How not to make public transit tourist-friendly
After CNU, I rode Tri-Rail and Miami-Dade transit to visit a friend in Miami Beach. The Tri-Rail trip was fine; Miami-Dade transit, however, was more of an adventure.
When I left Tri-Rail, I transferred to Metro Rail (Miami's heavy rail system). At this particular Metro Rail stop, there was a schedule for a bus which went to Miami Beach. When I looked at the map, it appeared to me that the bus stopped at Tri-Rail. But when I looked at the timetable I didn't see Tri-Rail. So I wasn't quite sure whether the bus stopped at Tri-Rail or not. Lesson: bus schedules should reflect the maps and vice versa.
Just to be sure, I waited at a bus stop for 10 or 20 minutes. But the bus stop didn't even say which buses arrived at the stop, let alone list bus times. Bad, bad, bus stop.
Rather than waiting forever, I went to another Metro Rail stop that (according to the citywide route map) went to Miami Beach. Unfortunately, there were no route maps available at the Metro Rail stop, nor were there any available at the nearest bus stop. At this point I realized I had no idea when the bus would come. So I figured I would go downtown and find another bus. So I got on Metro Rail again, going to the downtown station (which I assumed would have plenty of bus maps). But again, no maps to be had!
At this point, I was almost ready to take a cab to Miami Beach. I went on Metromover (Miami's downtown-only monorail) to the stop closest to Miami Beach, and was lucky enough to find a bus there. Total commute time: 6 hours.
I think my odyssey is a fine example of how a transit agency can make a trip difficult and confusing, by (1) providing inadequate information (confusing bus schedules) or (2) by simply failing to provide bus schedules at bus or rail stops.
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