Getting Around St. Petersburg, FL
The best way to get around St. Petersburg is by car. The roads are easy to navigate and parking is inexpensive. Within the downtown area, many attractions are within walking distance of one another, so if you're staying in the city, getting around by foot is another easy way to see St. Petersburg. The entire city can also be explored with the help of public transportation — buses and trolleys run throughout and the fare is relatively inexpensive.
To visit St. Petersburg, you can fly into St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), located about 12 miles north of downtown, or Tampa International Airport (TPA), located about 20 miles northeast of downtown. Though buses run between St. Pete-Clearwater airport and the city, the travel time can be more than double what it is by car. So the most convenient way to reach St. Petersburg (from both airports) is by either renting a car or taking a cab.
Parking is inexpensive and easy to find, making driving the best way to get around. Downtown offers ample street parking, and public parking along beaches generally costs less than $10 a day. The roads are also easy to navigate because they follow a grid system and the two major highways, I-75 and I-275, connect to surrounding areas. You can rent a vehicle at either airport or downtown from a number of car rental agencies, including Hertz, Enterprise and Avis.
For 35 years, BATS Taxi has served the entire city of St. Petersburg and its beaches. The company offers a flat rate to the airport and popular destinations. Another option is United Taxi, which charges a $2 pickup fee and $2.25 per mile.
The Downtown Looper Trolley is the best way to get around downtown when walking is not an option. It leaves every 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the time of day) from 14 stops, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Baywalk and Florida Holocaust Museum. The fare is 50 cents or free within the Free Fare Zone. The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority also offers other trolleys such as the Suncoast Beach Trolley that runs every 20 to 30 minutes to beaches from Clearwater to St. Pete Beach with a connecting service to downtown.
PSTA buses run throughout the city and cost $2 each way. You can also purchase a GO card on the bus for unlimited bus rides — a daily pass costs $4.50 and the seven-day card costs $20. Though the buses reach destinations farther than the trolleys, it's more convenient to rent a car if you plan on venturing outside of downtown.
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