Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?

No, you won't need your own vehicle here, but if you prefer this option you must obtain a valid driver's license as well as car insurance. Generally, transferees find driving in Calgary to be user-friendly thanks to the grid-like pattern of the streets. However, be aware that downtown Calgary has limited parking and many one-way streets.
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How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?

In the province of Alberta, there are seven different kinds of licenses depending on what type of vehicle you will be driving. You must have a driver's license in order to drive in Alberta. You must carry it with you whenever you drive.

If you have a Landed Immigrant status or a work permit, you are permitted to drive in Alberta using your own valid driver's license for up to 3 months. After the 3 month period, you must apply for an Alberta driver's license. Non-Canadians that hold an International Driver's License may use this license for up to one year. However, do note that you cannot obtain insurance for your vehicle unless you have an Alberta license; and having insurance is a legal requirement in order to drive here.

To obtain a driver's license, license plate and vehicle registration you must do the following:

  • Go to any licensing/registration depot (look under the yellow pages for a depot near you)

  • Present your passport, landed immigration papers or work visa

  •  Take a Driving Knowledge test

  • Take a couple of lessons to become familiar with the 'rules of the road'

For information on how to get your Alberta driver's license, the Graduated Driver Licensing Program and driver training and examinations, visit the government transportation web site listed below.
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What side of the road do people drive on?

As with the United States, people drive on the right side of the road.
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Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.

There are several options that make getting around Calgary hassle free. Calgary has an above the ground train called the "Light Rail Transit" (also known as the C-Train) which covers the whole city and is free-of-charge in the downtown area. The LRT comprises two lines: Route 201 and Route 202. The 201 line handles the north-south portion of the city and the 202 line handles east-west.

Calgary also has an extensive bus system called the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The BRT operates on regular roads around the city and has transit priority at all traffic signals.

The city also offers Park 'N' Ride which is for transit customers who wish to park their cars at C-Train stations and/or main line bus stations. These facilities are offered at no charge.

Visit the Calgary Transit website for further information.
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Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.

Yes, there are several bus systems available that commute to other towns. For more information please check out the Calgary Transit website listed below or contact Crown Calgary.
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In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?

The speed limit in the city of Calgary is 50 km per hour (30 miles per hour) unless posted otherwise.The speed limit in school zones is 30 km per hour or 18 miles per hour on school days, Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM to 5:00PM. The same speed limit applies to playground zones 7 days/week from 8:30AM to one hour after sunset. These signs are posted very clearly as you approach.

The minimum driving age in Alberta is sixteen (16); however a learner’s permit may be issued to a driver at 14. The use of seat belts is mandatory throughout Alberta; the penalty for failing to wear a seat belt is a substantial fine and possible demerit points on your license.

It is a criminal offense to operate, be in care of control of a motor vehicle while your ability is impaired by alcohol or drugs. If the police determine your ability to operate a motor vehicle has been impaired by alcohol or drugs, you may be charged with impaired driving. First time offenders automatically receive a one-year driver license suspension, and further offenses result in stiffer penalties. Other points to remember are that right hand turns are permitted at red lights after you come to a complete stop and yield to any oncoming traffic. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at all intersections unless the intersection is controlled by a traffic light. The penalty for failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian is $57 and three demerit points.
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Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?

Tickets can be bought at any station, on line or with 'exact' cash. Unlimited-use daily and monthly passes are also available. Please visit the Calgary Transit website for further information.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.