Sarasota to West Palm beach travel options?
November 29, 2016 3:06 PM   Subscribe

I need to get from Sarasota to West Palm Beach. All the major airlines have crazy routes like JFK to Sarasota to JFK to West Palm Beach. Even the bus had an all day travel time. It looks like with a car rental it'd be 3.5 hours, but I let my DL expire. Are there private car services that's make the trip? Like how there's dedicated NYC to the hamptons options? Or anything that's not crazy to get me across the state?
posted by geoff. to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Looks like Greyhound can do it in 5h 10m (not all-day) for as little as $38. Trailways has an identical fare for an identical travel time (which may mean some third-party contractor is serving both vendors).
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:21 PM on November 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Amtrak combo is bus to Tampa and train to WPB. 5 hrs more or less.

Silver airlines doesn't do it - maybe post on a ride share site?
posted by tilde at 3:21 PM on November 29, 2016

Can you get like a local enthusiast to take you up? Like a guy in a 152? I've never done that, I have no luggage. The problem is Amtrak/Bus is the same time and I'd really am on a short schedule.
posted by geoff. at 3:38 PM on November 29, 2016

You cannot hire private pilots, only commercial pilots. It's a whole mess of regulations. There have been some 'flight sharing' startups. Not sure if any of them exist any longer, or have gotten around that.
posted by so fucking future at 3:51 PM on November 29, 2016

Spirit Air goes from TPA to FLL which might cut some time for you. Bus or shuttle to TPA and train from FLL to Palm Beach.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:15 PM on November 29, 2016

looks like there is a charter operator operating out of Sarasota called Lift Air . It's pricey but doable. Note that when you book a charter flight you usually have to also pay for positioning legs to get the plane to/from its home base before/after your flight.
posted by noneuclidean at 4:21 PM on November 29, 2016

If you're considering a charter flight, paying someone to drive you is probably cheaper. Do you have a friend with a driver's license who needs some cash?
posted by insectosaurus at 5:48 PM on November 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

What is your budget?
posted by saladin at 6:07 PM on November 29, 2016

You can get an Uber or Lyft driver to do this. It's $0.85/mi and $0.13/min plus tolls and the booking and pickup fees, so it'll be cheaper than a charter flight or anything like that. I believe that would be around $200-$250.

If you have a day before your trip and the necessary documents you may be able to get your license renewed if it hasn't been expired too long. A car rental shouldn't be more than $50 or $60 at most, less if you rent off-airport. Florida limits one way fees in state, so it's usually only $10 on top of the normal day rate. Even if you feel the need to get the LDW you're still looking at less money than an Uber or Lyft. (You don't need liability coverage. The rental car company's policy is primary if you don't have your own insurance, so you're legal as long as you have a valid license)

FWIW a willing PPL can take you, they just can't have you pay for more than half the actual cost of whatever time you're in the plane, so you'd be paying at most a quarter of the actual cost, legally, unless you are traveling back to Sarasota.

MegaBus or Redcoach may be other bus options. I know they do Tampa-Lauderdale relatively nonstop, but I'm not sure whether they stop in West Palm. Even if not, MegaBus' stop in Fort Lauderdale is at a Tri-Rail station, so you should be able to take that up to West Palm if you take a morning bus.
posted by wierdo at 10:14 PM on November 29, 2016

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