There has been an ongoing discussion about whether rental cars or public transportation is more convenient, particularly for visitors to Canada. Toronto is well-known for its advanced public transportation system and thriving rental car industry, making it difficult for visitors to choose between the two. When planning a trip, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to rent a car or rely on public transport. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your needs and preferences before making a decision. To help clear up any confusion, we have created this page to guide you on which option is better.
But first, let’s take a look at the options available in both cases…
Options for Rental Cars in The GTA
There are many car rental companies that operate in Toronto, including major chains and small to big independents like City Car and Truck Rentals. Many of these car rental companies have multiple locations throughout the city, including, at or near, the Toronto Pearson International Airport, downtown Toronto and throughout the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). You can book a car rental online, by phone, or in person at one of their locations. It’s important to note that you will need a valid driver’s license and a credit card to rent a car here in Toronto.
Below are available car rentals options in the GTA offered by City Car and Truck Rentals:
- Economy cars: These are small and easy to park vehicles. Good for whether you need a car to get around town while visiting or just need a vehicle for a weekend.
- Compact Cars: Compact rentals offer great value for your money and plenty of space to comfortably fit up to four people, plus some accessories you may be carrying.
- Intermediate Cars: A good fit for your next family outing; you can enjoy a smooth ride & plenty of legroom, plus more cargo space than the compact or economy cars.
- Full Size Cars: With a great fuel economy, plenty of room for passengers and baggage, this type of car is perfect for long trips or family vacations.
- Ford Mustang Convertible Car: Mustang Convertible rentals have class, intuitive safety features, and powerful engines that make it a joy to drive, plus the iconic styling will turn heads wherever you go.
- SUVs: These roomy compact SUVs have the capacity to easily seat five or more people with plenty of room for all their luggage. Perfect for families, each SUV can include baby seats and booster seats. For off-road or camping, you can explore more terrain with the Specialty SUV Jeep. SUVs are available in multiple sizes – Intermediate, Full-size and specialty, but all are offered at affordable rates.
- Mini-Vans and Passenger Vans: Whether you’re looking for a comfortable 7-seater, 8-seater or 12-seater van with extra legroom and plenty of cargo space for family trips or corporate outings this fleet of Vans has the best choice meet your needs.
- Pickup Trucks, Cargo Vans and Cube Trucks: Whether you need to make deliveries, move furniture or transport equipment from one place to another, you can count on City Car and Truck Rentals versatile Cube Trucks, Cargo vans and Pick-up Trucks to fit the bill. Rent by the day or month with long-term contracts available for corporate or DSP use.
Options for Public Transportation in The GTA
Within the GTA, there are plenty of different modes of public transportation.
The TTC operates the following transportation systems within Toronto:
- Buses: The buses have frequent arrivals, wheelchair and stroller accessible entrances. The bus stops are located on both sides of the road and display the routes that stop there. The bus’s destination and route number are visible on the front and back of the vehicle. The speakers on the bus will announce the next stop, so passengers can get off at the right location. Passengers pay bus fares at a machine next to the bus operator when boarding. It’s crucial to learn how to ride the bus safely before traveling. Here, bus schedules may differ depending on the day and time. Buses are a reasonably priced way to travel from Toronto to other municipalities in the GTA.
- The Subway: The TTC operates four subway lines in the GTA:
- Yonge-University: The Yonge–University is a rapid transit line on the Toronto subway, serving Toronto and the neighbouring city of Vaughan in Ontario, Canada.
- Bloor-Danforth: Runs east-west along Bloor and Danforth Streets, connecting with both Line 1 and Line 3.
- Scarborough: This runs downtown Toronto to Scarborough Town Centre.
- Sheppard: an east-west line running into Don Mills Road, connecting with Line 1 at Sheppard-Yonge Station.
- Streetcar: Toronto’s streetcars are powered by overhead electric cables. You board the streetcar at a designated streetcar stop, and the next stops will be announced over speakers, so you’ll know when to get off. Streetcars have access ramps and priority seating.
- GoTrains: If you want to travel to other municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), you can catch the commuter GO train from Union Station, which is Toronto’s primary transit hub. The GO train runs through the integrated Toronto transit system to Lakeshore West, Lakeshore East, Niagara, Milton, Kitchener, Barrie, Richmond Hill, and Stouffville. You can find the full GO train route options on the GO transit site. To determine your ride fare, you’ll need to “tap in” and “tap out” of the system using your PRESTO card. It’s essential to tap in and out to avoid being overcharged for your fare. The GoTrains are often the fastest way of travel if the timing fits into your schedule. They don’t run 24/7, so if you are planning on traveling very late or very early make sure there is a train available when you need it! During special events, like big concerts or sports games at the Rogers Centre the TTC often adds a late train. But, not every time. So make sure you know the schedule so you don’t get stuck – or don’t get distracted by all the sights of Toronto and miss the last ride!
3 Things to Consider When Choosing Between Rental Cars and Public Transport
In terms of cost, public transportation is generally cheaper than renting a car. Public transportation fares are usually fixed, while rental car rates can vary depending on the type of car, rental duration, and location. Additionally, with public transportation, you don’t have to worry about additional expenses such as parking fees, fuel costs, and insurance.
2. Convenience & Comfort
When it comes to convenience and comfort, rental cars have an edge over public transportation. With a rental car, you have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, without having to rely on a fixed schedule or route. You also have the luxury of privacy and comfort that you don’t get on public transportation. However, public transportation can be convenient in terms of avoiding traffic and not having to worry about finding a parking spot.
Rental cars offer more flexibility than public transportation in terms of where you can go and when. With a rental car, you can easily explore areas that are not accessible by public transportation or go on a road trip. Public transportation can be flexible in terms of frequency and availability of services. In many cities, public transportation runs 24/7, while rental car companies have fixed operating hours. Public transportation in Toronto is built for those with accessibility issues – so most people can use the various services – but, if your final destination is not near a TTC streetcar, subway, bus, or Go-train you will still need to get from the public transport station to the final destination. Toronto is generally a safe place to journey if you are able to take in the sights and sounds of Toronto as you go.
Rental Cars vs Public Transport: Which Option is Right for You?
Ultimately, the choice between rental cars and public transport depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you value freedom and flexibility, and don’t mind spending extra money, renting a car may be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you’re on a tight budget or prefer to let someone else do the driving, public transport may be the way to go.
Before making a decision, consider factors such as your budget, itinerary, and comfort level with driving in an unfamiliar place (In Canada people drive on the right – if you are used to driving on the left you should consider this adds some complexity to you as a driver). Research your destination ahead of time to determine which option is most practical and cost-effective. With a little planning and preparation, you can make the most of your trip and enjoy all that your destination has to offer.
FAQs on Rental Cars Vs Public Transport
What are the Pros and Cons of Rental Cars?
Renting a car gives you more freedom and flexibility to explore your destination at your own pace. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want, without having to worry about schedules or routes. This is especially useful if you’re traveling to a remote area or plan on visiting several different locations during your trip. Renting a car can also be expensive, especially if you’re traveling solo or on a tight budget. You’ll need to factor in the cost of gas, insurance, and parking fees, which can quickly add up. Additionally, driving in an unfamiliar place can be stressful and confusing, especially if you’re not used to driving on the opposite side of the road.
What are the Pros and Cons of Public Transport?
Using public transport is often cheaper and more environmentally friendly than renting a car. You can save money on gas and parking fees, and many cities offer discounted passes for tourists. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about navigating unfamiliar roads or finding parking spots. Public transport can be less convenient and time-consuming than renting a car. You’ll need to plan your schedule around bus or train timetables, and you may have to transfer multiple times to reach the final stop – and then you still may not be at your final destination. This can be especially frustrating if you’re traveling with children or have limited mobility.
What about Airport Access?
The Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) straddles Mississauga and Etobicoke (Etobicoke is a neighbourhood in Toronto). The airport has both public transport options and vehicle rental options. You can plan your public transport from the airport here.
To arrange a rental vehicle with free pickup and drop-off at Toronto Pearson International Airport, visit: https://citycarandtruckrental.com/toronto-airport-yyz-car-rentals/