In many ways, Montreal's public transport
is just like any other. There are systems in place, timetables to follow, and more. Navigating it isn't all that different from all the others, but you will benefit if you follow a few tips. You might just reach your destination quicker if you avoid rush hours. If you get an Opus Card, then you definitely have nothing to worry about with your commute. And learning French will undoubtedly help you out while you're in Montreal, regardless if you take public transport or not. Knowing about and following these tips will make your life in this city a whole lot easier.
Perhaps the most important tip from this list that you ought to follow is to get an Opus Card. This is Montreal's main travel pass, your main ticket to all the public transport systems in. the city. It only costs around C$6.00 each and you can just recharge them with more money over time. Even better is that you can buy them in any metro or bus station throughout the different neighborhoods of Montreal
. There's no way you can't buy one the moment you step foot in the city. But if you still couldn't get the Opus Card, then you should follow the remaining tips on this list.
Not that it's a requirement or anything, but learning French
before or when you're already in Montreal can help you a lot. Don't forget that Montreal is a French-speaking city despite the fact that Canada is part of the English Commonwealth. You'll meet plenty of people who speak English here, sure, but for the most part, everyone and everything is French. Even the announcements in the metro are in French. And if you couldn't understand what they're saying, you'll undoubtedly commit all sorts of mistakes. Moreover, if you know French, you'll find it easier to ask for directions.
Always Have Cash on You
Now, if you didn't get the Opus Card, then you better make sure that you always have some cash on hand. Better yet, make that into change too! Don't underestimate how much of a hassle it can be to pay for a public transport ticket. It may be cheap, sure, but there's more to it than that. For one thing, there are no change dispensers in STM bus stations. You'll need the exact amount to take these buses. On that note, you also ought to remember that some stops and stations only accept cash (apart from the Opus Card, of course). Hence why you need it!
Know When The Rush Hours Are
It's better to navigate public transport in Montreal when you know the city's rush hours. In the morning, it's usually from 6:30 am to 8:30 am. While in the afternoon, it's often around 15:30 (3:30) pm to 18:00 (6:00) pm. If you're a tourist and you want to avoid clashing with the locals in any public transport system, you'd do well to avoid commuting during these times. And if you've moved to Montreal
and have become a local yourself, then you need to think up ways to go around such hassles.
Get an Evening Pass for The Metro
Let's go back to the Opus Card for this next tip. Or rather, your lack of one. If you haven't gotten this travel pass yet, then at least get an evening pass instead. Especially if you're one to commute at night. You can use Montreal's evening pass for public transport from 18:00 (6:00) pm up until 5:00 am the next day. It will give you unlimited rides, allowing you to take all sorts of public transport systems throughout the city. As for what it costs, it's only C$5.50 each. It only lasts for one night, though, so this means you'll need to purchase another one for tomorrow night.
Use Express Buses When You're in a Rush
Do you commute from the suburbs to the city here in Montreal? If yes, then you're better off taking the express buses instead of the standard ones. They'll take you from the quieter parts of the city straight to the bustling districts. They won't stop anywhere else, which means you'll get to your destination faster if you take one instead of a normal bus. Don't worry! Many express buses are labeled as such so you won't find it difficult to spot one. And as long as you have the Opus Card or some cash on hand, you can easily pay for your ride.
Avoid Getting a Taxi on Ste-Catherine Street
If there's one part of Montreal that you should avoid when commuting, it's Saint-Catherine Street in Downtown Montreal. Although it's a central part of the city, this place is notorious for its traffic jams! On its worst days, you might end up spending hours and hours here with little to no movement at all. And don't even try hailing a taxi or using a transportation app on this street. You won't find one at all! You're better off heading to René-Levesque Street, which is a block away from Saint-Catherine Street, to catch a ride.
Speaking of transportation apps, don't be afraid to use them on your commute. Fortunately, many ride-hailing apps work in Montreal. From Uber to Teo Taxi, you have plenty of options to book a ride in this city. There are also many journey-planning apps too. These nifty programs will tell you the quickest way to get to your destination, how much it'll cost you, and if there are problems that will encounter on the way. They're great for when you're still unfamiliar with the metro and bus systems of Montreal. Talk about helpful!
Navigate Montreal's public transport better by following these tips. You never know just how much these will help with your commute. Rest assured that they'll guarantee that you get to your destination in no time!