Getting Around Galveston
The best way to get around Galveston is by car, as it offers the most freedom to reach places of interest on your own time. Galveston's Island Transit bus system is another option for getting around, but visitors will have to supplement their night travel with taxis since the bus halts service in the early evening.
Most travelers fly into Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), which is about 70 miles north, or the William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), about 40 miles northwest, and rent a car to drive the remaining hour or so it takes to reach Galveston Island. Alternatively, visitors can take shuttles, such as the Galveston Express, for $25 to $30 one-way or $50 to $60 round-trip to and from both airports.
A rental car will give visitors the most flexibility. Unfortunately, Galveston Island is prone to heavy traffic and frustrations with limited parking, so visitors should keep that in mind while making their itineraries. Both nearby airports offer major car rental companies, such as Avis, Hertz, Budget and more. There are also several Enterprise locations in Galveston and along the coastline.
Galveston's Island Transit offers seven color-coded routes that thread through the island; most of them start operating around 6 a.m. and halt services around 7 p.m. each day. A limited Lifeline route runs extended nighttime hours. Buses and trolley buses cost just $1 for a one-way ticket for adults; and 50 cents for kids ages 6 to 18. Rides are free for children 5 and younger. Visitors especially seem to appreciate the trolley for its ambiance and drops at places like Moody Gardens and downtown Galveston. Tickets can be purchased from the Downtown Transit Center, located on The Strand and 25th Street, right across from the cruise ship terminal. And for just $9 one-way, the Island Express bus will take travelers from Galveston to Houston.
Visitors will find a handful of local taxi companies in Galveston. Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft also operate within the Houston and Galveston areas.
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