Ft Lauderdale Station / First Amtrak trip

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Joined
Apr 25, 2021
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3
Location
South Carolina
I am taking my first ever Amtrak trip to Ft Lauderdale this summer. I will be traveling alone (middle age female) and the person I am going to visit does not have a car. How safe is the station in Ft Lauderdale to wait at until a Lyft or Uber driver can pick me up? It will be early evening around 6 when I arrive if train is on time. So not dark

Any other advice for a first time Amtrak traveler is appreciated. 15 hour trip. I have a roomette. I am so excited about the trip.
 

blueman271

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Oct 16, 2003
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SE CT
I have felt perfectly safe in that neighborhood waiting for trains and busses numerous times with a couple of caveats. One, the last time i rode Tri-Rail was ten years ago and two I’m a fairly large (6’2”, 260 LBS) male. I think its safe but I fully understand why others may not. According to the Amtrak website the station is open until 6pm so if your train is on time the station will still be manned and you can wait for your ride in the waiting room. I hope this helps. I’m originally from South Florida so if you have any questions about the area please ask. Enjoy your trip, it’s going to be a blast.
 
Joined
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South Carolina
I’m meeting my son so he may take a Lyft and wait for me at the station then we will get another Lyft back to his place. This younger generation that just takes Uber or Lyft everywhere vs having a car 🤦‍♀️😁. But to be fair his work is in walking distance of where he lives. I told him that will change when he gets married and has kids and has to deal with car seats.
 

me_little_me

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There's no problem at all in Ft Lauderdale. We are well into our 70s and have been dropped off and picked up by Uber/Lyft more than once and have no fears. Just be aware of your surroundings and relax. People that look like targets are.
Those that look like they might fight back, yell or do something are avoided by most criminals. So if someone is making you feel uncomfortable and nobody else is around, call 911. And don't foolishly put your phone in your purse where it takes time to get it out. Hold it in your hand - UNLOCKED - or in a pocket.

When we have been in places where we really, really felt uncomfortable, I would dial 911 on my phone but not hit SEND and hold it in my hand so all I had to do is hit one button. I would always remember - FIRST is your location, SECOND is your issue THEN wait for them to ask you additional information. Remember, if all they get is your location, they know where to go even if they don't know what is wrong. I figure my screaming after that would tell them what I need if I can't say anything else. My wife is bad about that. When she calls 911, she says "My name is ..." Who the hell cares what your name is when you need 911? If they want that and you can give it to them AFTER where and what - but NEVER first.

And learn from my experience. When I was doing traffic control as a volunteer with the local sheriff's office, some idiot ran over my foot accidentally and it twisted and knocked me down. The other guy called in "Officer Down" before I could even say I was not hurt bad. You can't believe how many deputies and city police showed up before I could even stand up! I will always remember those two words if I am in deep, deep trouble. They may get upset afterwards (they got mad at my partner) but I got instant help! And I always tell my wife "Look for a fire alarm and pull it -no matter what you need!" Police and ambulances may be busy but firemen ALWAYS come as fast as they can drive. They don't have guns but they have big LOUD trucks, big guys and big axes.
 

flitcraft

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And I always tell my wife "Look for a fire alarm and pull it -no matter what you need!" Police and ambulances may be busy but firemen ALWAYS come as fast as they can drive. They don't have guns but they have big LOUD trucks, big guys and big axes.
I was taught years ago in a self defense class that if you're being attacked by a rapist, don't yell "Rape!" yell "Fire!" for similar reasons. Luckily I've never had to test it out.
 

me_little_me

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I was taught years ago in a self defense class that if you're being attacked by a rapist, don't yell "Rape!" yell "Fire!" for similar reasons. Luckily I've never had to test it out.
Yup! Everyone runs away from a crime. Everyone wants to see the fire!
 

Michigan Mom

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Whether you're going on the Silver Star or the Silver Meteor, the train is scheduled to arrive at Ft. Lauderdale in the late afternoon/early evening. Well before dark if on time. I've been to both the Lauderdale and Hollywood train stations, I actually prefer the Hollywood station depending on where we're going, in either case it felt safe and took no time at all to get a cab, Uber or Lyft. There will be others detraining so you shouldn't feel isolated, more like an airport ground transportation stand, with all the rider services trying to find their customers.

Edit: also, since this is your first LD trip, know that you are going to have a lovely journey. Take along the little things you can't do without, because you can never be sure what might be available on the train. If you're a light sleeper, bring foam earplugs. If you have to have green tea in the mornings, bring a couple of your favorite variety. These are examples obviously, just think about what you find essential. Absolutely, positively, definitely, bring along a large canister of cleaning wipes - the industrial disinfectant variety - and also another form of hand sanitizer, such as a spray or gel that is ok to use on your skin. This is the most important thing I can think of and this was true BEFORE the pandemic.
 
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Devil's Advocate

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Texas
I am taking my first ever Amtrak trip to Ft Lauderdale this summer. I will be traveling alone (middle age female) and the person I am going to visit does not have a car. How safe is the station in Ft Lauderdale to wait at until a Lyft or Uber driver can pick me up? It will be early evening around 6 when I arrive if train is on time. So not dark Any other advice for a first time Amtrak traveler is appreciated. 15 hour trip. I have a roomette. I am so excited about the trip.
I wouldn't worry too much about station security in this situation. That being said I have started ensuring child locks are disengaged when a ride share shows up. Better safe than sorry and all that. The best advice on your first trip is to expect the unexpected and try to let the little things roll off your back. Normally I'd suggest a shorter first trip but you'll be fine if you don't sweat the small stuff. Watch some YouTube videos to get a feel for how things work but stick to Eastern trains and keep in mind that anything older than a year might be out of date.

I was taught years ago in a self defense class that if you're being attacked by a rapist, don't yell "Rape!" yell "Fire!" for similar reasons. Luckily I've never had to test it out.
Yup! Everyone runs away from a crime. Everyone wants to see the fire!
We concluded that when the situation provides little information bystanders help more frequently to “Help, rape” than to the “Fire” message. Under conditions of high information, Fire is the least successful message in attracting indirect help and we concluded that Fire is not statistically superior at attracting direct help.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
3
Location
South Carolina
There's no problem at all in Ft Lauderdale. We are well into our 70s and have been dropped off and picked up by Uber/Lyft more than once and have no fears. Just be aware of your surroundings and relax. People that look like targets are.
Those that look like they might fight back, yell or do something are avoided by most criminals. So if someone is making you feel uncomfortable and nobody else is around, call 911. And don't foolishly put your phone in your purse where it takes time to get it out. Hold it in your hand - UNLOCKED - or in a pocket.

When we have been in places where we really, really felt uncomfortable, I would dial 911 on my phone but not hit SEND and hold it in my hand so all I had to do is hit one button. I would always remember - FIRST is your location, SECOND is your issue THEN wait for them to ask you additional information. Remember, if all they get is your location, they know where to go even if they don't know what is wrong. I figure my screaming after that would tell them what I need if I can't say anything else. My wife is bad about that. When she calls 911, she says "My name is ..." Who the hell cares what your name is when you need 911? If they want that and you can give it to them AFTER where and what - but NEVER first.

And learn from my experience. When I was doing traffic control as a volunteer with the local sheriff's office, some idiot ran over my foot accidentally and it twisted and knocked me down. The other guy called in "Officer Down" before I could even say I was not hurt bad. You can't believe how many deputies and city police showed up before I could even stand up! I will always remember those two words if I am in deep, deep trouble. They may get upset afterwards (they got mad at my partner) but I got instant help! And I always tell my wife "Look for a fire alarm and pull it -no matter what you need!" Police and ambulances may be busy but firemen ALWAYS come as fast as they can drive. They don't have guns but they have big LOUD trucks, big guys and big axes.
Thanks so much for great advice
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Fire is a universal fear. Yelling Fire and people will come running. Yelling Help, people lock there doors. Part of this is a fire will spread and consume. While call for help, people just don’t want to get involved.

I try not to do either, but it amazing when you calmly ask for a fire extinguisher the lack of reaction you get. “Excuse me, your trash can has a fire that spreading to the building. Do you have a fire extinguisher available?” Of course start chanting “Fire Fire, Fire” did not phase this employee at 2am either. Heck calling out the local fire department did not work very well. The pay phone show up on the e911 screen as “pay phone”. Luckily this truckstop had a 24 hour restaurant and the waitress on duty responded correctly.

Back to the OP concern enjoy your trip pack a few comfort foods/items. Your not going to have any issues at Ft Lauderdale station.
 

Dakota 400

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I have arrived at Fort Lauderdale on the Silver Meteor when the train was late. For quite some time after arrival, there are many people "out and about" at the station. Taxi line was short and it took awhile for a taxi to arrive when I called for a Yellow Cab, but there were others that did appear between the time I called for Yellow and its arrival.

I suggest that you have whatever phone numbers to call whatever service you are going to use readily available so that you are not fumbling around trying to find those numbers.

I felt perfectly safe at the FLL station.
 

Night Ranger

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Yup! Everyone runs away from a crime. Everyone wants to see the fire!
Your comment reminded of the old Smothers Brothers routine "Chocolate." Tom fell into a vat of chocolate and yelled FIRE. Dickie asked him why he yelled FIRE and Tom replied that no one would come if he yelled "CHOCOLATE!" My retelling does not do it justice. These guys were really funny and their stuff has held up well over the years.

 

pennyk

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I have traveled to and from Ft. Lauderdale many times (as a single middle aged+ woman) and always felt comfortable. I used taxis years ago and more recently, Uber. The last few times I traveled northbound from FTL, the station was not open at the posted time. There were many passengers lining up outside waiting for it to open.
 

Dakota 400

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The last few times I traveled northbound from FTL, the station was not open at the posted time. There were many passengers lining up outside waiting for it to open.
A similar experience for me; I arrived at the recommended time in order to check luggage. The station was not open. The two employees did not arrive until a few minutes before train time which created some stress for me. Would I be able to get my luggage properly checked before the train arrived? All worked out well, however.

Arriving to work early for those folks must not have been part of their "work ethic".
 
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