Public transportation in Canada

Canada has well-developed road, rail, aviation, bus, and ferry networks that connect cities and communities across the country. Buses, subways, and trains are among several modes of transportation available in major cities around the country and for local travel.

Each city or region typically has its transportation system, with fares and schedules varying by location.

Types of Transportation in Canada

There are several modes of transportation in Canada.


Since Canada is such a large country, people often travel between cities. All major cities in Canada have regular flights, but small towns and rural regions do not have a primary airport and must travel to the nearest airport.

Popular airports in Canada include:

Toronto Pearson International YYZ 

Vancouver International YVR

Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)


Canada’s rail network covers the whole country. Canada’s trains are both safe and pleasant. Buying train tickets ahead of time is usually less costly. More information and tickets are available through Via Rail Canada or by visiting a train station in person.


If you have a great distance to travel, using the bus may take a long time. You can buy tickets by calling or visiting a local station. If you don’t have a car, this is the cheapest method to travel between cities and the only way to get to smaller communities. Greyhound and Megabus operate the largest network of bus routes. You can buy tickets by calling or visiting a local station.


Ferry boats are a common mode of transportation all over Canada’s coasts, particularly on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

The best Ferry boats in Canada are:

BC Ferries

The Aquabus



Most destinations in Canada can be reached by automobile over long distances because of the country’s extensive highway network.

Public transportation in Canada

You must purchase a ticket or a transit pass to ride public transportation in Canada. Transit passes provide unrestricted access to public transit for a set period (one month or more). If you plan to use public transit frequently, they are typically less expensive than purchasing multiple tickets.

Every city and most significant towns in Canada have a public transit system that includes one or more modes of transportation, such as bus, train, subway, light-rail trains, and streetcars (trams).

To use public transportation in Canada, there are a few things you should consider:

Payment: You must pay for your fare, which can be done through cash, credit/debit card, or a prepaid transit card.

Schedule: Public transportation operates on a schedule, so you must plan your trip accordingly to ensure you arrive at your destination on time.

Routes: You may take multiple routes depending on where you are going. Check the route maps and schedules to determine your best option.

Stops: Make sure you know which stops you must get on and off. Pay attention to announcements and signage on the vehicle to ensure you don’t miss your stop.

Canada’s Public Transportation System

Some of the public transportation systems in Canada are:

Montreal Metro


Roam Public Transit Service

Canada Line

UP Express

How can I buy a ticket for public transportation in Canada

If you want to buy a ticket for public transportation in Canada, depending on the city and mode of transportation, you use it. Here are some standard methods:

Ticket vending machines: Many cities have ticket vending machines at transit stations or bus stops. You can use Compass Cards and Tickets to purchase single-ride tickets or passes.

Mobile apps: Some cities offer mobile apps that allow you to purchase and store transit tickets directly on your smartphone. Examples include the Transit App.

Retail locations: In some cases, you may be able to purchase transit tickets at retail locations such as convenience stores or significant transit stations.

Onboard payment: On some buses and light rail systems, you may be able to pay for your fare directly onboard using cash or a credit/debit card.

How much is public transit in Canada

The cost of public transportation varies per city. However, a one-way trip typically costs between $2.50 and $4.00. The one-way fee usually includes transfers between vehicles. You may need to take many buses to reach your location best is to buy a Presto card for $6 and load the funds through a debit/credit card.

Taxicabs in Canada

All cities and towns have taxi companies available. Taxis are fairly pricey, so many people only use them when they have no choice. Before you start your travel, ask the driver how much it will cost.

There are two methods to get a cab:

Request a cab to pick you up: discover cab company phone numbers, via the Internet, in a phone book, or by calling your municipal government’s transportation department.

Take a cab by heading to a taxi stand, “hailing” a taxi on the street by standing on the sidewalk and raising your hand at a passing empty taxi.

Cycling and walking

Walking and cycling are healthy and inexpensive ways to travel to Canadian cities and villages. A map of bicycle routes is frequently available from local bike shops and kiosks for website information.

Sources: Government of Canada, Tripadvisor

The caption of the cover image above is in Toronto, Canada. Photo by Renan Kamikoga on Unsplash.