Cross Bay Express gets raves for ride, boos for price

Residents and tourists have mixed reviews about the new Cross Bay Express trolley between Miami Beach and Miami, saying they like the ride but the $5 fare, each way, may be too pricy.

The route from Miami to Miami Beach opened on Oct. 18. According to a press release sent out by the city, the purpose of the new route was to provide better mobility solutions for locals and tourists.

Vilma Vendriate, a tourist from Lithuania, said she enjoyed the ride with her four kids and husband, but thought that the price was too much.

“The view is beautiful and the ride is nice, especially if you sit on the second floor of the bus but I think it’s not cheap for a bus ride,” she said. “I have four kids, my husband and myself, so the round trip was $60, way too much.”

“I could have used some of that money to do something with my family,” she said.

Henriette Moreau, a tourist from France, was on the trolley from Miami Beach to Miami. She said that for a one-time ride it was a good option for her and her friends.

“We loved the bus ride,” she said. “For us it was a good way to travel around to both places. I don’t know if it works for locals because $5 seems like a lot of money if you take this route everyday but for us it worked out fine.”

According to the press release, the trolley operates from noon to midnight seven days a week, could hold 66 passengers per vehicle and stops every 30 minutes. In city of Miami the stops are in the Bayside Marketplace and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. In Miami Beach, the trolley makes a stop on the corner of Washington Avenue and Fifth Street.

Eugene Ramirez, the director of communications for the city of Miami, said in an email that the city has not received any formal complaints about the price.

“The Miami Cross Bay Express is a unique service, and therefore pricing cannot be compared to other forms of transportation,” he said. “It is an express route with limited stops, and allows riders to enjoy an open-air ride with beautiful views as they cross the causeway.”

“We are always looking to improve mobility in our City and provide better service to our residents. We are constantly studying firs/last-mile solutions. The administration has said many times before that the goal is to get the Miami Trolley beyond main arteries and into our neighborhoods,” Ramirez added.

Juan Delgado, a university student and resident of Miami, said that he likes the Cross Bay Express but that he prefers using his car because traffic in Miami could be chaotic.

“I rode the trolley just to try it,” he said. “In all honesty, I rather drive my car and waste the five dollars in putting gas in my car. I think it’s a bit overpriced for locals but for tourist it’s a pretty good deal.”

According to the Miami-Dade County transit website, the metro bus is $2.25 and the express bus is $2.65. Some Miami residents said they’d rather take public transportation because it’s cheaper.

Kylo Brown, another Miami resident said he also uses public transportation but that he liked the trolley ride to Miami Beach.

“I wouldn’t mind using this bus again but it could be pricey if people use it every day,” said Brown.