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Calgary Transit Guide: Getting Around Calgary

PUBLIC TRANSIT. Calgary Transit operates buses and a light rail transit system (LRT) known as the CTrain throughout the city. Basic fares are $3.15 for adults and $2.10 for youth and free for children ages 5 and under. CTrain tickets and transfers issued from bus drivers are valid for 90 minutes. A day pass for an adult costs $9.50 and for a youth, $6.75. Books of tickets, monthly passes and day passes can be purchased online or at most grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience stores. The Route 300 bus from the Calgary International Airport is $9.50 one way. The CTrain operating in the downtown core (along 7 Avenue SW between the 8 Street and City Hall stations) is free of charge. Major bus routes begin operating at 5:30 a.m. run till 12:20 a.m. CTrain service runs from 5 a.m. to 12:20 a.m. To plan a route, check out Calgary Transit’s journey planner.

TAXI. You can hail a cab on the street in Calgary (if the roof light is on, it’s available) or you can call a number of taxi companies, including popular fleets like Associated Cabs and Checker. Meters start at $3.80 and increase every 120 metres. Taxi meters from the airport start at a flat rate of $8.30.

DRIVING. In Calgary, Right turns are permitted on red lights unless signs indicate otherwise. The yellow lights marked with Xs are pedestrian signals: when they are flashing, you must stop for pedestrians. Also you cannot drive in bus lanes, marked with white diamonds. Two highways run through Calgary: the TransCanada, which bisects the city east to west and is known as 16 Avenue NW in the city centre, and the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, which runs through the city north to south and is known as Deerfoot Trail in the city centre.

PARKING. Street parking downtown and surrounding areas is usually free after 6 pm and all day Sunday. To pay to park on the street, remember your zone number and license number and pay at a nearby pay machine. Payment can be made by cash or credit card. Customers can also create an account to pay by cell phone by first setting up an account on the pay machines and then by calling 403-537-PARK (7275) to activate your session or texting your ParkPlus zone number to 77587 (PPLUS). The system is ticketless and eliminates the need to display a ticket on the dashboard. There are numerous paid lots downtown.

BUS & COACH. The four main bus and coach services are Greyhound, Red ArroweBus, and Brewsters. Greyhound provides services across the country. Red Arrow has a direct service bus line between Calgary and Edmonton. eBus is a discounted version of Red Arrow that has bus routes to Red Deer, Edmonton, CrossIron Mills Mall, and a few towns in Alberta. Brewsters provides quality coach rides to and from the mountains.

CAR SHARE. Car2Go is a popular service for those looking for convenient short-term transportation. The company has hundreds of smart cars available for rent in the city. Users can register online and are sent an access card, which unlocks the car. Cars can be reserved in advance or simply walk up the car and swipe in. Cars can be located via a map on the app. Rental rates are calculated per minute ($.41) and daily rentals can be purchased for $84.99. If you are a member of Car2Go in another city, you can use your card to access vehicles in Calgary.