There are usually several ways to “get around” one’s local community and throughout Ontario. The province of Ontario has an extensive system of highways and roads for vehicular traffic, as well as many other ways to travel. Understandably, access to the various modes of transportation will depend on where an international student lives in terms of the type of community, whether rural, suburban or urban.
- “Yellow” school bus
Many school boards, especially in rural and suburban areas, transport students to and from school in the traditional yellow school bus seen in North American television shows and movies. These busses will pick up and return students to within close proximity of their homes. Note that depending upon where a student lives along the bus route, travel times can be considerable, but rarely exceed 45 minutes one-way.
- Public bus
Most urban centers and many suburban areas have access to public transportation to take students to and from school. These busses serve the local community and students together and run on regular schedules. In most cases special discounted cost student bus passes are available. It is necessary to check with a specific school board to determine if the cost of bus service is included with the international student fees.
- Intercity bus
If students need to travel across Ontario or Canada in order to visit family, friends, or to travel to a main airport hub, there are several companies which run regularly scheduled bus transportation to towns and cities throughout Canada. While thers are several companies which offer intercity services, the company with the largest network of areas served is Greyhound Bus Lines (www.greyhound.ca).
Taxis are available in all cities and in many towns throughout Ontario. In rural areas, taxi service will depend upon community demand for the service. Fees for taxis are usually set by local municipalities and based on the distance travelled and the time involved.
Train service connects all major urban centres and many suburban and rural areas based on regularly scheduled departures and arrivals. There is one provider of passenger train service, VIA Rail Canada ( www.viarail.ca/en ).
There are several international airports in Ontario, the largest hub being the Lester B. Pearson Airport in Toronto, with other major airports in Ottawa, Hamilton, London, and Thunder Bay, among others. The main international airlines in Canada are Air Canada (www.aircanada.com) and WestJet (www.westjet.com).