Getting Around Palm Springs
The best way to get around Palm Springs is by car. Although you can walk most places downtown, you'll need your own wheels to explore the rest of the Coachella Valley. You can also take the bus to reach certain destinations throughout the city and beyond, or you can always hire a taxi. The easiest way to get from Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) – located 3 miles east of downtown Palm Springs – is to hop in a taxi or rent a car and drive.
Although downtown Palm Springs is very pedestrian friendly, you will need a car to reach many of the area's points of interest, including Joshua Tree National Park and the Coachella Valley Preserve . You can rent a car at the Palm Springs International Airport or from a local Palm Springs agency on South Palm Canyon Drive. Expect to pay roughly $40 to $50 per day for standard vehicles.
Downtown Palm Springs is best explored on foot. The city center – particularly along Palm Canyon Drive – features a sizable cluster of good restaurants and shops to keep you busy. However, to get farther afield, you'll need to rely on another form of transportation.
SunLine Transit Agency operates a bus that runs 15 routes (plus one commuter route) throughout Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. You'll need exact change to pay for a ride on board: $1 for adults, 85 cents for kids ages 5 to 17 and 50 cents for seniors. You can also purchase a day pass, which costs $2 per child and $3 for each adult, or a 10-ride pass for $8.50 per child and $10 for each adult. Passes are sold online.
One of the best routes for tourists is the green line (No. 24). This line travels throughout downtown Palm Springs. However, the bus system is known to be slow, and the hours are short (from about 5 or 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., with reduced operating hours for select routes and on weekends). What's more, buses generally only run every 20 or 40 minutes, so it's a good idea to have a backup form of transportation.
If you're in downtown Palm Springs on the weekend, you'll most likely be able to hail a taxi. But if it's a weekday or you're in another part of the city, you'll probably have to call one. There are several reputable taxi companies that operate in Palm Springs. A base rate of $2.50 or $3 is charged for all cab rides, and an extra $3 is added per mile traveled. An additional $2.50 is required for all rides that start at the airport. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are also available in Palm Springs.
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