With the way gas prices keep fluctuating, it’s hard to justify taking a road trip to keep within a budget. Coach Canada, however, offers passengers travelling between Toronto and Montreal a break when it comes to moving between the two cities. Fares start at just $10 each way, meaning that a roundtrip ticket will cost less than $25 with tax – or, less than half a tank of gas.
Why take the bus?
While taking the bus between Toronto and Montreal does take as many as six hours, there are benefits to taking the bus versus other public transportation options like trains and planes.
Currently, the only train service between Toronto and Montreal is served by VIA Rail. The trip can take anywhere from four and a half to five hours on an express train, which offers service twice daily. The remaining options by train can take up to six hours and are offered an additional four times daily. Although it may be a quicker alternative to the bus, when aboard an express, VIA’s Supersaver fare will still set a traveler back at least $120, roundtrip.
For those comparing taking a bus versus flying between Toronto and Montreal, only factoring in the time spent in the air can be deceiving. When looking at the journey as a quick 75-minute hop from province to province, then yes, it may take shorter to travel between the two cities. However, travelers sometimes forget to factor in that there are usually 2-3 hours at the airport that are required pre-departure as well as the time it takes for baggage claim and to get to and from the airport. While there may still be some time saved by flying, the $200-plus airfare may change your mind.
Another benefit of the bus, is that, like the train, you are brought directly from the downtown core to the downtown core. Public transportation is easily accessible from both the Toronto and Montreal bus terminals and, due to their prime, city centre location, may not even be needed. As well, if you have purchased a ticket for a specific bus (rather than an open ticket), unlike airplanes or trains, showing up 15 minutes before the bus leaves is not a problem.
The pick up and drop off locations in Toronto and Montreal are both conveniently located in the city centres. In Toronto, Coach Canada utilizes the Toronto Coach Terminal at 610 Bay St. near the Dundas subway station. For those living in the suburbs, the buses also make a stop at the Scarborough Town Centre, which is connected to the Scarborough RT. In Montreal, the bus stops briefly in Kirkland/West Island before continuing on to the Station Centrale D’Autobus, at 505 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Est, which is conveniently connected to the Berri-UQAM metro station. The bus also stops briefly in Kingston, Brockville and Cornwall.
Coach Canada offers 8 busses on weekdays, 16 on Sundays and 15 on Saturdays serving the Toronto to Montreal route. The times are as follows: 12:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.. For the Montreal to Toronto leg, buses leave Station Centrale at 12:15 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.. The journey takes approximately six and a half hours.
How to book
Booking tickets with Coach Canada is simple, but in order to take advantage of the $10 fares, those with strict travel dates should be prepared to pay a bit more, as there are not many seats available at that price. Simply go to www.coachcanada.com and click on the link advertising $10 fares between Toronto and Montreal and search for dates using the “Buy Online” feature at the left of the screen.