Montreal Transportation

Montreal TransportationThe easiest way to get around Montreal quickly is to use the subway system known as the Metro or the above ground bus system. The Metro is easy to use, quiet and very fast. The areas between subway stations are accessible by one of the hundreds of buses in the city. Visitors in Montreal can identify Metro stations by the blue and white signs on the street. The best strategy when exploring the city is to purchase an unlimited ride card for one or three days. The subways run at all hours of the day but are particularly crowded early in the mornings.

Taxicabs are plentiful in downtown Montreal. They allow families to get to any location without having to decipher street names or bus routes. Hundreds of taxi stands are in downtown Montreal where drivers wait for fares. Visitors coming from the United States should be aware that taxis in Montreal are not always yellow and can be any color. Cabs are easy to find from a stand or on the street. Travelers who are in the outermost parts of the island in the east and west, however, might need to call a cab company for a pickup. Not all cab companies will travel to the extreme ends of the island.

There are several rental car companies throughout Montreal. Travelers do not need to have a Canadian license. The companies will normally accept a United States license. Renting a car provides freedom although parking is limited in central Montreal. Traffic during the day can be very heavy especially when drivers come into the city from Laval and other nearby areas for work or a large event. Visitors should be aware that driving in Montreal is different from many other areas and the United States. Flashing green lights indicate turning, some road signs are in French and speeds are measured in kilometers. Car rentals are convenient when traveling to several areas throughout Quebec. They are largely unnecessary in downtown Montreal.

The Bixi bike system is a good choice for active travelers visiting during the warmer months. The Bixi system consists of bike stands located throughout the city. Visitors swipe a credit card at the stand and can then remove a bike from the normally locked rack. The bike must be returned to another stand or the same stand when done. Bikes that are used for less than 30 minutes are free to use. The fee for the bike starts to accumulate after the first 30 minutes. This can be very expensive after eight or more hours. The bikes are a good way to move quickly between nearby attractions although they are not good for all-day tours.

There are a number of shuttles throughout Montreal. The most popular shuttles run constantly from the downtown area to the nearby airports. These airport shuttles are much less expensive than a cab ride to the same location. A number of private businesses including local hotels and one casino in the area also offer shuttle services. It is a good idea to check if a particular large business or hotel is offering convenient shuttle services in the city.