Miami has always been lacking in the public transportation department. Not even the Underground Railroad had connections down here, it’s bullshit. You would think that one of the largest and most populous metropolitan areas in the United States would have decent transportation, right? WRONG.
Miami’s public transit system consists of the bus, the metrorail, the metromover, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement buses that’ll take your illegal ass to Krome Detention Center. Let’s go ahead and count cabs in there as well.
You may be wondering, “but Orlando, why is Miami’s public transportation system as shitty as Kirstie Alley’s personal trainer or Fox News’ coverage of anything ever if Miami is such a huge city with so many tourists?” Three words: Norman “Ass-fucking-dickhead-Satan’s-chode” Braman. That little swine-glazed pig-fucker has been effectively fighting mass transit reform since before Rosa Parks did that whole bus thing she did. In ’99 he fought mayor pretty-boy Penelas tooth and nail against his proposed one-cent tax that would’ve generated billions of dollars for a mass transit overhaul. Of course, he won, because he’s an asshole and his idea of morality is donating to a charity since it’s tax-deductible and not on account of it going to help some starving kid not die today.
Whatever, enough about Braman, I could go on all day about how he should be flogged by leather-clad midgets.
We’ve got what we’ve got, so let’s talk a little about the various forms of public transit at our disposal. Also, for shits and giggles, let’s talk about midgets too since I brought them up.
The Sadness Mobile: Metro Bus
I hadn’t ridden a bus since I was around 13 years old. I never really had a reason to since unlike 90% of the world (I pulled that number out of my ass, but it’s probably pretty accurate) my parents were lucky enough to have owned a car. However, unlike 90% of reporters (again, ass-number) I wanted to know what the fuck I was talking about before I wrote this article so I rode on the bus.
I took a route I like to title the “what the fuck am I doing?” route. I live in Brickell and needed to be at the hospital (Jackson) for something, so I figured this would be a perfect time to kill a few birds with one stone by riding both the rail to get there, and buses to get back home. I’ll detail the rail later. After I finish up what I had to do, I decided to ride the #12 bus south into the motherfucking ghetto like a boss. Once there, I got off and walked a couple of blocks to the #7. I took that bus to Overtown and got out. After I got mugged, stabbed, and died I got on the #21. Then off in downtown onto the #8 which dropped me off in Brickell right near my place.
Why did I take so many transfers when the #12 would take me south directly to the #8 which then drops me off right at home? Because of science. I needed a large sample group. I tried it again another time with this route which was, obviously, a lot quicker, but still an unnecessarily long trip. That’s the thing about buses; they’re subject to normal traffic flow.
I called it the sadness mobile because the whole time I tried this little experiment I saw nearly zero smiles. When I was on the #7 and I was getting off in Overtown one dude smirked at me because he knew I’d be raped and murdered shortly, but other than that it was a pretty serious ride. It’s because buses are soul-crushingly long rides. I can’t imagine having to pull that off every day for my morning work commute. Not only do you have to deal with traffic that we all deal with, but you have to deal with the fact that these buses don’t take highways and stop every 12 feet to let some random Ecuadorian maid or an aspiring rapper on/off.
The Miami bus routes are thorough. I looked it up online before my little trip so I wouldn’t end up somewhere dangerous, like Overtown, and was shocked at how it hits pretty much every nook and unfortunate cranny in our hellhole of a town. Props to that and also props to the fact that I had free wifi on one of them when I took one off the Dadeland metro rail station. Which brings me to rail.
Our Slow-as-shit Rail: Metro Rail
I rode this to a Panthers game once back when they still played in the Miami Arena. My dad almost got into a fight with some douchie teen that kept slinging spitballs. Since then I never bothered to do so until recently. As it turns out, there are Asians in Miami and they love to ride the rail.
Maybe it’s because they’re students living near UM and they take the rail to the hospital where they study medicine to make their parents happy the only possible way an Asian can. Or maybe trains remind them of China, except that Chinese trains are so much cooler than ours, but they’re still made in China so more than likely not nearly as safe.
Our rail wouldn’t be so bad if there were more stops. The vast majority of the Miami metro area goes without rail service since it only seems to hit up three key areas. The first is the general downtown area, of course, which is the central hub for the other two key areas. The second is south of downtown where it’s pretty much UM students that don’t drive because their tuition robs them of any opportunity to afford a car without resorting to cock fights and prostitution. The third are broke-ass areas like Culmer/Overtown, Allapattah, Martin Luther King Blvd., and Hialeah. Speaking of MLK boulevard, have you ever encountered an MLB blvd. in the United States without a Church’s Chicken? I haven’t. Have you ever not shit a stream of liquid after eating Church’s Chicken? I haven’t.
There have been various proposals to extend the rail to other areas, but Miami government works about as well as a Puerto Rican so those proposals have died along with Norman Braman’s soul.
The Hobomobile: Metromover
I ride the mover almost daily. In doing so, I’ve encountered a woman I wish to dub “the girl of my dreams but not really.” She looks like she’s eastern European, and she’s got the sexiest legs I’ve seen before 9 am. Everyone looks angry in the mornings though, including her, plus she’s always on her damn phone so I haven’t found an in yet to hit on her.
The mover is a favorite amongst homeless people because it’s free. It allows them to commute to the most-trafficked panhandling areas at specific times, and it also lets them move their stolen shopping carts full of cans and shit over to wherever the hell it is they take those things. I have seen a homeless guy literally piss inside a mover, and I looked at the little camera in there with disbelief. Normally, they’re maintained well and in good shape, but dude, a motherfucker pissed in there once.
Movers are convenient. If they would spread all the way north to that little midtown oasis I’d be a happy man, but this is Miami we’re talking about, and that extension would have to travel right next to a Braman BMW which means it’s never going to happen. If there were some sort of extension to South Beach I would give Braman a reach-around.
Haitian Exchange Program: Taxis
I think I had a non-Haitian cabbie once. Wait, no, that was in DC.
Our cabs aren’t bad. They disobey speed limits and turn down their radio when you’re on your phone. There really isn’t much more you can ask for except maybe to carry one of those little scented trees you dangle from the rearview mirror. I’ve been in some cabs that smell like teen spirit if that teen’s spirit had been dipped in manure that’s been peed on by a metromover hobo. It’s not the cabbie either, I’m sure he smells of wonderful dandelions and lavender. It’s strictly the back seat which is drenched in Kendall people sweat and failed sexual pursuits.
I wish tip was included in their little fare marker. The last thing I want to do after a night of drinking is doing percentage math with NPR’s Clint O’Neil interrupting reggae songs during Sounds of the Caribbean.
Damn this was long.
If you’re visiting Miami, great, welcome. Just remember that when Will Smith said “welcome to Miami” he didn’t go into detail about how to deal with transportation here. So rent a car.
Oh, almost forgot. I said I would talk about midgets. Midgets are awesome, and if my friends care about me they would rent me one for my birthday. What would I do with my rented midget? Well, all sorts of things. We would go to the zoo, he would sit atop my shoulders and we would take smiling photographs, and we would get ice cream.