Bus Travel

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TRAVEL TIPS

Bus Travel

Several private bus lines serve the province. Orléans Express is probably the most convenient, as it offers regular service between Montréal and Québec City and its buses are clean and comfortable. The trip takes three hours. Limocar, another bus line, serves the Eastern Townships. Greyhound Lines offers interprovincial service and is timely and comfortable, if not exactly plush. Megabus offers somewhat more luxurious service to the province of Ontario and the city of Buffalo. Smoking isn't permitted on any buses.

Bus terminals in Montréal and Québec City are usually efficient operations, with service all week and plenty of agents on hand to handle ticket sales. In villages and some small towns the bus station is simply a counter in a local convenience store, gas station, or snack bar. Getting information on schedules beyond the local ones is sometimes difficult in these places. In rural Québec it's a good idea to bring along a French–English dictionary, although most merchants and clerks can handle a simple ticket sale in English.

On a daily basis, buses from Montréal to Québec City depart 17 times per day between 6 am and 11 pm. A one-way ticket costs C$58.53, taxes included; round-trip costs C$93.64. Tickets can be purchased only at terminals. All intercity bus lines servicing Montréal arrive at and depart from the city's Downtown bus terminal, the Gare d'Autocars de Montréal, which is conveniently located next to the Berri-UQÀM métro station. The staff has schedule and fare information for all bus companies at the station.

Many bus companies offer discounts if you book in advance, usually either 7 or 14 days ahead. Discounts are also often available for kids (children ages 15 and under can travel for free on most bus lines if tickets are booked three days in advance).

In major bus terminals, most bus lines accept at least some of the major credit cards. Some smaller lines require cash or take only Visa or MasterCard. All accept traveler's checks in U.S. or Canadian currency with suitable identification, but it's advisable to exchange foreign currency (including U.S. currency) at a bank or exchange office. Be prepared to use cash to buy a ticket in really small towns.

Most bus lines don't accept reservations for specific seats. You should plan on picking up your tickets at least 45 minutes before the bus's scheduled departure time.

Bus Information

Gare d'autocars de Montréal. 1717 rue Berri, Montréal, Québec, H2L 4E9. 514/842–2281; www.gamtl.com.

Gare du Palais Bus Station. 320 rue Abraham-Martin, Québec City, Québec, G1K 8N2. 418/525–3000.

Greyhound Lines. 800/231–2222; 800/661–8747; www.greyhound.com.

Limocar. 866/692–8899; limocar.ca.

Orléans Express. 888/999–3977; 514/395–4000; www.orleansexpress.com.

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