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Explore Various Handy Options for Getting Around Toronto
With multiple Toronto transportation options, you will find it comparatively easy to travel around the largest city of Canada.
Without any hesitation, Toronto public transportation is the best way to navigate the city. If you are planning a trip to the city, you will realize that Toronto public transit is very convenient, quick, safe and cost-effective.
Toronto public transportation system consists of a broad network of subway, streetcars and buses - all operated by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
GO Transit is a regional public transit system which provides transportation to Greater Toronto Area and few nearby towns and cities.
Apart from the public transport, other Toronto transportation choices are taxi, rental car or your own car.
Because of heavy traffic, irrational parking fees, chaotic pedestrians and frequent streetcars, I personally try to avoid driving in Toronto and would recommend same to you.
This page summarizes basic information you need to know about various Toronto transportation options.
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Toronto Transportation - Toronto Public Transportation
You can explore the sprawling city on excellent and modern public transit system, comprising of subways, streetcars and buses. In fact, Toronto has third largest public transport system in North America, managed by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
It's safe, sound and simple way to get around the city. And most of the routes have very regular service and some of downtown routes are operated round the clock.
However, during rush hour, traffic jamming is very common and causes delay. Unfortunately, it is not new for big cities.
Fares and Tickets
For a one-way trip of any length, you have to pay a single fare (cash or ticket). If your trip involves connecting routes, you can freely transfer between subway, bus and streetcar to get to your destination.
You may need paper transfer if you are paying cash or using a single-ride ticket. The paper transfer allows you to board more than one kind of transport without paying again. Note that if you are using a day pass or weekly pass, you do not need to show paper transfer.
You can request for the transfer after paying your fare on a bus or streetcar. And in subway stations you can get one from the automated transfer machine just inside the entrance after you pay your fare.
Ticket types: (price effective as of January 3, 2010)
Cash Single fare purchase - $3: Valid for a one-way trip only. Bus and streetcar operators do not sell fares or carry change. You need exact cash.
Tickets and tokens - $2.50: Valid for a one-way trip only.
Day Pass - $10: The Day Pass offers you unlimited one-day travel on all regular TTC services (Any day of the week, valid for one person only).
On Saturday, Sunday and statutory holiday, a single Day Pass allows unlimited one-day travel for family or group comprising of 1 adult and up to 5 youths (19 and under) or 2 adults and up to 4 youths (19 and under).
Weekly Pass - $36: Good for unlimited travel, from Monday through to Sunday, for the week shown on front of pass.
Monthly Metropass - $121: Valid for unlimited travel for the specific month/year shown on front of pass.
You can buy TTC tickets, tokens and passes from the collector booth located in every subway station (Cash purchase only) and several authorized stores in Toronto. Many stations have token vending machines and pass vending machines.
Toronto subway system consists of 3 subway lines and one rapid transit line. The subway system is truly efficient and quick.
Toronto subway runs quite often (2-3 minutes) during typical rush hours. Even during off-peak time, you do not have to wait more than 5-6 minutes to catch a subway.
The subway system runs from 6 am to 1:30 am from Monday thru Saturday and from 9 am until 1:30 am on Sundays.
There are 69 subway stations along 70km route, out of which 29 stations are wheelchair accessible.
Toronto streetcars take you to the places in Toronto where you can't reach by subway. TTC operates vast fleet of streetcars on 11 routes, mostly in downtown area including Toronto waterfront.
The largest streetcar system of its kind in North America offers a great way to explore the sprawling city and its neighbourhoods. Streetcars connect to 8 major subway stations in Toronto.
Many of the streetcar routes share the road with other traffic. By law, vehicles are required to stop behind the streetcars when they stop to pick or drop off passengers. However, you should always watch for traffic before getting on or off a streetcar for your safety.
Most streetcars run from about 6:00 am (9:00 am on Sundays) until about 1:00 am.
With almost 150 routes, TTC buses are another convenient option to get around Toronto. In addition to the city centre, TTC buses provide regular services to nearby suburbs and remote areas and link to many subway stations.
You can rely on TTC buses if you want to visit several major attractions like Canada's Wonderland, Toronto Zoo and Ontario Science Centre located outside the downtown area.
Buses also run in the same hours as streetcars. Some routes have special late-night service, which runs from 1:00 am to 5:00 am.
Go Transit is a commuter train and bus system that provides transportation to Greater Toronto Area and other neighbouring towns in the region.
There are 7 GO train lines, each runs from Union Station in Downtown Toronto. The GO Transit bus terminal is located next to Union Station.
Unlike TTC, the Go service is not very frequent. The Go trains run mostly during morning and evening peak hours, while Go buses operate during off-peak time.
You can buy ticket and pass from Go stations and bus drivers. Fares on GO Transit system vary according to the distance travelled.
Toronto Transportation - Other Alternatives
Toronto Car Rental
If you need to rent a car, you will find major car rental agencies located at many convenient locations in downtown area. Renting a car is a great option for day trips to nearby places of interest. For more information on Toronto car rental agencies, locations and tips to find a better deal, see my Toronto Car Rental page.
If you don't want to drive in Toronto, but still wish to have luxury of private vehicle, Toronto taxis are perfect for you. Toronto taxis offer safe and reliable transport around the city and neighbouring towns and cities.