DebConf17/Getting Around

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[edit] Walking

Montreal is a very walkable city if you have some time ahead of you. You can get to Montreal's downtown in around 1h of walk if you keep a good pace and walk West.

Montreal also has a lot of public parks. Check OpenStreetMap and plan your route!

Montreal is a very safe city and one should not worry about walking outside by himself or herself, even at night. Standard security measures should still be observed (don't flash your cash around, don't display expensive electronics openly everywhere, etc.).

[edit] Public Transit

Montreal has a very nice public transportation system for a city in North America. Société de transport de Montréal (STM ) is known to be efficient, clean, safe and relatively cheap. Public transit is the most convenient way of

STM's website is very complete and uses OpenStreet Map to implement routing and map features. The Android free software app Transportr also supports public transit in Montreal very well.

The Formula-E championship taking place July 29-30 will cause disruption at some bus stops in the downtown area, see the STM website for more information. The subway is not affected.

[edit] Accessibility

Information for people with disabilities can be found here. All buses in Montreal are wheelchair accessible. Sadly, the Orange line is the only subway line that can be called wheelchair accessible. Even there, only a few subway stations are equipped with elevators.

To palliate to this, STM offers door-to-door public transit service called Paratransit. Paratransit is accessible to people visiting Montreal from outside the Quebec province and uses the same fares as the rest of the public transportation system.

[edit] Fares

Montreal's public transit uses a unified fare and card system for all it's public transit sytem. The regular fare costs 3,25 CAD and is valid for the entire Montreal bus and subway network.

You can find detailed information about fares on STM's website.

Tickets and cards can be bought at automated machines in subway stations. You can also pay inside buses with the exact change.

If you plan to take the public bus (line 747) from the airport to the venue, buying a week pass at the airport is a good idea. Individual tickets for this line costs 10 CAD$, whereas a week pass for all Montreal's public transit (also good for that bus) costs 25.75 CAD$. Please note that the week pass is valid from Monday to Sunday. If you arrive at the end of the week, a 3 day pass (18 CAD$) or a weekend pass (13.75 CAD$) can be more economical. More info at [1]

[edit] Subway

The Montreal Metro consists of four lines, which are usually identified by their colour or terminus station. The terminus station in the direction of travel is used to differentiate between directions of travel. The busiest line is the Orange Line, while the least is the Blue Line.

On weekdays and Saturday and Sundays, the Metro service runs from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. on the Green, Orange and Yellow lines and 5:30 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. on the Blue line. The busiest station on the network is Berri UQAM, which connects the Orange, Green and Yellow lines.

Collège de Maisonneuve - DC17's venue - is situated on the Green line, right between Joliette and Pie IX stations. It takes around 5 minutes of walk to get from the venue to one or the other station. Please note that while Joliette station is closer to downtown, it is situated at the bottom of a hill (the venue is on top of a hill) whereas Pie IX station sits at the venue's elevation.

[edit] Mobile network

A 3G, 4G and LTE-compatible mobile network is currently being deployed in the city's subway stations. At the time of the conference around 50% of the stations will be equipped.

For those staying at RVC, the network is available in stations between McGill and Beaudry (downtown). Stations closer to the venue (eastward) aren't yet connected.

[edit] Bus

The STM bus service operates well over 200 bus routes serving a number of different markets. These routes serve an average of 1,403,700 daily passengers each weekday.

  • Local network routes, numbered 10-299, generally operate seven days per week, from 5:00 am to 1:00 am (Monday to Friday) and usually with a shorter span of service on weekends and holidays. Within this classification, some routes operate only at peak hours Monday through Friday, and sometimes only in peak directions. Others, numbered above 251, are specifically designed to serve the needs of senior citizens.
  • All-night network routes, with route numbers from 300-399, generally operate from 1:00 am to 5:00 am, seven days per week with some only operating early on Saturday and Sunday ("late" on Friday and Saturday)
  • Express Network routes, numbered 400-499, are limited-stop routes. Some routes are classified as Metrobus, and Trainbus and are geared to deliver peak-hour commuters to specific Metro and commuter train stations.
  • Shuttle Network routes, numbered 700-799, are special-purpose routes serving hockey games, tourist areas like Old Montreal and La Ronde (amusement park), as well as an all-hours route between downtown and Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

[edit] Bicycles

Montreal is a very bike-friendly city for North America, especially during summer. There are enough bike paths to get nearly everywhere in the city without leaving them.

Biking in Montreal is a great way to experience the city and you should definitely give it a try! You can find a map of Montreal's bike paths here.

[edit] Bixi

Bixi is the name of the public bike sharing system in Montreal. The bikes and the stations used in Montreal are the same as in some major cities such as New York, London, Melbourne or San Francisco.

Hundreds of stations can be found in nearly all major major neighborhood. There are multiple stations near DC17 venue. Renting a Bixi for a ride is a very convenient way to get around if you don't plan to bike a lot. It also works very well in conjunction with Montreal's public transit system.

You can find more informations on how to use Bixi bikes, how to rent one and how much a ride costs here.

[edit] Rent a bike

If you plan to use bicycles as your primary mean of transportation during your stay (great choice!) you might want to consider renting a bicycle. There are plenty of bike shops in Montreal offering rental services, but we recommend you take a look at the one offered by Vélo Montreal.

Vélo Montreal is a local bike shop 3 minutes north of the venue and they offer bike rental at an affordable price. Jacques - the owner - is a great guy and will help you get started. Their rental service includes:

  • a bike (hybrid, race or tandem)
  • a helmet,
  • a bottle cage holder
  • a rear carrier rack
  • a safety lock
  • a map of Montreal’s bike path network

They have a stock of 40 bikes (25 hybrids and 15 road bikes)

You can reserve your bike by emailing When you come to get your bike, they'll need an ID and a valid credit card to complete the rental.

Please note that a lot of bikes are stolen in Montreal each year. For example, thieves are known to remove signs on sign posts and lift bike up the post to steal them. It is very important to lock your bike properly when you go out.

[edit] Taxi

There are quite a few taxi companies in Montreal. Taxis are much more expensive than other transit options, but can also be much more convenient.

Here are a few companies:

[edit] Driving

Foreign driving permits are valid in Quebec. However, if your permit is in a language other than French or English, you need to get an international driver's permit.

You also need to know some things about Montreal:

  • Right turns on red lights, while allowed in Quebec, are prohibited on the island of Montreal.
  • Finding cheap parking anywhere near downtown, especially around festivals, is nearly impossible. Either bite the bullet and shell out up to 20 CAD$ for a parking lot or do yourself a favor and take the subway.
  • If you want to park for free on city streets, you need to get acquainted with the parking signs and regulations which can get complicated and confusing. Otherwise you're almost guaranteed to end up with a 40 CAD$ ticket.
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