Busing can be a really annoying adventure - routes get changed, traffic, overcrowding, etc. But it’s the start of a frosh new term and I wanted to share my experience taking the bus from Waterloo to the Toronto region. I’m on a bus right now actually.
There’s mainly three different services: UW Fedbus, Go bus, and Greyhound. Of course each has their own characteristics so let me describe them below.
The Fedbus is run by UW’s Federation of Students and available for Waterloo students. It’s fairly cheap, especially if you are purchasing a round-trip ticket ($20 total). It can be pretty convenient if you live close to one of its locations. However it only runs once on Fridays and Sundays (during the term), which certainly limits your flexibility. It can be purchased online or at the Turnkey desk in the SLC.
It’s the bus that everyone knows about, runs on a regular schedule and can reach many destinations. Even though there’s only one route - the 25[ABCF]? - that travels to and from Waterloo, its variants can be a bit tricky to decipher at first. Normally the 25 route goes between UW and Square One (be sure to take the B or C express variants as they can usually save you almost an hour). The exceptions are the A variant, which goes to Milton, and F, which goes to York University. Unfortunately these two variants have a limited schedule, so be sure to check it ahead of time. It’s probably worth getting a Presto card because students can receive 17% discount1. You might also find this little webpage useful to keep tabs on your balance (I keep it open as a tab on my phone).
I’ve only taken the Greyhound a couple of times over two years ago so I don’t have much to say. It’s usually the better choice if you are travelling to downtown Toronto. Many Greyhound buses offer wifi, but for me it’s not a big deal since I usually listen to podcasts. You can purchase tickets at the SLC and take the bus from BMH.
When traveling on an unfamilair route, I like to plan ahead by using Google Maps. Afterwards, I will usually use the Transit App because it provides a real-time schedule of all nearby buses (and has Google Maps search built-in). It’s convenient to use the Presto card so you don’t have to worry about spare change or bus tickets. Safe travelling!
1. You can apply for the Presto student discount through the Go Pass tab on Quest.