Whether you're planning to hit the clubs in South Beach, party with Pitbull at his free concert in Bayfront Park or spend a quiet night with friends, here are some tips for getting around Miami-Dade County on New Year's Eve.
Roads are often jammed as revelers try to pack into downtown Miami and Miami Beach. Public transit, taxis and ride-sharing services are usually a better bet than driving your own car. And remember: There is no excuse for being drunk behind the wheel. Not ever. It’s 2017, people. (Almost.)
Here’s some good news: Miami-Dade County will keep Metrorail and Metromovers service running all night long on Saturday. (Normally, service stops at 2 a.m.). And the county is giving away free one-day mobile passes (a $5.65 value) to the first 2,017 riders who download its EASY Pay mobile app between Jan. 1 and Jan. 30.
Metrobus will not have special hours.
In Miami Beach, party-goers can take advantage of free trolley service that runs until midnight Saturday on the city’s four routes: the Alton-West loop in South Beach, the North Beach and Middle Beach loops, and a new Collins Avenue trolley that will join the North and Mid Beach loops.
If you’re spending the day on the Beach, the city is partnering with a private company to launch a new water taxi service on Friday. The 38-passenger, bike-friendly vessel picks up passengers at the Miami Beach Marina and Purdy Avenue Dock in Miami Beach and Bayside Marketplace and Sea Isle Marina in Miami. One-way fares start at $15. Hours of operation run from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The city of Miami is offering only limited trolley service on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
When there’s a holiday or special event, veterans of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft know that means one thing: surge pricing.
When demand soars, so do prices. That’s to entice more drivers to get behind the wheel, the companies say. But consumers grumble. Last New Year’s, Uber fares in Miami Beach soared to nearly 10 times their normal cost.
Reps for Uber and Lyft pointed out that riders will see the total cost of their trip before they hail a driver, giving them a chance to approve the fare or look for another transit option if they don’t want to pay. (Uber says its up-front price is locked in. Lyft’s is an estimate that can change.) Both services also provide pooling options that offer lower prices in exchange for sharing your car with other users.
Uber said it expects fares to be highest between midnight and 3 a.m. Lyft also expects the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m hours to be busy.
Javi Correoso, a spokesman for Uber, said the company is rolling out a new feature in Miami this year called Uber Beacon that will simplify rider pick-ups, which can be hazardous and confusing when crowds are out in force. The “beacon” is a device placed on a driver’s windshield that can emit different colors of light. While they are waiting to get picked up, passengers can select a certain color. If they choose orange, for instance, they can look out for an Uber driver with an orange glow on the windshield.
“It’s a lot easier than saying ‘I’m in the black Honda across the street’ when there are so many vehicles out,” Correoso said. “It will make the pick-up process on New Year’s Eve not just more efficient but safer.”
Lyft is launching a similar feature in Miami in mid-2017. To cap off the year, the company also announced its most popular Miami destinations in 2016, with Wynwood a strong favorite. Both the most-visited restaurant (Bodega Taqueria y Tequila) and bar (Wood Tavern) are in the trendy arts neighborhood. Lyft also named the Wynwood Walls as a “trending” destination. You can expect all of Wynwood to be packed on New Year’s Eve.