Do I Need a Car?
Yes, unless you work and live downtown.
Our public transportation is not the most efficient method of transportation and doesn’t cover a big part of the metro area.
If you want to rely on public transportation, you better live on the eastern side of the Omaha area. There are more routes and busses. The west Omaha suburbs don’t have a lot of great transportation options.
Even if you work from home, you might still need a car. Omaha has very few walkable neighborhoods.
Compared to other big cities, Omaha’s traffic is not too bad. You can get to most parts of the cities in 15-20 minutes. During rush hour, it will take longer, but not that much longer.
During the morning rush hour, traffic is heavier from west to east (people living in West Omaha commuting downtown for work). And during the evening commute, it’s the opposite.
The bus system in Omaha is called Metro. It used to be called Metro Area Transit or MAT for short. So if you hear some people call it that, that’s why.
Busses are equipped with GPS. If you download the MyRide OMA app, you can plan your trip, get real-time bus information, and more.
In late 2020, Metro introduced Omaha Rapid Bus Transit (ORBT).
The goal of ORBT is to be a faster and more convenient method of transportation between Westroads Mall and downtown.
I did list public transportation is one of the bad things about Omaha.
Uber & Lyft
Yes, we have Uber and Lyft as well as public taxis.
zTrip is a large taxi company in Omaha that offers scheduling via phone or an app.
If you want to rent a bike, check out Heartland Bike Share.
There a lot of locations in the eastern part of down (Downtown, Midtown, etc).
A short term pass is $12 while a monthly pass is $20.
Omaha currently works with two scooter rental companies: Lime and Spin.
Carpooling Perks for Students
Ride share programs are popular in Omaha. If you work or attend school at Metropolitan Community College, you can go to metrorideshare.org to find people to carpool with. The University of Nebraska-Omaha also gives lower rates and special parking passes for people that carpool to campus. Although there are no benefits like HOV lanes, a lot of schools in the area and some businesses in low-parking areas give some perks still.
Omaha’s airport is a hidden gem of the city. I created a separate Guide to Eppley Airfield.