Welcome! If you've been in Orlando for more than five minutes, you've probably already discovered one of our more fatal flaws – the congested traffic horror show we call I-4. If you're a newbie, we're sorry you missed the crowded parking lots under the interstate, but hey, at least you also missed the first two years of the I-4 Ultimate project, slated to make our lives hell until 2021. This transportation nightmare that we will all eventually be grateful for will rebuild 21 miles of I-4, add two tolled express lanes on both sides, reconfigure a handful of interchanges and replace more than 140 bridges. You already know you can avoid all that by yourself with Uber or Lyft, but there are other alternative options for getting from point A to point B in Orlando.
Getting your butt on one of those nifty orange bicycles is pretty easy – the Juice Bike Share program lets you reserve on its mobile app or online. After you find a bike, you enter a four-digit PIN code on the keypad to unlock the bike. When you're done, just lock it up at a Juice hub or leave it on a regular bike rack (though that will cost you $2). If it's just for a day, you'll pay $8 per hour, but locals can choose from three plans: For $15 a month, ride 60 minutes per day; for $20 a month, ride 90 minutes per day; and for students, there's a discounted plan of $59 a year for 60 minutes per day. Watch out for additional fees, though – if you go over your allotted time, it'll cost you 10 cents per minute.
City of Orlando has a car-sharing partnership with Zipcar. You can reserve a vehicle online or through a mobile app for one hour or up to seven days. You'll receive a Zipcard to unlock the car and then be on your merry way. Gas and insurance is included, and you'll get up to 180 miles of travel a day. To become a member, pay $7 a month or $70 a year, plus a $25 application fee. Use what would have been that monthly car payment to go on one of the road trips we'll show you later in this guide!
Free Lymmo buses
These free Lynx lines going around downtown are your ticket to not walking in 100-degree weather. The Orange-Downtown line goes from the Lynx Central Station to downtown and back every five to seven minutes, while the Orange-North Quarter line goes in a loop from Livingston Street to Magnolia Avenue, Marks Street and Orange Avenue every 15 minutes. The Grapefruit line travels east to west from the Amway Center to Lake Eola every 10 minutes, and the Lime line travels within Parramore, from the Creative Village to the federal court house every 10 minutes. Beat the morning congestion with this rapid-transit service and enjoy the free WiFi that's on all Lynx buses.
Central Florida's rail service connects riders through 12 stations in Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties, with stops from Sand Lake Road in Orlando's tourism district up to DeBary. SunRail's next expansion will open four additional stops in a 17-mile segment of Osceola County by 2018, with stations in Kissimmee, Poinciana and Meadow Woods. Another expansion to the north will eventually add 12 more miles to the rail service to connect the DeBary station to DeLand. A three-county round trip for an adult costs $7.50, or you have the option of getting a reloadable SunCard with weekly, monthly or yearly plans. SunRail is a good transportation alternative, but it travels limited hours and doesn't operate on weekends or holidays, so you might want to have more than one way to get around in your back pocket.
Coming, eventually: Brightline at the Orlando International Airport
You're going to have to wait a while for this one. The Brightline express train service plans to connect cities on the southeast coast all the way from Orlando through West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale to eventually reach Miami. The first phase of the project connecting the South Florida cities is expected to open this summer. But the Phase 2 extension to a station near the Orlando International Airport has been delayed by more than two years. So plan your trips accordingly for 2019, and in the meantime, stick behind the wheel for the four-hour journey down south.