While many guests choose to drive in from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to Key West, parking can be a pain around the island, (particularly during the winter and holidays). Renting cars can also be costly depending on the time of year (although it is a beautiful drive).
In a nutshell, here are the pros and cons:
- Good for getting flights out of Miami. It departs Key West airport at 8:30 am and arrives at Miami airport at 12:45pm.
- Free Wifi onboard and electric outlets
- Evening trips also available from Key West leaving at 5:45pm arriving at 10pm.
- They also go to Fort Lauderdale, although a stopover in Miami is required.
- The buses are gross, dirty, old and the drivers can be very rude
- Trips are more costly.
- Printed tickets required.
- Buses from Miami to Key West leave at awkward times (12:25pm and 6:25pm)
- Don’t leave from South Beach or Downtown Miami
- Does not go to downtown Key West
- Leaves South Beach at 7am, downtown Miami at 7:30 and arrives in Key West by 11:15 – so plenty of time to explore.
- Dirt cheap fares –from $9 one way!!
- Clean, new buses with plugs and WiFi and outlets
- Nicer staff, easy paper-free boarding process (no need to print)
- Leaves from downtown Key West
- They don’t go to the Miami airport (yet).
- No bus station: pick up at the side of the road (a problem if you get caught in the rain).
- The return time from Key West is 6:30pm – so you can forget about catching a flight back that day from Miami.
- Does not go to Fort Lauderdale
I’ve taken Greyhound many times in the past and while I have had a handful of smooth rides, there always seems to be some sort of issue/drama on every ride. On the last trip to Miami, I got a window seat that was absolutely filthy: I couldn’t see out of it. There was a child issuing blood-curdling screams for a solid two hours straight. When we stopped at the Burger King (a routine 20-minute break spot in Islamorada) a little spat broke out between the prickly driver (who had picked a fight with me in the past over nothing) and one of the passengers. The passenger made an insult to the driver, which the passenger immediately apologized for, yet the driver proceeded to call the police to have him removed from the bus. This is not the first time something like this has happened on a Greyhound trip – it’s always interesting.
Go Buses left from South Beach/Mid Beach (Lincoln Rd. Mall). The driver simply asked my name, tapped the iPad and I was in. The bus smelled fresh and looked clean. The stopover to pick up additional passengers in Downtown Miami (Bayview Park area) went smoothly, and overall it was a quiet, peaceful ride. Granted, it is still new so there weren’t too many passengers yet.
I’d also like to note that since the introduction of GoBuses, Greyhound has significantly reduced their prices. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Other Options to Get To Key West:
Florida Keys door-to-door Shuttle – Picks up and drops off door to door (or at airports) and in my opinion is an expensive, unorganized, and terrifying ride with crazy drivers. We took the Florida Keys shuttle once and will never do it again. The guy was driving like a maniac, the airport pickup location wasn’t clear, and he didn’t stop for the bathroom until I begged him to do so. Maybe others have had better experiences, but I really didn’t like it.
Public bus system: Takes forever (7 hours+ to Miami Airport) and involves a number of transfers between Monroe County and Miami Dade transit, and is pretty uncomfortable overall. You have to transfer between the Metrorail, 38 Max Bus, the 301 Bus between Florida City and Marathon, and the Keys Shuttle. It’s not ideal, but if you are desperate and need more info shoot us an e-mail.
Miami To Key West Bus: I have also seen this “tour” bus option, although haven’t yet tried it: (If anyone does and has feedback, please let me know). Their website looks a bit dated.
Ft. Myers Ferry: This comes from the west side of Florida (Ft. Meyers/Marco Island) to downtown Key West. I have not taken this, but a number of guests have and say it’s “OK.”
Found other new options? Let us know!
**UPDATE!! As of June 2017 Go Bus now goes to Miami Airport and Ft. Lauderdale Airport.
Dream. Drift. Discover
-Amber & Zappa