Arriving in Canada: A Guide to Transportation in Canada for Newcomers

Arriving in Canada

One of the first things that you’ll notice when you first arrive in Canada is that the transportation in Canada makes it very easy for tourists to get around. Being the second largest country in the world in terms of area, the ease in public transportation is simply a perk that cannot be dismissed. Canada offers a number of public transportation options, based on the travel distance.

In this blog, we will highlight multiple facets about the transportation in Canada and how a newcomer can travel around in the country by car, train, bus, air, etc.

What are the Commonly Used Modes of Transport in Canada?

Modes of Transport in Canada

The preferred mode of transport in Canada depends on three factors- where you want to travel, how much time you have, and how much money you can spend. The most commonly used mode of transportation in Canada are rail, water, motor carriers, and air. Owing to Canada’s massive size, most people prefer to travel to different destinations by air.

Canada boasts of excellent connectivity all across the country, owing to the well-structured road, aviation, rail, and ferry routes that connect several cities and towns across the country. Transit in public transport is generally very clean and safe which is a priority for the quality of life in Canada.

Even though trains, buses, and railways provide enhanced connectivity in major cities for country-wide transit, you will probably need a car for traveling in the remote areas. This is because rental-car service or railroad service is virtually non-existent in the remote areas of the country. Further, taking a bus or driving offers you a chance to absorb the unique scenic view that the country has to offer.

What to Expect From a Train Journey Across Canada?

Train Journey

The railways is one of the least used modes of transport in the country. However, you can choose from a number of different packages that also offer the perk of unlimited travel for a fixed duration. These perks are granted to children from different age groups as well as senior citizens.

The train journey across Canada is undoubtedly one of the best traveling experiences that a person can enjoy in the country. The 4,000 mile journey starts in coastal Vancouver and terminates at Halifax Vancouver, while also passing through Montreal, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, and Montreal. The entire journey from end to end can take upto 17 days, if the train makes no stops between the starting and ending point and can be completed in 5-6 days.

The exquisite and breathtaking journey boasts of the most captivating scenic views on the planet, and you can also choose to travel across the United States for just $558.  Even though Canadian trains are usually slower than the ones in other countries, they are extremely clean, smoke-free, and offer a comfortable traveling experience.

  • Rail Travel Options Within Canada

Canada offers a number of different options for travel using the extensive railway network:

– Tshiuetin Rail Transportation
– RailLink Canada
– Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway
– Hudson Bay Railway Co
– Canadian Pacific Railway
– Canadian National Railway

What is the Cost for Renting a Car in Canada?

Renting a Car in Canada

Due to its sheer size, most people choose to rent a car to get around the country. Car rental service providers can be found virtually anywhere in the cities, including the airport and popular tourist destinations.

Research by Kayak.com shows that a car rental in Canada can cost $370  per week on an average, with prices starting from $20/day. Compared to this, the price for car rental in the United States is relatively cheaper, as you might be able to obtain a more lucrative bargain.

However, you may face restrictions regarding what provinces you are allowed to drive in. Crossing the international border into the USA might also be slightly problematic, so it is advised that you carefully study your rent agreement while availing the service. To avail the service, you will have to submit a credit card that is registered in your name. Unless you are already covered by the credit card, you will be required to add further insurance to the base price of your rental.

Further, most service providers charge drivers under the age of 25 years additional expenses. Such individuals are only allowed to rent cars from the economy sections and not the luxury automobile category.

What are the Best Options for Bus Transportation in Canada?

Bus Transportation in Canada

One of the best ways to take in the scenic views that Canada is known for is bus travel between some of the most popular cities like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. Due to the vast expanse of the country, bus travel is one of the most cost-effective options.

Individuals can save on expenses by booking the tickets online before time, since ticket prices usually tend to rise as the departure date gets closer. The better you plan, the more you save!

Some of the traditional bus service providers that connect the major cities to the remote areas are Greyhound Canada, Megabus, Pacific Coach, and Maritime Bus. The most comprehensive routes and bus networks are provided by Greyhound Bus, they also offer connecting services between Canada and mainland USA.

The Red Arrow bus service providers offer the most extensive transportation service for anyone wishing to visit the province of Alberta. Another option is Coach Canada, which provides bus route service between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. This is a great option for people wishing to travel between Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto.

The price of a one-way ticket from Ottawa to Toronto is around $117 and can take upto 5-hours from end-to-end. If you want to enjoy better seats and low ticket prices, it is advised that you book the tickets well before the departure date.

Which City has the Best Public Transportation in Canada?

Public Transport

According to the latest transit scores for the country, Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto are rated as the best cities for public transportation. This score is derived from the assumption that public transportation in the country is both frequent and convenient.

While Toronto has the best public transit system in the country, Montreal is quickly catching up in terms of providing comfortable and frequent transit options to the citizens. Further, the Government has already laid down numerous plans for developing the public transit system in Montreal.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the speed limit in Canada?

In residential areas, the maximum speed limit is capped at 50 km/hour. The speed limit in school zones is limited to 30-50 km/hour. The speed limit on the major urban areas is set at a maximum of 70 km/hour for two-lane highways. The maximum speed limit for expressways is 110 km/hour.

Is public transport free in Canada?

No, public transport is not free in Canada. The charges for public transport depend on the mode of transport and what part of the country you are in.

Is there a metro system in Canada?

Yes, there is a metro system in the country. However, this rail network is only limited to the province of Montreal.