Public transit is available in Manitoban cities like Brandon, Winnipeg and Thompson. It is the most affordable and convenient way to get around locally, especially when you are not familiar with the major thoroughfares and streets yet. Check regular bus routes and schedules in advance so you’ll get to your destination on time. Go online, as most city transits publish their schedules. You can also call for schedules and other updates. If you are in Winnipeg, read 10 things to know about taking the bus to learn about public transport.
You may use your foreign driver’s licence in Manitoba for up to three months from your date of entry. After three months, you must apply for a driver’s license or acquire a Student Authorization Letter (if you are a full time student). While driving is the easiest way to get around, you must also consider the additional costs that come with this convenience. Some of these include registration and insurance fees, parking and gas expenses, and maintenance, a big part of which is getting your car winter-ready.
If you need temporary car service, there are many car rental companies in Manitoba. Depending on the type of car, rates vary per company (usually per day). Check out Kayak, Expedia or CAA Manitoba for more information.
Unlike in other bustling cities, people do not normally hail a cab on the street in Manitoba. You have to call a cab company to book a ride. Taxi fares depend on your destination, and rates are non–negotiable. There is usually a flag-down rate and another rate for the succeeding kilometers of the trip. If service has been satisfactory, you may also add a tip. To get an idea of taxi fares in Manitoba, go to Taxi Fare Finder. For a listing of taxis in Manitoba, check the Yellowpages.
In the spring and in summer, you will see many Manitobans bike or rollerblade to work or around the city. Most areas have good bike lanes or paths which you can use safely; most establishments have convenient racks to park your bike (you will have to bring your own chain and lock). Getting around the city this way is encouraged, as it provides good exercise and lessens air pollution. You are required to wear a helmet, as well as knee and elbow pads for your safety. Get a city map too, so you’ll know the shortest routes to your destination (you can find cycling routes online). For safe cycling tips, watch Defensive Cycling 101, a video on cycling in traffic produced by the Manitoba Cycling Association. Here is also a video from the Manitoba government on bike helmets:
The best way to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings is to walk around your area. Just like biking, it’s good for your health and it’s free! If you live a reasonable distance to work, school, grocery, shops, gym, etc., and if the weather permits, try walking. Most areas are safe, but of course, take the necessary precautions. Do not walk around alone, late at night, or go into unfamiliar streets and alleys. Maps are always helpful if you plan to walk farther, and maps show you the shortest route.
If you are traveling out of the city or across the country, VIA Rail Canada is a good option. VIA Rail Canada operates more than 480 trains per week to more than 450 cities in Canada. While it may not be the fastest route to anywhere, it is the most scenic way; riding a train is an adventure in itself.
Getting around Manitoba
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