Edmonton - Getting In & Around
By far, the fastest and most comfortable way to get to Edmonton from outside Alberta is by flying. Most major airlines service Edmonton. General travel times to Edmonton are 45 minutes from Calgary, 1 1/2 hours from Vancouver, and 4 hours from Toronto.
Edmonton International Airport is located outside of Edmonton in Leduc County to the south, so transportation to and from the airport will need to be arranged as there is no public transportation available to the airport. Fortunately, there is an airport shuttle available at reasonable cost. Taxi service is also available, but costs $40-45 to travel to the university area or downtown. The drive between the airport and downtown is about half an hour in normal traffic - allow yourself extra time during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
Edmonton is 3 hours north of Calgary on the Queen Elizabeth II highway (formerly Highway 2), and 4 hours east of Jasper on highway 16. From Vancouver, take the Trans-Canada (Highway 1) east to Hope, then the #5 (Coquihalla Highway) from Hope to the Yellowhead (Highway 16) eastbound junction just east of Tete Jaune Cache and north of Valemount. The average travel time in summer is 12-13 hours - assuming you don't plan on staying overnight along the way.
It is not recommended to take this route during the winter months of October to March. Although this major trucking route is well-maintained, severe winter storms can arise suddenly, particularly on the severe inclines between Hope and Kamloops. Even regular bad weather can produce impassable roads, and communities are few and far in between north of Kamloops. If you do want to make this trip during winter, stick to days without snowfall and try to travel during daylight (roughly 8 AM to 5 PM).
Greyhound services Edmonton from all major Canadian cities. There is also a premium service between Edmonton and Calgary, Red Deer, and Fort McMurray with Red Arrow Motorcoach, which feature more spacious seating (only three seats to a row) and "workstation" seats with electrical connections for business travelers and their computers.
VIA Rail provides passenger train services to Edmonton, and is linked to several major cities. The VIA train station is now located a short distance from the downtown core being located at 12360-121 Street, which is just a couple of blocks south of the Yellowhead Highway and near the northwest corner of City Centre Airport.
Edmonton hosts a safe, efficient and inexpensive public transportation system known as the Edmonton Transit System . With hundreds of different bus routes, you can get nearly anywhere you need to go with minimal bus transfers, provided that you are traveling into or out of downtown during the morning or evening rush hour. Other than that, call Transit Information at 496-1611 to get a trip plan made or check out the Trip Planner in the ETS's website. There is also a light-rail transit system that stretches from the University of Alberta Hospital to the north-east residential area of the city, which is very useful if your destination is on its route; otherwise, stick to the buses.
If you have an automobile, getting around Edmonton is quite easy. The city is laid out to get you from one end to the other in a relatively short time. But it's wise to make sure you know where you're going if you're driving in areas built within the last 30 years, as local streets become more chaotically arranged, many with cul-de-sacs and loops. The only challenge is learning all the bridges that will carry you in the right direction across the North Saskatchewan River, which meanders through the center of the city from southwest to northeast. Streets and avenues are laid out in a logical, numbered grid (interrupted by occasional named routes), so locating an address is pretty straightforward.
Edmonton has fairly good cycling routes which allow for all-year cycling, though winter cycling can be challenging for those unused to Edmonton weather. Combined with a lack of freeways to traverse, relatively low traffic compared to other major cities, low snow or rainfall, and a fairly flat terrain, Edmonton is an easy city to travel by bicycle. The City of Edmonton provides free maps of the bike system .
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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