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Winnipeg bus service
A public bus service called Winnipeg Transit operates throughout Winnipeg. You must pay exact fare on the bus; drivers do not carry change. You can save money by buying bus tickets or a bus pass. These are available at many drug and grocery stores.
Maps of bus routes and schedules are at information booths downtown at The Bay store, the Millenium Library and in the pedestrian concourse under Portage and Main. Or, visit Winnipeg Transit. This website has a trip planner called Navigo that will tell you the names and times of the buses you need to take to get to your destination.
If you take more than one bus to get to your destination, you do not have to pay on each bus. Ask the driver on the first bus for a paper slip called a transfer. It is valid for one hour and can be used for return trips.
Signs on the front and side of each bus show its destination and route number. Route numbers are also listed on signs at the bus stops. Express buses do not stop at all bus stops along their route. They only stop where bus routes cross each other.
To get a taxi in Winnipeg you must phone the dispatcher. Taxis do not stop for people waving them down in the street. The money you pay for a taxi ride includes a “starting fee” plus a fee for each kilometre the taxi travels. The further you travel, the more you pay. The price is not negotiable.
Via Rail Canada has transcontinental passenger train service. It links Manitoba with eastern and western passenger train lines. It also runs through northern Manitoba to Churchill, and through northwestern Ontario.
Greyhound Bus Lines offers scheduled and chartered passenger bus service throughout Canada and the United States. The Winnipeg bus depot is at Winnipeg International Airport.
Also operating within Manitoba are Grey Goose Bus Lines, phone 784-4500, toll-free: 1-800-392-1340; and Beaver Bus Lines, phone 989-7007, toll-free: 1-800-432-5072.
You do not need a visa or special document to travel within Canada.
Many people buy travel insurance when they travel outside Manitoba. If you get sick while you are away, Manitoba Health will not pay your medical costs unless you have travel insurance.
In Canada we drive on the right side of the road. You must respect the rights of pedestrians (people walking) and cyclists. You must not leave young children alone in a car.
All drivers must have a driver’s licence and vehicle insurance. A government agency called Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) oversees the licensing of drivers and insuring of drivers and vehicles. This insurance is called Autopac.
There are many rules for licensing. For example:
- Driving a taxi or commercial truck requires a special licence.
- MPI may allow you to drive temporarily with the licence you have now.
- after you get a licence your driving may have some restrictions for a certain period of time
When you emigrate bring documents such as your current licence or an International Drivers Permit. Once you are in Manitoba your first step to get a licence is to phone or visit an insurance company that sells Autopac.
Autopac outlets can give you a written driving test. When you pass the written test you get a permit that allows you to practise driving. You are issued a licence after you pass a road test that is given by an MPI agent.
Driving in the snow, ice and cold temperatures of a Manitoba winter takes practice and precaution. Watch videos about winter driving (and many other topics) at the MPI website: 60 Second Driver.
If you have a car accident with another vehicle or person:
- You must stop. It is against the law to leave the scene of an accident.
- If someone is hurt, phone 911 for the police or ambulance.
- Exchange personal information with the other driver – such as name, address, car registration number, license plate number and driver’s license number.
- If anyone saw the accident, ask them for their name and address, in case you need them as a witness.
- Call MPI. MPI will ask for information and give you an appointment to have your car assessed. They will give you forms to take to the auto body shop for repairs.
- If there is an injury or more than $1,000 damage you must report the accident to the police. (Note: almost any small amount of damage can add up to $1,000). You have 21 days to report the accident to police.
Many people learn how to drive a car by taking driving lessons. High school students can take Driver Education at school. Adults can pay for lessons at private driving schools.
You will find complete information about traffic regulations in the Manitoba Driver’s Handbook. It is important to pay parking or other tickets as soon as possible. Information on where to pay is given on the ticket.
Seat belts and child safety seats
Everyone in Manitoba must wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a car. Infants and small children must be securely belted in special car seats. For more information visit the MPI webiste: www.mpi.mb.ca.
Renting a vehicle
If you need a vehicle for only a few days or weeks you can rent one. Compare prices at different car rental companies.
Leasing a vehicle
If you cannot afford to buy a car, leasing may be an option. However, if you lease a car for a long time, you could pay more than you would to buy the car.
Buying a car
It is a good idea to read information from different sources before buying a new or used car.
- Auto Trader is a popular magazine and website that lists cars for sale. It has reliable advice on how to buy vehicles.
- Consumer Reports is an independent organization will a lot of research and advice.
You can negotiate the price for a new or used automobile. Make sure you take a vehicle for (free) test drive before buying. Note that used cars must be “safety checked” by a government-approved mechanic. Before you can register a used vehicle and get a licence plate you need a transfer of ownership document or bill of sale.
Many Manitobans find it useful to buy an annual membership with the Canadian Automobile Association. CAA provides emergency road service if your car breaks down and needs to be towed, or simply needs its battery boosted. CAA also has highway maps and many kinds of useful information for travelers.