Canadian Rockies Transit Guide: Getting Around Banff, Jasper and Other Communities
DRIVING & PARKING. Obey posted speed signs and watch out for wildlife. If you wish to stop and view roadside wildlife, pull safely out of traffic, remain in your vehicle and never feed the animals. Watch for seasonal road closures; some routes close during winter while others close at certain times to protect wildlife. Take extra care driving during winter—slow down if visibility is poor, watch for black ice (especially on bridges and near water) and consider bringing a shovel, flashlight, warm clothing, blanket and snacks. Be warned that cell phone reception outside of populated areas is unreliable. Towns have free parking in lots and on the street, and there are designated RV parking lots in most communities.
CAR RENTALS. Most of the major car rental companies can be found in the Canadian Rockies. Here is a quick list that will help you locate the closest rental office to where you’re staying:
• Avis, Cascade Plaza, 317 Banff Ave., 403-762-3222, avis.ca
• Budget, 208 Caribou St. (Bear St. access), 403-762-4565, budget.ca
• Enterprise, Lynx St. at Caribou St., 403-762-2688, enterpriserentacar.ca
• Hertz, Fairmont Banff Springs, 405 Spray Ave., 403-762-2027, hertz.ca
• Avis, SunDog Tours, 414 Connaught Dr., 780-852-3970, avis.ca
• Budget, Jasper Shell Service, 638 Connaught Dr., 780-852-3222, budgetjasper.com
• Hertz (Mar.-Nov.), Train and Bus Station, 607 Connaught Dr., 780-852-3888, hertz.ca
• Budget, Ramada Inn, 1402 Bow Valley Trail, 1-800-267-0505, budget.com
• Enterprise, 514 Bow Valley Trail, 403-609-3070, enterpriserentacar.ca
• PractiCar, Bow Valley Ford, 101 Bow Valley Trail, 403-679-2253, practicar.ca
• National, Samson Mall, 403-522-3870, nationalcar.ca
PUBLIC TRANSIT. Banff’s Roam Transit bus service is Canada’s first all-hybrid bio-diesel-electric bus fleet. Each bus is wildlife themed with images by local photographer John E. Marriott. Roam runs year-round with stops in the town’s frequently visited areas, including Banff Avenue, Tunnel Mountain Drive, Spray Avenue (Fairmont Banff Springs) and Mountain Avenue (Rimrock Resort, Banff Upper Hot Springs and Banff Gondola).
Printed schedules and route information is widely available in town, or you can download them here. Buses have bike racks, are wheelchair friendly, and welcome skis and snowboards onboard.
A single-trip adult fare is $2. Transfers are free between routes and valid for one hour after purchase. Day Passes are $5. Both single trips and day passes can be bought on the bus. Frequent riders can save by purchasing a three-day pass, one-way tokens or monthly passes at Banff Town Hall (110 Bear St.).
The Roam Canmore-Banff Regional Bus connects the town of Canmore to Banff’s public transit network. Regional adult fare is $6. Transfers are good for 45 minutes on local Banff service. Purchase a Regional Day Pass, Regional 3-Day Pass, book of 10 tickets and monthly passes at Canmore Town Hall (902 7 Ave.), Elevation Place (700 Railway Ave.) or the downtown Visitor Information Centre (907 7 Ave.).
BC Transit also runs public buses within and between some of the BC Rockies’ towns. Check transitbc.com for schedules and fares.
BUS & COACH. Bus and coach services run between most towns in the Canadian Rockies, but the most popular are between Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff-Canmore.
• Brewster, Banff Bus Station, 100 Gopher St., 1-800-760-6934, explorerockies.com
• Greyhound, Banff Heritage Train Station, 327 Railway Ave., 1-800-661-8747, greyhound.ca
• Bewster, Jasper Bus and Train Station, 607 Connaught Dr., 1-800-760-6934, explorerockies.com
• Greyhound, Jasper Bus and Train Station, 607 Connaught Dr., 1-800-661-8747, greyhound.ca
Mountain Connector offers daily service between Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff from November 1 to April 30, 1-888-786-3641, mountainconnector.ca
SKI AREA SHUTTLES. Big 3 Ski Shuttles go daily to from Banff to Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise. Ask for details at hotels or at the Banff Ski Hub, 119 Banff Avenue, 403-762-4754.
The Kicking Horse Powder Express runs daily from Banff and Lake Louise hotels to Kicking Horse in Golden. To reserve, call 403-762-5007.
The Jasper-Marmot Shuttle Service has daily routes from Jasper hotels to Marmot Basin. Tickets are available at most hotel front desks or from the Marmot downtown store at 611 Patricia St, 780-852-3816.
TAXI. Cabs are available in most towns in the Canadian Rockies, and usually need to be called for service. Here’s a list of taxi companies by region:
• Banff Taxi: 403-762-4444
• Taxi Taxi: 403-762-0000
• Mr. Taxi: 780-931-2931
• Mountain Express: 780-852-4555
• Bow Cab: 403-996-0656
• Mountain Park Transportation: 403-522-2700
TRAIN. VIA Rail offers train service between Edmonton and Jasper with daylight options to Prince Rupert or Vancouver. Longer haul trips east to Toronto and Ottawa leave from Jasper. Book at viarail.ca or call 1-888-842-7245.
Rocky Mountaineer has daylight Canadian Rockies routes that link Vancouver with Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, plus longer western Canada excursions and coast-to-coast trips. Book at rockymountaineer.com or call 1-877-460-3200.