Port are:

  • Downtown Miami – Hertz, Budget, Avis/Payless
  • Miami International Airport Rental Car Center – Alamo, Enterprise, National, Dollar, Thrifty

You may see other rental car offices and companies near PortMiami but those DO NOT provide shuttle services. If you book a car rental with any other company you have to arrange your own Port transfer.

Downtown Miami Rental Car Directions

Do not be intimidated when considering a Downtown vehicle drop or pickup! The streets are actually very easy to navigate; just take note of the one-way options and plan ahead! Please watch the videos below for clear directions!

Avis, Budget and Hertz are on the same one-way street! As shown on the map below, make sure you turn onto SE 2nd St near the Bayside Area. It is a one-way going west!

TIP – If you set your GPS to the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott you will arrive very close to these 3 agencies!

You will find Hertz, then Avis then Budget on the right side of the street so stay to the right as you drive west along SE 2nd St.

  • AVIS – Book Port Of Miami Shuttle For Cruise Ships, Q8M
  • Hertz – Book Miami – Port of Miami, 229 Southeast 2nd Street
  • Budget – Book Port Miami Cruiseship Shuttle (P2F)
Downtown Miami Car Rental Offices
Click to Enlarge – NOTE – Alamo, Enterprise and Sixt DO NOT offer shuttles to/from the cruise terminals from their downtown locations.

Miami International Airport Rental Car Center Directions

Alamo, Enterprise, National, Dollar and Thrifty rental car offices are located in the same building! Once you return the vehicle, you will be directed to their Port of Miami Shuttle van just outside the door. Sometimes the wait can be as long as 45 minutes depending on traffic.

Customers needing shuttle service to the Port of Miami must book the Miami Cruise Ship location (National – MIA/Dollar – MIAP01/Thrifty – PM4), as the return location and return the vehicle to the Alamo, Enterprise, National, Dollar or Thrifty rental counter at 3900 NW 25th Street (Miami Airport location) .

Cruise Port Miami Rental Car Locations
Cruise Port Miami Rental Car Locations

Please see this handy PDF with directions from avarious points around Miami – http://www.miami-airport.com/library/pdfdoc/Rental_Car_Center_Directions.pdf

Car Rental at Port of Miami

Downtown Miami Car Rental

Car Rental at Port of Miami can be confusing because there are no rental car offices at the cruise terminals! Here is what you need to know:

Let’s assume you arrived at PortMiami and cleared customs. How do you get to your rental car?

  • Use the free shuttle from your rental car company. But be aware only a few rental car companies offer free shuttle from PortMiami. Those are listed below.
  • User a taxi or rideshare (Uber/Lyft) to the rental car office of your choice. I highly recommend you go to the Miami International Airport Rental Car Center where you have a much larger choice of companies and vehicles.

If you use the free shuttle service, you will end up at one of two places – Downtown Miami or the Miami Airport Rental Car Center. Please look at the map below.

  • Hertz, AVIS/Payless and Budget shuttle vans will take you to their downtown offices. You will NOT be taken to the airport location!
  • National, Dollar and Thrifty shuttle vans will take you to the Miami Airport Rental Car Center. You will NOT be taken downtown.
  • That’s it – you have NO other choices!
Miami Car Rental Shuttles
Miami Car Rental Shuttles (click to enlarge)

Be aware the Downtown locations can get busy when there are several ships in Port at the same time. It is a shorter ride to Downtown but you may wait longer in line to get your vehicle.

If you are intimidated by the idea of driving in Downtown Miami, DO NOT BE! It is actually very easy to navigate. The airport area is rather busy and confusing with toll roads and major highways to consider.

Experienced cruisers prefer the Miami Aiport rental car location because all the rental car companies are represented and the process is generally easier and less frustrating than dealing with smaller offices!

Good luck with your car rental at Port of Miami experience! Here is more information about the Miami International Airport Car Rental Center.

Port of Miami Car Rental Shuttle

PortMiami Car Rental Shuttle

Which car rental companies provide shuttles to/from Port of Miami?

Hertz, Budget and Avis/Payless have Downtown locations with shuttles to PortMiami. DO NOT drop your vehicle at the airport when using these companies when planning to shuttle to the Cruise Terminals.

Companies with Port of Miami shuttles to/from Miami International Airport include National, Dollar and Thrifty.

Miami Car Rental Locations for Cruisers

There are two locations of note for cruise passengers – The Rental Car Center at Miami Airport and the Miami Downtown area near PortMiami.

Note – there are no rental car facilities at the PortMiami Cruise Terminals.

If you are planning to drop the car at either location, always make sure you use the CORRECT DESTINATION in order to use the FREE shuttle service to your cruise terminal.

Look for destinations such as “Dollar – Miami Cruise Ship” or “Miami – Port of Miami” or “Port of Miami – Shuttle for Cruise Ships”. Be very careful with this!

Then – check the address of the destination! As mentioned above, Hertz, Avis/Payless and Budget run shuttles from their downtown locations ONLY, whereas National, Dollar and Thrifty operate only between the Rental Center and Port of Miami!

Upon arrival by air at Miami International Airport, cruise passengers should follow the signs to the Rental Car Center (described in another post).

Miami Airport Car Rental Center

Miami Downtown Car Rental Directions

Here are two excellent videos with clear directions to the car rental locations in Downtown Miami.