Navigating Miami: A ‘Cane’s Guide

Miami's Metrorail embarks on its route on December 28, 2022. Photo Credit: Phillip Pessar

Miami has long been known for its sprawling beaches, lavish nightlife and vibrant gastronomy. But when singing the city’s praises, most people will add that a car is much more necessary to get around.

As you prepare for your new academic journey, one of the essential aspects to familiarize yourself with is getting around campus and exploring the bustling Magic City. Don’t have a car? Not to worry– here are some tips about how to get from Point A to Point B this year.

Orientation and Campus Tours

Students should take advantage of orientation programs and campus tours offered by the University. Led primarily by other UM students, these sessions show the layout of the campus, important buildings, and key facilities like libraries, dining areas and the Student Health Center. Understanding the campus geography early on will save you a lot of time (and stress) in the long run.

Bicycles and Scooters

Many students prefer using bicycles or electric scooters to get around campus. The University of Miami is generally bike-friendly, with bike racks scattered throughout the campus between academic and residential buildings. You can also explore apps like Lime or Bird for scooter rentals.

However, some sidewalks on campus can get narrow, especially when everyone is rushing to their next class. Be mindful and alert when using one of these on-campus, and also be sure to register your bike with UMPD.

Shuttle Services

The university provides the Hurry ‘Cane shuttle services that operate on various routes around campus. Those routes are known as Miller Circle Stanford Express and the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Science which leads to the Key Biscayne marine campus. Generally, there are a few shuttles on each route during the typical weekday, running from 7am – 10pm.

If you’re ever curious about a shuttle’s route or its location, you can also check the Shuttle Service Live Map on UM’s website.


Miami has a generally reliable public transportation system, including buses and Metrorail services. The stop next to campus (conveniently titled “University Center”) has two trains, one going Northbound and one going Southbound. The stops along the Metrorail can be found on this map.

The Metrorail is also a safe and low-budget option for those looking to get to Miami International Airport.

In addition to the Metrorail, an all-new public train called Brightline takes travelers between Miami and Orlando International Airports. For students from Central Florida or anyone looking to make a getaway to Disney with other UM students, this isn’t such a bad option. However, it can be more pricey and can run out of seats quickly, so be sure to book your seats with plenty of time.

Rideshare Services

Uber and Lyft are the most popular rideshare services in Miami, offering convenient and affordable transportation options. Download their respective apps on your smartphone, and you can request a ride from almost anywhere in the city. These services are particularly useful when you need to travel longer distances, getting to and from the airport, or if public transportation options are limited.

Bolt is another rideshare service available in Miami. It operates similarly to Uber and Lyft, providing an alternative option for getting around the city. Curb is a taxi-hailing app that allows you to book traditional taxis through your phone. If you prefer the familiarity and regulated rates of traditional taxis, then Curb is a convenient option.

Trolley Services

The City of Miami operates a free trolley service, offering several routes that connect key neighborhoods, attractions and transportation hubs. The trolleys are air-conditioned and wheelchair-accessible, making them a convenient and eco-friendly way to explore various parts of the city.

Since UM is situated in the Coral Gables area, the Coral Gables Trolley is a free and popular mode of transportation for those looking to explore the town. The trolley operates on different routes and connects to shopping districts, parks and the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus.

Miami Beach also offers a free trolley service that runs along several routes, making it easy to explore the vibrant beachfront neighborhoods. The trolley is an excellent way to travel between South Beach, North Beach and other popular destinations.

Using rideshare services and trolleys can be an excellent addition to your transportation toolkit in Miami. Rideshares offer flexibility and door-to-door service, while trolleys provide a budget-friendly and eco-conscious option for exploring the city’s various neighborhoods. Make sure to check the respective apps or websites for up-to-date information on routes, schedules and any service changes.


Zipcar is a car-sharing service available in Miami, allowing you to rent cars by the hour or the day. The service is particularly beneficial for occasional needs like grocery shopping, weekend getaways, or when you need a car for a short period. It’s an especially great alternative to car rentals as the membership is only $35 for students to have a full year of access and pickup locations are located throughout campus.

Students can easily reserve and unlock the vehicle using the Zipcar app, and a gas card is located inside the vehicle to fuel up for the next ‘Cane.


When in doubt, embrace walking as a daily exercise and a means of exploration. The compact nature of the campus makes walking an ideal option for getting from one class to another. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and light layers, especially during the warm weather. Plus, carry an umbrella around just in case the Florida rain decides to make a quick stop on campus.

Most importantly, enjoy your time in Miami, make sure to budget your travel appropriately and stay vigilant no matter the option you choose. However you decide to get around, take in the fact that there’s truly nothing like living in the 305.