Would you take a bus to South Beach?

South Beach Local leaving Belle Isle for Miami Beach.

Just about everyone has seen the South Beach Local circling Belle Isle. The SBL passes by every 12 minutes. It costs only 25 cents.

It will either take you straight to Publix and then to Washington Avenue and down around the southern tip of Miami Beach and back up West Avenue, or it will cross the bridge east and head south on West Avenue, back north on Washington Avenue, stop at Publix and return to Belle Isle. You can click on this and check out the precise route. SBL-Flier

The Belle Isle Residents Association worked hard to get the SBL to add our island to the route. Now they are working even harder to get people to ride it, producing and distributing fliers touting its convenience and benefits.

Why the big sales pitch? If Belle Isle residents — and visitors to and from the The Standard — don’t ride, we’ll lose it. Miami-Dade Transit folks are monitoring ridership on Belle Isle, and it isn’t too impressive so far.

I rode the SBL Saturday morning, I was the only one getting on.

But it’s an incredible deal for a quarter. It’s cheaper than parking, cheaper than a cab, and it’s comes by every 12 minutes. Of course, if it’s raining, waiting for the bus can be a bummer. And, sure, you could get a crazy or two as a seatmate. But if you moved to Belle Isle for a lifestyle that doesn’t require cars, it’s worth keeping.

What do you think? Have you been on the Local?

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5 responses to “Would you take a bus to South Beach?

  1. YES! We ride it almost every day, often using it to supplement our long walks. For example, we might head off on a long walk to the ocean and then down the beach to South Pointe Park, but then get the bus westbound on South Pointe Drive near Washington Ave. for the return trip home. Or, we might shop at Fifth & Alton and then use the bus to get our grocery bags back home.

    Re the “crazy or two . . . seatmate” worry – we haven’t seen such a problem. Most of the riders are ordinary folks and very civil to each other, with younger folks giving up seats to older when needed, etc. I find it a rather charming different world from some other common Sobe scenes.

    Belle Plaza resident

  2. Pingback: Update: lots of interest in South Beach Local bus « Belle Isle Blog

  3. Mary Kennedy Baumslag

    The Local is so great. But the difficulty has been
    that the route has been unclear. I moved here in
    late November and have used the bus about 6 times.
    I would have used it more except I couldn’t get the smallest piece of information from the very taciturn drivers.
    E.G:
    Is there a route map?
    Does this bus go to Washington Ave and, if
    not, which one does?
    (On the Washington Avenue end):
    Can you tell me where I can get the bus to
    Island Avenue?
    (That one was answered by “Where is that?”)
    On the Washington Avenue end I never did
    find the right bus stop.
    The Miami Dade website map is completely
    out of date and so small one can hardly see it
    online.
    One of the locals, waiting for the bus told me
    that the drivers do not like this route and that might explain the reticence in providing information.
    If you want to go to the movies, for example, and it is raining, the bus stops on West Avenue
    near Lincoln Road. All you need is an umbrella!
    Anyone from Manhattan, which is where I am from, would just die for such a wonderful and
    inexpensive service.
    To drive 3 or 4 blocks to get a croissant or a newspaper is just throwing money out.
    I love this bus and am so happy that in my building I have finally received a route map.

  4. Mary Kennedy Baumslag

    The Local is so great. But the difficulty has been
    that the route has been unclear. I moved here in
    late November and have used the bus about 6 times.
    I would have used it more except I couldn’t get the smallest piece of information from the very taciturn drivers.
    E.G:
    Is there a route map?
    Does this bus go to Washington Ave and, if
    not, which one does?
    (On the Washington Avenue end):
    Can you tell me where I can get the bus to
    Island Avenue?
    (That one was answered by “Where is that?”)
    On the Washington Avenue end I never did
    find the right bus stop.
    The Miami Dade website map is completely
    out of date and so small one can hardly see it
    online.
    One of the locals, waiting for the bus told me
    that the drivers do not like this route and that might explain the reticence in providing information.
    If you want to go to the movies, for example, and it is raining, the bus stops on West Avenue
    near Lincoln Road. All you need is an umbrella!
    Anyone from Manhattan, which is where I am from, would just die for such a wonderful and
    inexpensive service.
    To drive 3 or 4 blocks to get a croissant or a newspaper is just throwing money out.
    I love this bus and am so happy that in my building I have finally received a route map.

  5. I got a map of the bus route under my door a few days ago. That helps and I hope we don’t lose the service – does anyone know if you can carry your (small) dog on the bus?

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