And How we did it under two and half hours for $55
Just a few miles from Punta Gorda, FL lies Port Charlotte FL population just under 60,000 inhabitant. This beautiful coastal town on the Gulf of Mexico is just visited frequently by travelers who love the not so crowded charm and nature of Port Charlotte Florida. Some, visit family members on a weekend trip. No matter what your reason for visiting, almost everyone at some point must leave and that ussually means flying out from Orlando, Miami or Tampa to their final destination. It's no secret that traveling without a car from Port Charlotte can be a bit of a hassle. Ride Sharing services such as Uber or Lyft haven't really developed like they have in the busy Florida metropolitan ares.By the way, taking an Uber out of town can become quite costly when you start adding up the miles.
You can take Amtrak:
Good Luck. We tried finding a trip from Orlando to Port Charlotte and figured out that after having to get on a crowded bus for 3 hours from Port Charlotte to the Amtrak Station we still had and hour and half to travel by train. Total cost? about $46 plus taxes. Not a bad deal if you don't mind taking 5 hours out of your day traveling to Orlando from Port Charlotte.
There's also the Greyhound Bus
If we were going to have to travel by bus anyway why not book a ticket with greyhound? This was a better option and more direct (we traveled from station to station) however for $48 plus taxes the time it took was still 5 hours and 25 minutes. There had to be a better way?
With one google search we found a local Shuttle Bus company that operated daily shared shuttles to most major cities in Florida. We did a little research and found out Florida Shuttle Now runs two daily routes along the east and west coast from Orlando - Miami and back. Every major city in between these routes is covered. The best part was that the pick up time was at 10:30 AM and we arrived Orlando by 1PM. This two and half hours trip would only take half the time Amtrak or Greyhound did and the cost is about the same. We had a friend drop us off at their pick up station around 10:15 AM (the company recommends showing up about 15 minutes early). We paid $49 including tax for a ticket and were super impressed by this service. The vehicle we took was a mini-van, however the driver explained depending on the time of the season they operate larger buses too. It didn't matter to us, the van was clean, the driver was good and we got to Orlando Aiport in about half the time.
One thing to keep in mind, if you're traveling last minute (withing 48 hours) the company does recommend calling their toll free number to confirm availability 1-888-540-0814. You can book directly online and will get an email confirmation. After that, all you have to do is to show up at the shuttle bus station. Which by the way is located at the Pilot Gas Station 26505 Jones Loop Rd, Punta Gorda, FL *exit 161*.