Transports in Québec - The Traveller


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Friday, March 23, 2012

Transports in Québec

Car rental

This is often by booking from Europe you get the best conditions. If you rent in Canada, ask bluntly "What's your best rate? “

To rent a car in Canada, you must be at least 18 years, usually 21 years and sometimes even 23 or 25 years according to the airline - which, when they accept the younger, require a daily supplement may result.

Regardless of age, has a payment card is inescapable: there are very few companies that agree to rent a car to someone without a map, so without warranty. The French driver's license is recognized in Canada (1 year license for a minimum rental).

In winter, ask for vehicles equipped with snow tires. They may involve a supplement, but are safer than the tires "four seasons". By cons, they are rarely available south of Quebec City.
Speaking tires and Quebec, precisely: since 2010, a new tax on tire maintenance has appeared in this province. It seems that some renters do not include it in their package and it must be set up (about $ 3.60 per day).

Also referred to as trailer ... Good idea for starting a family or with others. The rental network is extensive and there are now mobile homes in all regions of Canada. Many forms: one way or loop circuit, unlimited mileage or not, self-guided packages, etc.. Ideal for living to the rhythm of excess Canadian.

Driving an automobile

There are only two pedals: the brake and accelerator. We use only the right foot to accelerate or brake. And some advice: to brake, gently put your foot on the pedal and do not crush the fungus even at very low speed (of automatic brake is very sensitive)!


The speed limit is 30 or 50 km / h in town and 90 km / h (sometimes 100 or 110) on motorways. Police keeping watch on the roads are salted and fines. The roads are wide but often slightly curled due to high temperature ranges.

The highways are free and the drivers seem much less crowded than in France. In addition, gasoline is not too expensive compared to European prices: between $ 1.25 and $ 1.40 per liter usually by region and oil prices.

Some rules of conduct

- Traffic lights: they are located after the intersection before and not at home.

- Turn right at the traffic lights at an intersection shall be provided on the right lane, unless otherwise indicated, you can turn right on red after scoring off and making sure the coast was clear. Exception: the island of Montreal, where it is prohibited to turn right on red.

- "Going protected flashing green light" at intersections, that means you have priority and you can turn safely, the queue in front is stationary.

- Flashing orange or red in the center of a crossroads: the lights suspended are primarily used to indicate that there is a crossroads and we must be careful or to mark off.
- The priority right does not exist in Canada. Crossings equipped with stop signs for all routes (or flashing red lights), the rule is that the first come is first.

- When a yellow school bus stops, red lights are lit and a small sign "Off" appears on the driver's door. All cars must stop those who follow such as those just across the street. Forbidden to restart before the lights go out, even if there is no children ... This is one of the worst offenses in the Highway Traffic Act and the Canadian salt is particularly fine.

- In large cities, parking (sorry, parking) are paid and quite expensive, especially those in hotels. But parked in a street in Montreal or Quebec City is a major headache for the neophyte! The public parking will save you the inconvenience of an offense and it's worth the cost because the impoundments are super fast.

Train (Via Rail)

Canadian trains are slow but comfortable. The least slow the connection between Montreal and Toronto (550 miles) in 5 hours (at best). This is not the TGV, but it's more comfortable than the bus. Larger lines are even equipped with wifi!

The class "Economy" is about two times cheaper than the class "Business". The seats are not more spacious, but it has some small privileges at the station, more attentive service and a warm meal.

In Economy class fare young (12-25 years) is granted upon presentation of an ID card. Ditto for the senior rate (over 60). Children under 2 years travel free and children under 12 years receive a 50% reduction.

Generally, depending on availability, you can get a discount if you book interesting in advance. Online, look Special Rates (4 days before economy class), Supersaver (3 days before classes in Economics and Business) or Reduced (1 day before in both classes). There are also "Express deals," the most interesting. It is only a selection of trains.

The Canrailpass is a map to give seven-way trips across Canada over a period of 21 days in economy class. It is only valid for seats (extra charge for the sleeper car). There are two types of Canrailpass: Supersaver network (the cheapest, but with reservations made 3 days before departure, in the limit of available seats) and the Network at reduced rates (to 1 day before departure and more seats available). In 2011, the Supersaver Canrailpass cost $ 970 from June to mid-October and $ 610 in low season; Canrailpass the discounted $ 1,115 in high season and $ 700 in low.

There are also Corridorpass, which entitles seven-way tickets in economy class for 10 days in southern Ontario and Quebec (Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Niagara Falls ...). Adult: $ 350-480. Note that the two passes are also available in youth fees.


Often more convenient - and certainly faster - than the train with higher frequencies, it can travel very long distances in one go (to the United States) ... provided to get to sleep on board. Canadian buses are reasonably comfortable (toilet, sometimes screens) and, in general, absolutely spotless. The bus stations are relatively safe (compared to the U.S.).

Greyhound serves most of the territory; Coach Canada serves more Ontario and Quebec. In La Belle Province, there is especially Orléans Express and InterCar.

In fact, two or more, renting a car quickly turns more favorable; especially as the Canadian bus networks do not have the density and the frequencies at which we are accustomed in Europe. In contrast, for solitary backpacker is relaxed and we made lots of wonderful encounters.

In general, students and more than 60 years get 15 to 25% off full price. Greyhound, book 7, 14 or 21 days in advance can make great savings.
If you are traveling in Quebec and Ontario, obtain the Rout-Pass, valid between early June and mid-December. There are 7 or 14 consecutive days or 18 days for those who would reach New York.


Not much to report except that, given the size of the country, it may be necessary for certain trips. Air Canada offers regular special offers on its website.
Do not overlook WestJet fares, low-cost airline serving over 70 destinations in the country.
Otherwise, for a return ticket bought in Europe, all companies offer interior pass with 30% discount.


They say "hitchhiking" in Quebec, "hitchhiking" in English.
The hiking is easy in northern Quebec, but it is forbidden in the English provinces. Truck Stops (truck stops) are good meeting places. Directly ask the drivers to their destination.


In Quebec there (and only for this province) a carpooling system that connects the car owners and hitchhikers: Allo Stop. We share transportation costs, which are preset by the body. It comes less than half the bus. To be a member of, just buy a card valid for 1 year ($ 6). Allo Stop now has a competitor, Amigo Express, which offers similar services.

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