If you plan on travelling all day on bus & LRT, you might want to consider buying a DayPass for $7.50. Staying for a week or two & using public transit? Buy a book of 10 tickets. Each ticket ($2.10) will save you 40 cents off of a regular cash fare ($2.50).
I was surprised in a very positive way to find a good net of bicycle paths throught the city. Also the small streets in the neighborhoods were very usable for biking.
Check the official webpage of Edmonton for information about biking in town.
My tip is the river valley where you will find a nice bike path.
The Edmonton Queen is a modern paddlwheel riverboat designed to accomodate more than 200 passenges for excursions up and down the North Saskatchewan River. It has a dining room on board it's one of the unique ways to see Edmonton from it's famous river valley.
Edmonton's transit services is the cheapest way to get around the city. Currently, it cost $2.00 (adult) to ride around Edmonton for 90 minutes. It's cheaper if you stop at a local convenient store (a la Mac's, 7-11) to purchase a day pass (think it's about $4-6??) for unlimited rides. You can get info on routes and such at the transit info site.
Way back in the day, Edmonton was a trend setter with the use of streetcars. They flourished from the early 1900's until 1951, when the last car was taken out of service. During that stretch, Edmonton had the highest (50m) and longest (740m) bridge for streetcars.
Thanks to the dedication and determination of the volunteers at the Edmonton Radial Railway Society (ERRS), the small section of historic track is again alive and functioning.
The High Level Bridge Streetcar is not affiliated with the Edmonton public transit system, so passes, vouchers, etc. are not interchangeable. The proceeded of the tickets on the streetcar go straight back to the ERRS for preservation, maintenance and further development.
For the price of $2 one-way, you can ride over in the rebuilt streetcars (most recent addition being 1970's car from Hannover Germany).
During the evenings, the car dims the lights so that you can get an unobstructed view of the city skyline without glare from inside.
The terminals are only 3km apart, with the north being at 109st St and Jasper Ave. The south terminus is at 84th Ave and 103rd St (just north of the Farmer's Market).
Service is between Labor Day weekend in May until Thanksgiving weekend in October.
Schedule is approximately every 40 minutes from 11am to 3:40pm.
Additional times are offered during Saturdays and the Fringe Festival.
I always thought that Edmonton was a very unfriendly place but once again the wonderful people on city council are proving it, I live out of town, but I drive to the city daily to work
I ride my motorcycle into the city whenever the weather allows, with all the distracted & self absorbed drivers that this city has to offer its remarkable that more riders aren’t killed driving here.
You can do whatever you want in your vehicle, coffee, smoke, text, talk on your phone; apply makeup as long as some nut on a motorcycle doesn’t disturb you.
Since the city of Edmonton doesn't want motorcycles in the city limits then anyone wanting a nice ride should avoid the quiet serenity of the city limits at all cost, take a drive in the country & support the communities that support the motorcycle lifestyle. We don’t have to support any of the charity rides within the city limits, until the city is more motorcycle friendly.
Anyone coming to Alberta for a motorbike ride, avoid Edmonton you are not welcome there, but please ride everywhere else & enjoy the beauty that the rest of Alberta has to offer.
Enjoy the freedom that riding brings & take the time to enjoy the view, but as always watch out for those who won't watch out for you, #1 reason for running into a rider
" I never seen them"
From Calgary, Highway 2, approximately 3 hours.
From Vancouver: Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) approx 13 hours.
From Winnipeg: Highway 16 approx. 12-13 hours
Major international air carriers land at Edmonton International Airport, which is also a hub to the north.
By Train: Via Rail. There is also a special excursion train called the Rocky Mountaineer Railtours that travels between Edmonton and Vancouver, and from what I hear it's a fabulous trip!
Edmonton city has an excellent public transit system which employes both busses and a high speed Light Rail Transit. (LRT) Current fares: $2 adult fare will take you anywhere in the city. Monthly passes are also available and discount tickets of 10 for $15 will save you some money. Fares for seniors and children are less.
Current fuel prices: (Feb 2003 In Canadian currency (1 Canadian dollar = 66 cents US
Regular gasoline: 72-78 cents/liter ( Most merchants offer 3.5 cent discount off these prices)
Diesel: 65 cents/liter
Propane: 44 cents/ liter
Natural Gas: 40 cents/liter
March 2008: Regular gasoline: $1.05- 1.09 per liter
Diesel: $1.12 per liter
Propane: 72.9 cents/ liter
Natural Gas: 72 cents/ liter
If you head for Fort McMurray northeast of Edmonton, you'll probably see these huge trucks heading up Highway 63 to the oilsands operations. They are carried in several pieces for obvious reasons---they are wider than the highway! Worth over $4,000,000 each with a load capacity of 380 tons, one oilsands production company just ordered 23 of them. The tires are the largest made, over 12 feet in diameter. Engine 3200 HP, or about the same as a big railway locomotive. When fully loaded they weigh 40% more than a 747 Jumbo Jet!
Not recommended for driving to the grocery store!!
Photo courtesy Caterpillar.
For those of you looking for exercise, or those of you who are avid cyclists, Edmonton is a great city to roam around in! We have quite a few trails around, especially down in the River Valley, and in the summer when it's hot and gorgeous out...nice. We even have buses that can carry bikes for when you get too tired (although not very many, I don't believe). I remember in summer camp we would bike from Emily Murphy park all the way to Goldbar...and back again. I've even seen some cyclists in winter, but whether you want to venture out in the snow or not is up to you! If you don't own one, a place called The People's Pedal rents them. A cheaper option than a car if you're a lone traveller (and for the whole family), and a lot better for the heart too!
Edmonton has a pretty decent bus system called ETS-Edmonton Transit System. It costs $2.25 for an adult and $2.00 for a youth or senior for an hour and a half. You get a transfer when you get on the bus so you can switch to another bus during this time without paying again. It is quick and convenient to get to and from major places, ie. Downtown, Whyte Avenue, and West Edmonton Mall. We also have an LRT (light rail transit) which is very fast but very ineffeicient as it hardly covers any of the city. Again, very fast if you are going to and from Downtown to Whyte Ave., but it doesn't go to the west end or far into the north, south or east end. ETS has a comprhensive website (www.takeets.com) with all the routes listed and a trip planner. They also have a phone number if you need help planning a trip.
We rented a car from Avis, and were pleased with the rates offered. The car was equipped with snow tires, and had no problems with the snowy conditions. The rental office/cars are located right at the airport, and make for easy rental/return. We did find out that our US car insurance did not cover us for Canadian rentals, and decided to purchase the additional liability insurance. This portion of the rental was a little pricey, but we decided it was worth it given the weather.
Though my experience on the Edmonton Transit System (ETS) was short, I was mostly impressed.
Busses tend to run frequently on high volume routes, the buses were clean, and the locals at the stops were pretty normal :) The various stops were well labled to allow riders to determine which stop is serviced by particular bus routes. For a $2 fee, you can go as far as you want in the same direction. And if you are leaving the fringe festival, and recieved a sticker, your return is FREE!!
Unfortunatly for me, my bus broke down near my hotel .... but at the bottom of a very steep and intimidating hill :( Rather than waiting for the next bus, Ryan and I just trucked up the hill. Ryan did so without any significant effort. I on the other hand was breathing hard, and probably looked like I was about to suffer a stroke or something. All in all, it's obvious I survived this event without any permanent ill effects. DavidKeeling did say afterwards 'that NEVER happens' .... hmmm, still thinking about that one :)
The public transit system tends to be somewhat poor in Edmonton. Your best bet is to drive everywhere (except to festivals, sporting events, concerts and other large public events where there are tons of shuttles available).
There are tons of red light cameras and photo radar cameras, so don't speed or run red lights! There should be a sign just before the intersection or area if it's being surveillanced. Old fashioned radar has no warning signs though, and speeding tickets are Edmonton's cash cow, so don't speed.
As part of Edmonton Transit System (city buses), there is an "LRT" system. The LRT track currently stretches from NE corner of the city down towards downtown (passing by the Skyreach Centre & the Stadium) thru downtown where there are a number of stops along the way up to a stop by the Legislature (Government Center), after which it crosses the river and ends at the University of Alberta. In near future years the track will be extended into southern parts of Edmonton. If you travel only between downtown area Stations (between Grandin and Churchill), it's free. Otherwise the cost of the LRT is the same as the cost for a bus. If you need to take bus up to an LRT station or vice versa to get somewhere, you can make a transfer, there is no extra fee, just validate your bus ticket. Also, if you're in Edmonton for more than a month and will be using the transit system, you can purchase a Bus Pass (they sell it per month) which is a super deal compared to paying bus fare every time you use it. Just carry the Pass with you all the time. Another decent thing about ETS is that a fare is good for 90 minutes. So if you stop somewhere for a short time, you can still use the same bus ticket to get back within that time frame.
The city is laid out in a numerical grid system. The theoretical centre of the city is at 100 Street and 100 Avenue. Streets are roads that run north-south, while Avenues run east-west. As you go north the Avenue numbers get bigger. As you go west the Street numbers get bigger. In other words, a small Street number means it is located in the east, and a small Avenue number means it is located in the south. If you're mathetmatically inclined, then imagine a grid with Edmonton being placed in the top-left quadrant, therefore the absolute value of the numbers increase as you go left (west) or up (north).
Addresses are easy to understand, and you can immediately locate the closest intersections. For example, 10001 - 100 Ave is close to the intersection 100 St and 100 Ave. The first number is the building number. The first 2 or 3 digits represent the St/Ave that the block the building is located begins. The last 2 digits represent the location within the block. 10001 - 100 Ave would be in fact the first building west of 100 St on the south side of 100 Ave. 10002 - 100 Ave would be the first building west of 100 St on the north side of 100 Ave. Likewise, 10001 - 100 St is the first building north of 100 Ave on the east side of 100 St. 10002 - 100 St is the first building north of 100 Ave on the west side of 100 St. Odd building number on a street = east side of the street, even number = west. Odd number on an avenue = south of the avenue, even number = north. Trust me, it gets a lot easier once you're here!!
Edmonton is car friendly - too much at the expense of pedestrians and public transit users. Though residents complain of 'traffic congestion', they obviously have no idea what a real traffic jam is like in a real city. The Whitemud Drive is the closest stretch of pavement we have to a freeway in this city. It is only a true freeway in certain areas.
Edmonton Transit (www.takeets.com) operates a relatively efficient and reliable service throughout the city, including an LRT (light rail transit) line running from University to the northeast, with the southern section underground (and therefore sheltered from the weather). The only complaint is that the service to areas outside of central Edmonton is not as frequent as we would like. And for a city whose attractions are scattered throughout, this is not a good thing. However, with proper planning, it is quite possible to get around the city with transit. I managed for years before I got my car! Their website is comprehensive, with route maps and brochures. Or they can be found in many locations throughout the city (Airport, City Hall, libraries, their main office above Churchill Station - underground at 99 St between 102 and 103 Ave).
Taxis are inespensive, especially if there are more than one person. It is not as easy to flag down cabs as it is in more densely populated cities, so the custom is to telephone for a pick-up.
There are some areas that make for a nice walk. Many buildings in downtown are connected by the PedWay system (underground and above ground connections) so that one does not have to endure the prevailing weather conditions. A map of downtown (with PedWay layout) is available throughout downtown. The University and surrounding communities are a nice walking area. Not far away is Whyte Avenue/Old Strathcona, the number 1 pedestrian area in the city. Oliver, Chinatown, Little Italy, among others are also worth checking out bipedally. Watch for my tips on neighbourhoods to find out more.