The Bus System
Space Coast Bus System
Oct 2023, our car broke down and we used the Space Coast Area bus system
for getting around Melbourne for a week. It's not like a big city
system where buses come every 10 minutes, but it's not bad if you're not
in a hurry.
Groceries and Shopping:
The closest stop to Melbourne Harbor headed downtown is a ~10 minute
walk west (towards downtown) on Melbourne Avenue (the street out the
back), or if you prefer, there is also a companion stop, same
distance, just off New Haven downtown. There are sidewalks most of
the way on both walks, but we prefer Melbourne Ave due to not having
to cross US1.
This is Route 21, which winds around in downtown Melbourne, past
the Publix (fairly large grocery store) and a Laundramat at Melbourne
Shopping Center, past the airport, past both Holmes Regional Hospital
and Health First Medical Center, and to Melbourne Square Mall.
From Melbourne Square Mall you can get a transfer going up to Walmart and other shops in
that direction (Route
29). Also from there you can catch buses going south to Palm Bay (Route
25) and west to West Melbourne (Route
Buses run weekdays hourly or on the
half hour depending on time of day. Weekends it's less regular,
and some routes don't run at all on Sunday, so check the online schedule.
Going to the Beach:
The closest most convenient stop to Melbourne Harbor
headed east toward the beaches is also the stop ~10 minutes walk
west on Melbourne Avenue.
This is Route 30, which runs hourly. (see detailed weekday and
Saturday schedules on the Route 30 link).
This goes over to Indialantic
Beach, runs about 4 miles up A1A to the Walmart shopping center, and
comes back across to the Eau Gallie section of Melbourne.
Fares: Full fare is $1.50 and you can buy
e-tickets online using an app, or use cash, or obtain physical
tickets in certain places (see website for details). They do
transfers (ask on each bus as you get off for a transfer pass for
the next bus), so you can ride from downtown Melbourne all the way
to Por Canaveral for a single fare (ie anywhere the bus system
Students at local colleges can ride
free and there is a $.75 discount fare for over 60's, and military.
However, you have to register on the website (and upload id
documents as proof) and it takes a couple of days for this to be
approved. Approval comes by email (and I think an ID card should
arrive eventually in the mail). Details
If you are a Melbourne city
resident, I believe the #21 bus is free by showing an ID, though I
didn't find that info anywhere on the website, but a rider and a bus
driver both told me that was true.
Apps that you should have:
Google Maps (worked very well if you change the
directions page to "transit" rather than driving).
Just put in your start location and your desired endpoint, and it
will show you where to catch the bus, what route it takes,
transfers, and what stop to get off on. There are settings in
Maps that let you specify for the route "less walking" or "fewer
transfers" or "quicker". Google seems to know the bus schedule
(but the bus tracker is more accurate).
Transit Bus Tracker. This has a "live view" of where
each bus is, useful if you are standing at a stop wondering when/if
the bus will come. It shows a map, and each bus on the route
you are looking for.
Token Transit. This
is the app needed to buy passes online. This app is used by
many bus systems, so when you install, you'll need to chose the bus
system "Space Coast Area Transit". The first time you use the
app after downloading, it will give you a free pass (don't ask for
the free pass until you are soon to get on the bus, it has an
expiration time of 2 hrs). The app will keep prompting you
each time you open it until you claim that free pass.
It IS possible to ride without a
smartphone. You can pay cash for your fare and there are paper route maps on each
bus for that bus and nearby routes.
The bus will ONLY stop at
The buses are clean and air
conditioned, and they seemed safe.
Buses are equipped for bicycle,
surfboard, and wheelchair use.
It's pretty easy. I went on
my first bus ride totally unprepared (without all the tips above).
The bus drivers were nice, the riders were nice. Everyone was
Rental Car Companies
The Melbourne Airport has the
following car rental agencies on site or nearby:
Avis, Hertz, Alamo, National,