Thursday, May 05, 2011

Accidental South Florida

Because the accursed Spirit Airlines canceled our original flight, we find ourselves with extra days to kill in dull-ville Fort Lauderdale instead of atmospheric Peru. We had resigned ourselves to dedicate this time to rest and reentry. However, as we are not used to low gear, a day was planned for South Beach, Miami for a revisit to the art deco buildings.

Getting from Fort Lauderdale to South Beach on public transportation turned out to be an interesting research project that intrigued both of us. We eventually settled on taking the express bus e95 (just a 10 minute walk from our hotel) to downtown Miami and then transferring to one of several regular beach bound buses.

South Beach was a success, since John took 500+ photos in a 6-hour span, which in my estimation, was not only a trip record, but a personal record for him. That was not a surprise. What really impressed us was the e95 bus! We first became enamored with Bus Rapid Transit in Bogota, Columbia. Since then we came across it in several cities. But in South Florida?! We chose the BRT over the train because of the frequency, speed, and cost. The bus went 26 miles on I95 in the express lane without a single stop, came every 15 minutes, and cost $2.35. Both ways the bus was about 90-95% full, of mostly commuters. In Fort Lauderdale, people mostly drove to the bus stop; in Miami they walked and transferred to other public transportation.

This trip has opened up new ideas for public transportation for us. There seem to be so much physical, social, and cultural barriers to public transportation in this country. The e95 has given me much hope.

E95 Bus at the Broward BLVD stop.
95 Express bus stop at West Broward BLVD - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Couple of Miami Beach Art Deco buildings. More to come!
Waldorf Hotel - South, Beach - Miami, FL

The Breakwater - South, Beach - Miami, FL

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