Getting around Montreal
Montreal is served by a métro system, an extensive bus network and commuter rail services. Public transport services for Montreal are run by the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) (tel: +1 514 786 4636; www.stm.info). Commuter rail and off-island bus services are co-ordinated by the Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (tel: +1 514 287 8726; www.amt.qc.ca).
The Montreal métro is clean and efficient, and consists of four lines, with 10 stations linked to Underground City. The average wait time between trains is eight minutes and three minutes during rush hour. It is integrated with the STM bus routes that crisscross the island.
The métro and buses run approximately 0530-1230 and are supplemented by a limited system of night buses. You can transfer between the métro and bus at no extra cost, using the same magnetised ticket and within 120 minutes. Off-island buses have separate fare structures.
Ideal for tourists are the one-day and three-day fare cards, which provide unlimited use of bus and métro systems, including the 747 airport shuttle. Alternatively, you can load up fares on an OPUS smartcard.
Hailing a taxi is never a problem in Montreal and there are obvious taxi ranks dotted about. Tipping is expected. Two recommended taxi companies are Taxi Diamond (tel: +1 514 273 6331) and Taxi Hochelaga (tel: +1 514 322 2121).
Montreal drivers have a bit of a reputation with the rest of Canada as being somewhat reckless. If you choose to drive, stay alert and don’t be afraid to use your horn. Parking can be pesky and pricey. Metered parking and off-street car parks are both available.
In general, drivers must be at least 21 years old and possess a national driving licence, credit card and insurance. An International Driving Permit is not required.
Montreal has an extensive network of cycle routes and a popular bike hire scheme known as BIXI (tel: +1 877 820 2453; montreal.bixi.com). Cyclists (residents and tourists alike) can rent a bike for a fixed time from over 600 different bike docks in the city at a small fee between April and November.