Public transportation + walkability in Lakeland

For the days when driving isn’t possible (or you’re hoping to save the mileage on that sweet ride), check out our guide to walkability and public transportation.


Photo via Rut Patel

Photo via Rut Patel

Table of Contents

Between the plethora of coffee shops, sports games, and arts + culture venues, there are a lot of spots we want to travel to around Swan City. For the days when driving isn’t possible (or you’re hoping to save the mileage on that sweet ride), check out our guide to walkability and public transportation in Lakeland.


Out of a possible score of 100, Lakeland scored 35 on Walk Score’s walkability meter. To put it briefly, that makes Lakeland a car-dependent city. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get around the old-fashioned way with a few workarounds. Check out our examples of a walkable day in these Lakeland districts:


  • Park in the Main Street parking garage.
  • Head over to Catapult Lakeland and get a day pass for a day of remote work. | 5 minute walk
  • Grab lunch at one of The Joinery’s five food stalls. | 4 minute walk
  • Take a stroll around Lake Mirror while your lunch settles and head to Black and Brew Coffee House & Bistro for an afternoon tea, coffee, or craft soda. | 10 minute walk
  • End your downtown day with dinner + drinks at The Terrace Grille, across the street from your parked ride. | 3 minute walk


  • Park your car in the Dixieland Mall parking lot, (near Good Thyme and Concord Coffee).
  • Speaking of Concord, stop by for your morning coffee + a place to work, gather, or settle in with a good book. | 1 minute walk
  • Head across the street for lunch at Subs ‘n Such. | 2 minute walk
  • Let your lunch settle while you do some light shopping at The Shop Across the Street. | 2 minute walk
  • Pop into Union Hall to end your day with some live music or line dancing, just across the street from the Dixieland Mall parking lot. | 2 minute walk

Not in the walking mood? Hitch a ride on a Citrus Connection bus or The Squeeze Shuttle.

Citrus Connection

Finding routes

  • Polk County’s public transportation service offers rides six days a week (Monday-Saturday) with one additional route, Route 30, running on Sundays in Winter Haven. You can find specific routes, such as the purple line connecting Lakeland to Winter Haven and other central Lakeland routes, online.

Purchasing rides

  • Purchase a reloadable SMARTCARD for $2 at any of these locations. Once purchased, you can load it with options including Senior, Disabled, ADA, Day Pass, 7-Day Pass, and 31-Day Passes.
  • Don’t have a pass? You can purchase one-way fares and day passes with cash, but exact change is required.


  • Children | Free transit for children under the age of seven when accompanied by an adult
  • Students | Free transit for high school students beginning Wed., Aug. 10 via the COLTS (Community of Learning Transportation Services) Program
  • Older adults and adults with disabilities | Discounted daily, weekly, and monthly passes with proof of eligibility
  • Polk State students and faculty | Free rides via the Universal Access Program with proof of a valid Polk State ID badge


  • All Citrus Connection buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts. Additionally, individuals with disabilities and older adults can inquire about eligibility for the paratransit service, a door-to-door, call-ahead fleet of small buses.

The Squeeze

  • This fare-free downtown circulator offers quick shuttle service roughly every 12 minutes on Fridays + Saturdays from 4-11 p.m.

Did we miss your go-to walkable destination or public transportation hack? Tell us about it, we’re itching for an afternoon on the town.

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