Apple Maps Will Now Plot Your Depressing Public Transit Route in Miami

Traffic in Miami, on an average day, falls somewhere on the pain scale between a forced viewing of Michael Bay's latest Transformers movie and a Floyd Mayweather punch to the kidneys. Even worse, public transit is so lacking that most Miamians have no option but to bake in their cars on the Dolphin Expressway's acres of unmoving traffic. 

Ambitious ideas are brewing on how to improve transit in South Florida, from an expanded Tri-Rail system to a Baylink light rail between South Beach and downtown Miami. But for now, those are all pie-in-the-sky ideas.

So it's with mixed emotions that Miami greets the news that Apple has now added our metropolis to the list of cities with a searchable transit feature on its maps function.

On the one hand, the new feature is potentially invaluable for tourists or residents who find themselves stranded in an unfamiliar part of town. Just pop two Miami locations into the search, and Apple Maps will plot out a route using Miami-Dade buses, Metrorail, and Metromover.

(Google Maps, it's worth noting, already offers a similar transit plotting feature — it's not clear when its Miami search option went into effect.)

Apple added the feature to its iOS 9 system last summer with transit searches in 20 global cities. The new expansion reportedly adds the feature to Miami, Atlanta, and the UK's rail lines.

That's all great, except that using the function in Miami is all too often a depressing reminder of how difficult Dade County is to navigate using only the transit system. Try plugging in a few addresses on the northern and southern edges of the area and prepare to stare in horror at hour-plus estimates and labyrinthine directions involving six buses, three lengthy walks, and multiple waits.

Someday that Apple map might plot out a route to South Beach as simple as "Hop on Baylink," but until then, it might be best to save this new search option for emergencies only. 
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink