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Local transport

Local Transport


Toronto and Montréal are the two Canadian cities with subway systems. Vancouver's version is mostly an above-ground monorail. Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa have efficient light-rail systems. Route maps are posted in all stations.


Most of the main cities have taxis and smaller towns have one or two. They are usually metered, with a flag-fall fee of roughly $2.70 and a per-kilometer charge of around $1.75. Drivers expect a tip of between 10% and 15%. Taxis can be flagged down or ordered by phone.


Buses are the most common form of public transportation, and practically all towns have their own systems. Most are commuter-oriented, and offer only limited or no services in the evenings and on weekends.


Cycling is a popular means of getting around during the warmer months, and many cities have hundreds of kilometers of dedicated bike paths. Bicycles typically can be taken on public transportation (although some cities have restrictions during peak travel times). All the major cities have shops renting bikes. Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal have bike-share programs.


Hitching is never entirely safe in any country and we don't recommend it. That said, in remote and rural areas in Canada it is not uncommon to see people thumbing for a ride.

  • If you do decide to hitch, understand that you are taking a small but potentially serious risk. Remember that it's safer to travel in pairs and let someone know where you are planning to go.
  • Hitchhiking is illegal on some highways (ie the 400-series roads in Ontario), as well as in the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


Ride-share services link drivers and paying passengers headed in the same direction. Kangaride (www.kangaride.com) is a Québec City–based service that is rapidly expanding across Canada. It costs $7.50 per year for membership and $5 per ride (on top of what the driver charges). Allô Stop (www.allostop.com) is a similar service operating in Québec; the website is in French.