Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic after getting off a plane. After all the waiting, the baggage claiming, and security you just want to either get home or get to where you are going. With the way city airports tend to be laid out in Canada this is nearly unavoidable. Having lived in two of Canada’s biggest cities I have experienced this first hand. Toronto’s Pearson airport feels like it isn’t even in Toronto. Montreal’s Trudeau Airport is built among a maze of interconnected highways that can load up with seemingly a single fender bender. It’s a real mess.
FlightHub recently released their rankings for both international and Canadian destinations, with Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver obviously being near the top of the charts when it comes to Canada. After the FlightHub review I decided to look at what these cities offer in terms of transit options for travellers looking to get quickly to and from the airport and see which one does it best.
Toronto’s Pearson Airport
When I lived in Toronto in 2012 you had two options when it came to getting to the airport. You could pay through the teeth for a cab or drive, or you could choose from one of four buses or streetcars that get you to the airport. Drivers drove, and the public transit crowd took the bus. A true case of the devil you know if I ever saw one. Well, in 2015 that all changed with the launch of UP Express. UP Express came to Toronto in time for the Pan Am Games in June 2015, providing a 25 minute ride from downtown to Pearson Airport every 15 minutes. Connecting Union Station and Pearson Airport, this transit link literally makes it possible for someone to hypothetically hop off a plane from Vancouver at Pearson, ride to Union Station, hop on a VIA Rail train and roll halfway to Montreal before you would crawl across Toronto on its antiquated and clogged 401 highway. Toronto needed this, and thankfully it has finally got it.
Montreal’s Trudeau Airport
Now, onto a dimmer note. Montreal, the home of FlightHub, offers no service like the UP Express. In terms of public transit, Montrealers and tourists have exactly one option: The 747 bus. This one bus runs from the downtown core to Trudeau Airport and can take up to an hour to reach its destination. It also costs $10. That is three times the standard bus fare in Montreal. All in all, a dismal service.
Vancouver’s International Airport
Another modern airport and transit system. Thanks to the Canada Line, people arriving at the Vancouver International Airport can get to and from downtown Vancouver and Richmond in less than 30 minutes easily from either the domestic or international terminal. This train ride can cost up to $11, which while a little pricey beats a cab or a one hour drive across downtown Montreal while your racing the clock to make it to your flight on time.
There are two obvious choices, as both Vancouver and Toronto offer modern, 21st century solutions to congestion and transit. Both the Canada Line and UP Express make it possible for you to securely plan your trip and comfortably get to the airport without concerns attached to traffic conditions, which is ultimately all a traveller truly wants. The chance to make a plan, and make it stick when crossing urban centres on the way to the airport. Its great to see that at least two of the airports FlightHub identified as the most busy this holiday have credible options for those looking to take transit to and from the airport.