The Fort Lauderdale metro area is laid out in a grid system, and only myriad canals and waterways interrupt the mostly straight-line path of streets and roads. Nomenclature is important here. Streets, roads, courts, and drives run east–west. Avenues, terraces, and ways run north–south. Boulevards can (and do) run any which way. For visitors, boutique-lined Las Olas Boulevard is one of the most important east–west thoroughfares from the beach to downtown, whereas Route A1A—referred to as Atlantic Boulevard, Ocean Boulevard, and Fort Lauderdale Beach along some stretches—runs along the north–south oceanfront. These names can confuse visitors, since there are separate streets called Atlantic and Ocean in Hollywood and Pompano Beach. Boulevards, composed of either pavement or water, give Fort Lauderdale its distinct "Venice of America" character.
The city's transportation system, though less congested than elsewhere in South Florida, suffers from traffic overload. Interstate 595 connects the city and suburbs and provides a direct route to the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades, but lanes slow to a crawl during rush hours. The Intracoastal Waterway, paralleling Route A1A, is the nautical equivalent of an interstate highway. It runs north–south between downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach and provides easy boating access to neighboring beach communities.
To hop around Fort Lauderdale for free, catch an orange-bottomed, yellow-topped Sun Trolley, running every 15 minutes. Sun Trolley has expanded its presence with several routes, covering downtown, Las Olas, the beaches, and Galt Ocean Mile. Sun Trolley’s popular Las Olas and Beaches route passes from downtown through Las Olas and then north on A1A. Wave at trolley drivers—yes, they'll stop—for pickups anywhere along the route. It’s best to review the Sun Trolley map online, and identify the designated stops to be sure they stop where you are going, before using this as your means of transportation.
Meters in Yellow Cab taxis run at rates of $4.50 for the first mile and $2.40 for each additional mile; waiting time is $0.40 per minute. There's a $10-fare minimum to or from seaport or airport, and an additional $2 service charge when you are collected from the airport. All Yellow Cab vehicles accept major credit cards. Uber has a large presence in Fort Lauderdale much to taxi drivers’ chagrin. Though there’s constant talk of eliminating Uber in Broward County, it is still going strong.
Sun Trolley (954/761–3543. www.suntrolley.com.)
Yellow Cab (954/777–7777. www.yellowcabbroward.com.)