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.
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.
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*.
There are some ways these days to travel around Florida without breaking the bank. Although Florida is only the 22nd largest US state, the average distance between the largest 5 Florida Cities is 350+ miles. So what if your in Tampa or Orlando and want to see the famous shore of Miami Beach, FL or perhaps pay a visit to family in Naples or Bonita Springs, FL. If you don't know your traveling options this can make a trip from Tampa to Miami challenging and expensive.
A great way to travel from city to city in Florida is to book a shuttle bus. For only $49 flat rate you can visit most Florida cities in just under a few hours. Popular trips such a Naples to Miami, Sarasota to Tampa, Naples to Orlando and Orlando to Tampa provide florida travelers with the convience to travel to their destination in the moring and return in the evening. The biggest reason for most is not having to worry about the stress of the Florida Highways. The highways have become busy and are full of un-familiar drivers. An experienced shuttle bus driver will reduce the worry of having to get to your Florida destination on your own.
One thing to keep in mind is that Florida Shuttle Now offers shuttle bus transportation to 40+ major Florida cities. We operate from station to station and passengers will need to provide their own transportation to get to the stations in each city. Many travelers use ride share services such as Uber or Lyft to get to their shuttle bus station for just under a few bucks.
If you absolutely have to get your destination at a specified time and without having to find your way to a shuttle bus station. Many transportation companies offer private shuttle transportation services. On trips in Florida where getting to the destination at specified time such as a trip to the airport for a flight or cruise terminal many travelers are choosing for the private shuttle bus. Especially for groups over 5 passengers, the cost per person actually is lower than a shared bus, car rental or even Uber. Florida Shuttle Now provides Private Shuttle Transportation to any location in Florida. for 14 people Jacksonville to Orlando cost under $40 per person in a private shuttle van, so for large groups this is actually a more economical option than any other form of transportation.
Another option is to rent a car. The avergae cost in Florida for an economy car is $65 per day. This however does not include gas and any added insurance you may add to the cost of the rental. Also keep in mind you will need to navigate your way around florida, and eventhough GPS navigating is everywhere these days, most people prefer not to have to worry about trying to find their way around Florida themselves.That said, renting a vehicle is a very popular choice for those that enjoy the flexibility and don't mind the added cost.
Taxi or Ride Share:
Ride shares are convenient and show up on short notice in most Florida Metrpolitan areas. The do cost a bit more. from Miami to Orlando to costs $200 for an Uber. During peak hours if you add in surge chares that total fare could be double or triple as much. Ride-share options are great for short trips inside Tampa, Orlando and Miami etc. But for long trips a scheduled shuttle bus is more economical.
One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you book the shuttle bus atleast 48 hours in advance to ensure seat availability.