Page updated on 1/1/16.
Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) is the public transit district in Manatee County, Florida, serving the municipality of Bradenton and the county’s gulf coast beaches. MCAT operates a fixed-route local bus system comprising of ten routes, a flex route called the North County ConneXion, a door-to-door paratransit service (the Handy Bus), two beachside trolleybus routes (the Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key Trolley), and an express trolley shuttle from downtown Bradenton to the Gulf Coast beaches during weekends and holidays (the Beach Express). Because Bradenton is a much smaller municipality, the bus system is also smaller, but no less very important to the citizens of Manatee County.
Note: Dedicated pages for the North County ConneXion and the Beach Trolleys will be created at a later time.
Information regarding ongoing detours can be found on the MCAT website.
The remainder of this page will go through a general overview of the MCAT bus system; including the structure by which MCAT bus routes operate on, transit centers and other major bus transfer points, and practical information such as current fares.
Transit Network Structure and Transit Centers
The MCAT system comprises of three main transfer centers, as well as several smaller transfer points. The network is somewhat of a hub-spoke system, but routes are more concentrated around the municipalities of Palmetto and Bradenton, with a couple routes serving the beaches and one route (Route 6) serving Lakewood Ranch.
MCAT’s three main transfer centers are located in Palmetto, downtown Bradenton, and south Bradenton.
Palmetto Transfer Center
Downtown Bradenton Transfer Center
DeSoto Transfer Center
Note: Detailed information, including photos, regarding the transfer facilities will be added soon.
Routes 16 and 99 serve Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Monday through Saturday. Buses layover at the dedicated SCAT transfer point that is located on airport property.
Maps of the MCAT bus system (from MCAT)
MCAT System Map (Effective 4/2/15, includes the Manatee County portion of Route 99, but does NOT include the North County ConneXion).
Rider’s Guide (Effective 4/2/15, includes maps of all MCAT bus routes – except the North County ConneXion).
MCAT System Map in Spanish (Effective 4/2/15).
North County ConneXion Brochure (Effective 12/8/14).
Span of Operating Service
All local bus routes, including Route 99, operate on a Monday through Saturday basis from approximately 5:00am through approximately 6:00 or 7:00pm. There is no Sunday service with these routes.
The North County ConneXion operates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from approximately 8:55am through 4:00pm. There is no service on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays with this route.
The Anna Maria Island Trolley operates 7-days a week from 6:00am through 10:00pm. The trolley also operates on all holidays.
The Longboat Key Trolley operates 7-days a week from 5:30am through 7:00pm. The trolley also operates on some major holidays (there is NO SERVICE on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day).
The Beach Express Trolley Shuttle operates on Sundays and all holidays from 9:00am through 4:00/5:00pm, running a 90-minute frequency.
All MCAT local bus and Paratransit (Handy Bus) services end during the 3:00pm hour on Christmas Eve.
- One-Way Cash Fares
- Regular Fare: $1.50
- Discount: 75 cents*
- M-Card Passes
- 1-Day Pass: $4.00
- Discount: $2.00*
- 7-Day Pass: $12.00
- Discount: $6.00*
- 31-Day Pass: $40.00
- Discount: $20.00*
- 1-Day Pass: $4.00
- R-Card Passes for those who use both MCAT and SCAT.
- 30-Day R-Card: $60.00
- Discount: $30.00*
- 30-Day R-Card: $60.00
- Longboat Key Trolley: $1.25
- Anna Maria Island Trolley and the Beach Express do not impose a fare.
- Regional Fares
- 1-Way Cash Fare: $3.00, with a reduced fare of $1.50*.
- 1-Day Category: $6.00.
- 3-Day Category: $18.00.
- 7-Day Category: $30.00.
- 31-Day Category: $85.00.
* Proper ID is required to qualify for reduced fares.
Please note that the implementation of the Regional Fare System is dependent on participating agencies receiving required state funding. Participating agencies will announce when these new fares will be implemented.
Additional fare information can be found on the MCAT website.
Please be patient as I continue to work on this portal. I will have much more to come soon!