The First Time Getting There…
Transportation to college is not as complicated as it used to be. That first time you drop your student off at a college, you will probably want to go with them and get them settled. Many of you will drive and many will fly into town. There are many transportation options when it comes to getting to Miami. The key is, that as time goes on, you most probably won’t be delivering and picking your student up very often. Here are some ways to get to them or get them back to you.
First, we are so lucky, because we have an (international) airport just 20 minutes from UM. Students have also been known to fly into Ft. Lauderdale and even West Palm Beach and drive, uber, carpool or super shuttle down the last leg of the trip. This makes flights plentiful and it is often easy to find fair prices on flights. Miami International airport serves as a hub for American Airlines. It is also frequented by Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin American Airlines, Frontier and many others. Ft. Lauderdale has all the standards as well as Jet Blue, Southwest and Spirit. If you are traveling within the state of Florida, there are various commuter flights; you just have to keep your eye on the fare reminder. You may also find good student fares on Student Universe, who has partnered with ULoop. Watch for promo codes on this site as well.
Getting to and from the airport isn’t a problem either. Of course, there is always Uber, but there are taxis too. There are also various private super shuttle services. Many students living on or very near campus take the metro rail, which has a direct stop at the airport. This option can be very efficient and affordable because you can avoid all the commuter traffic that builds near the airport especially during busy holiday times.
If you are traveling from S. Florida, there are buses that travel along the turnpike south on Fridays and north on Sundays only. Wanderu.com partners with bus and train companies from all over and offers many options including Greyhound, Red Coach and MegaBus. Be careful what you choose though as some of them may be very inexpensive, but that’s because your student may sit on a bus for seven hours to go what is normally about three, depending on the route and stops.
I kind of like the train although I admit I rarely take one in Florida. This may be the way to go. Check out Amtrak and Sunrail.com for schedules, the southern bus stop location for both Amtrak and Sunrail is in Hialeah, about 30 minutes away from campus, which means we are back to calling Uber. This too can lead to very long rides based on a number of stops. Try to find the most direct route which may sometimes mean bringing them to a more trafficked hub station.
One of my favorite options is carpooling. When I was in college, we would put a note on the dorm bulletin board if we were looking for a ride or a passenger. Today everything is much simpler. Students can put a note on various social media sites, their sorority/fraternity/club/dorm page, etc. and presto they have a ride. If you have a student driving back to school, should they have any type of car problems (broken down, flat tire) while in Florida, they should call Road Rangers at *347 and they will come to assist them for free. When driving back after a long holiday weekend (Thanksgiving, Winter break, Spring Break), there is a lot of traffic and a normal drive is often extended by hours. Some students will leave a few days prior to avoid this traffic (and parents, while you hate to see them go, it is far more comforting to know that they are not going to be on the road all day stuck in traffic.