Affordable ways to travel out of London without a car
Ever since Greyhound announced that it would be halting its service across Canada last May, students and Londoners alike have been desperate for alternative options to get them in and out of the city. Luckily, many options have been cropping up, with the hope of replacing what was once one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get between cities in Ontario without a vehicle.
Popular in Europe for its cheap and comfortable bus travel, Megabus has been steadily increasing its service across Canada since it launched here in 2009. The Megabus had long been an option for travellers going from Toronto to Montreal, but the yellow double-decker buses had yet to make their way west to London until recently. The new route 2740 bus makes two stops between London and Toronto. The bus sets off from the RV Parking Lot at the Flying J at 3700 Highbury Ave. S and drops you off at Union Station Bus Terminal at the northeast corner of Bay St. and Lakeshore Blvd.
Of course, this option only works if you are able to get a ride to the Flying J (which is not accessible by London transit). However, it makes for one of the speediest options for travelling from London to Toronto, with a ride duration of about two hours and 20 minutes. The bus departs seven times a day, including a 12:45 p.m. pick-up at Western University. At just $24.99 a ticket, it is also one of the cheapest options we know of for travelling from London to Toronto.
In 2021, the GO train will finally make its way to London after much anticipation. The new service also connects customers to Stratford and St. Marys using GO Transit services. The pilot project includes one trip leaving from London in the early morning, and one return trip in the evening. The new service extends beyond GO Transit’s Kitchener line and also includes stops in St. Marys and Stratford.
The trip is one of the longer options coming to London, with the journey from London to Toronto’s Union Station taking approximately four hours. The trains use current VIA Rail lines and stations, which in London, is located downtown at 205 York St. A round-trip ticket from London to Toronto costs $60.
Great Canadian Coaches
While both the above options have their pros and cons, only one service plans to operate stops directly from Fanshawe College. Great Canadian Coaches, a family-owned bus business, offers weekly trips to Toronto with various stops along the way, including Square One Mall in Mississauga, by way of the Fanshawe College campus. Students can be picked up outside the Student Centre at Fanshawe, but pick-ups will also be available at Western University and in downtown London.
Great Canadian Coaches Sales Manager Bernie Downey said serving students has always been at the forefront of their business model.
“One of the founders of our company, Larry Hundt…he went to school at the University of Waterloo,” said Downey. “He started getting involved and doing bus trips and organizing various student trips. He’s kind of come full circle in serving students.”
This new service is offering affordable bus travel from London to Toronto, with stops at McMaster University in Hamilton. You can catch this bus at Western University or downtown London, with tickets costing about $20 each. This option might not be most ideal for day trips, as departure times are minimal and return trips only leave Toronto at 11:15 a.m. The good news is that FlixBus will drop you off at the Harbourfront in Toronto, instantly giving you access to the beautiful waterfront rather than dropping you off at the city’s main bus terminal. The trip takes about two hours and 30 minutes, which is vastly faster than the GO train and typical for other buses. It is the cheapest option presently available for getting from London to Toronto.