How to Get Around in Montreal
Montreal is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada -- influenced heavily by French culture, the settlement on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River has grown into one of the world's most cosmopolitan collections of people. There are several transportation options in Montreal: the city has an underground metro system, a vast bus system, a bike rental service and several different Montreal car rental services scattered throughout the island.
Montreal Car Rental
There are many places to rent cars in Montreal, including the airport, downtown in the central business district, and east near the Jacques Cartier bridge. Car rental is appealing in Montreal because although the center city is fairly compact, its distinct neighborhoods are all separated by hours of walking. Walking from the Latin District to the Plateau to Outremont could take several hours, yet all of those areas of the city are reliable tourist attractions that must be visited.
Cars minimize the size of the city and allow you and your family to lunch in a bistro in the Plateau Mont-Royal, visit the beautiful Saint Joseph's Oratory in Notre Dame de Grace, and end your night with dinner and drinks at a steakhouse in Westmount. Montreal offers ample street parking and easy garage access downtown, but drivers beware -- Quebec drivers, and Montreal drivers in particular, have a reputation for recklessness!
Metro and Bus Lines
Montreal also has four separate subway lines. The green line runs east and west, and services Sherbrooke street and the downtown core; the orange line runs largely north and south and serves downtown as well as the Plateau, Little Italy, and Notre Dame de Grace; the yellow line goes off of the island to Ile Jean Drapeau and Longueil; and the blue line serves Cote des Neiges and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The metro is clean and functional, but the space between stops can be prohibitive for people simply looking to get around downtown.
For everywhere in the city that the metro does not go, buses are meant to serve the population. Montreal's STM bus service is generally punctual and reliable, but being at the mercy of the bus schedule can be frustrating sometimes -- particularly when you're waiting outside during the city's freezing winters.
Obviously this solution is only applicable for spring and summer months, but Montreal's BIXI bike rental service is an excellent and cheap way to travel around the city. Bixi stands are located on nearly every street downtown, in the Plateau and in Mile End, so travelers can easily find a bike and drop it off near their final destination. Of course, make sure that the forecast doesn't call for rain, and if it does, you might be better off in a car!
Please visit the Discount Car website for more informatoin.