Get from Here to There
Commuting Around the County
Whether flying, hitting the highway, hopping on a bus or discovering pedestrian — and bike-friendly routes, Manatee County’s transportation infrastructure helps you get from point A to point B.
Connecting the region’s communities — from Parrish to Longboat Key, Myakka to Anna Maria, and everywhere in between — Manatee County Area Transit helps travelers have a smooth ride. Free trolley services are offered on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key and a Beach Express is available Sunday and holidays. Skyway ConneXion connects the heart of Manatee County to Pinellas County for those wanting to explore farther north. To plan your route, visit www.ridemcat.org.
For frequent fliers, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) offers nonstop flights to almost 30 destinations, including Asheville, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Nashville, New York City (JFK) & (LGA), Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Richmond, Syracuse, Traverse City, Washington, D.C., and Toronto, Canada. Convenient connections across the country and across the globe are easily available through major carriers.
With both domestic and international flights, as well as growth, it should come as no surprise that the airport’s traffic was up by 35 percent in 2018. The airport’s new 128-square-foot, state-of-the-art air traffic control tower is a vital investment and enhances air traffic controllers with greater visibility.
While enhancing passengers’ flying experience in the skies is a priority, so is catering to their needs on land. The airport recently completed its covered rental car lot. The 300-space project includes sun and rain protection to vehicles and individuals, as well as air-conditioned office kiosks. Likewise, the airport now offers a new shaded public parking lot, which is equipped with an automated entrance and exit.
The new Fort Hamer Bridge opened in 2017, connecting two of the fastest-growing parts of Manatee County — Parrish and Lakewood Ranch. It’s an incredibly scenic drive over the bridge and offers one more north-south connector for residents and visitors. Major interchange projects are planned or underway at I-75 interchanges in Manatee County.
Manatee County and its cities are also focused on pedestrian and bicycle amenities to foster a more walkable/rideable environment. s