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Montreal Transportation

Getting There

Montréal is served by Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, formerly known as “Dorval,” after the city in which it’s located. It’s a tedious, 12-mile drive along the city’s crumbling freeway system to reach downtown. A 24-hour express bus service (the 747) links Trudeau with Montréal metro stations, Central Station, and downtown locations. Alternatively, it’s a 20- to 30-minute taxi ride to the heart of the city. The 747 Express Bus ($7) links to the Dorval terminus 24 hours a day. Dorval is walking distance to VIA Rail connections to Montréal and Toronto. Flights connect Trudeau with Africa, the Caribbean, and South and Central America, as well as to Europe and other cities in North America.
Canada’s national Via Rail network links the city to destinations from Halifax in the east to Prince Rupert in the west. In addition, Amtrak’s Adirondack line travels between New York and Montréal via Albany, once a day. Via Rail Montréal's Central Station (La Gare Centrale) is situated beneath Fairmont's grand hotel, the Queen Elizabeth  and linked by underground passageways to the Bonaventure metro station. Local and regional AMT trains, or trains de banlieue, as the commuter trains are called, travel to off-island locations, including St. Jerôme, Rigaud and Mont St-Hilaire.
The city is easy to reach by bus, with Greyhound service between Montreal and Toronto. The bus station is in downtown Montréal beside the Berri-UQAM metro station. Acadian Bus Lines service the city from the eastern cities, Atlantic provinces, including Nova Scotia New Brunswick, as well as Bangor, Maine. Megabus service reaches the city from Toronto with prices from as little as $1. Megabuses depart from the city bus terminal at metro station Berri-UQAM. Other parts of the province of Québec are serviced by Intercar, Transdev Limocar, and Orleans Express. Coach Canada connects Montréal with Toronto, Niagara Falls in Ontario, and Buffalo Airport.

Getting Around

Public Transit
Montréal transportation options are straightforward. The STM (Société de transport de Montréal) transit system is clean, safe, and efficient. Connections between metro, local bus, rail and regional bus services are easy to make; they are well-signed and you can usually just follow other passengers if you are confused.There are four lines in the metro system—Orange, Blue, Green and Yellow. Orange and Green are of the most use to visitors, along with the Yellow line stop at Parc Jean-Drapeau. If you want to stay above ground, pick up a BIXI bike from one of the ubiquitous bike-rental stands around the city and pedal off for as little as $5. Useful information about the metro: Passes are available for tourists—for one-day ($7) or three-day ($14) periods.Frequent visitors can purchase an Opus card for $7 and load it with monthly, weekly or individual fares. Buses and subway all accept exact fares, tickets and Opus cards. Each metro station is distinct in style and showcases Québec artists and architects. Some highlights include Place des Arts on the green line and Champ de Mars on the orange line. Metro etiquette keeps the system quick and cheerful: Backpacks are to be carried, not worn; keep moving on the stairs—and always clap for the roving musician.
The island of Montréal is well served by cab companies and you won’t usually have to wait long to catch a cab. Whether you call one, ask a hotel concierge to hail a car, or stand on a main downtown or Plateau street, you won’t wait more than a few minutes unless there’s a winter storm. Taxi Diamond and Taxi Co-Op cabs are two reliable and prominent cab operators. There’s a $16.25 minimum charge for taxis from the airport. Fixed fares from the airport to the heart of downtown are $38 by cab (payable by credit card or cash), and $50-$55 by limousine.
Montréal is an old city and the narrow, winding streets of Old Montréal are not ones you want to drive along. If you do opt to take your vehicle down these slivers of streets, the first thing you should do is look for a parking garage; many spots on these cobbled streets are for residents with parking permits. Montréalers celebrate everything, so you’ll often find the route you planned to take closed for a festival or street party. You’ll find other drivers—and pedestrians—impetuous and unpredictable. Montréal drivers have an unhealthy (for pedestrians, anyway) disregard for crosswalks. Two other things to keep in mind: one, Montréal is one of the only places in North America (along with Manhattan) where it’s illegal to make a right turn on red; two, those gas prices you see are for liters, not gallons, so factor that into your sums when you hit the gas station.