Jumping On The Jitney

<p>Rising gasoline prices are breathing new life into the Miami's niche jitney service.</p>
May 20, 2008, 11am PDT | Mike Lydon
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"With gas prices topping $4 in parts of Miami, some are ditching their cars and jumping on the jitney.

The minibus transportation system, which first popped up in South Florida in the 1920s, has long been a cheap and dependable way to get around the city.

The jitney, the common name for a shared taxi, is appealing to some for several reasons. Unlike the bus, which has a fixed schedule, jitneys zoom by seemingly every five minutes. They have routes throughout the county, will make stops anytime you ask, and only cost $1 -- a third cheaper than Metrobus.

And thanks to their size -- slightly bigger than a van but smaller and quicker than the bus -- jitneys can slip in and out of traffic, slicing the commute.

'I don't like taking it, but it's faster,' said Marie Rodriguez, who uses the jitney to get downtown from Little Haiti at least three times a week. 'I have a bus pass, but there's just so many stops. I'd rather take this.'"

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Published on Monday, May 19, 2008 in The Miami Herald
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