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Getting Here and Around
Niagara Falls is easily accessible by car and train from Toronto. VIA Rail and GO (summer only) trains serve Niagara Falls, both stopping at the main rail station, not far from the falls. The nearest airports are in Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo, New York. It is possible to use public transportation and cabs to get around, but a car is more flexible and is recommended. There is no public transport between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, 20 km (12 mi) north.
The four- to eight-lane Queen Elizabeth Way—better known as the QEW—runs from the U.S. border at Fort Erie through the Niagara region to Toronto.
In Niagara Falls, parking prices increase closer to the falls. It can be triple the price to park along the Niagara Parkway (C$15/day) than it is up the hill near Victoria Street (usually C$5/day). If you park up top, know that the walk down to the falls is a steep one. You might want to take a taxi back up, or hop aboard the Falls Incline Railway, a funicular that operates between the Table Rock Centre and Portage Road behind the Konica Minolta Tower. The trip takes about one minute and costs C$2.50.
Shuttles and People Movers
Niagara Transit's two Falls Shuttle lines travel along the Niagara Parkway (late May-mid-October) as far north as the Whirlpool Aero Car entry area and the bus and train stations on Bridge Street and as far south as Marineland, as well as taking major routes through town along Fallsview Boulevard and Stanley Avenue, and past the QEW on Ferry Street/Lundy's Lane. A day pass is C$6, single-trip fare is C$3.50. You can pay the driver; exact fare is required. Otherwise, you can buy a ticket at the bus terminal, at 4320 Bridge St., across from the VIA Rail train station.
From mid-April to mid-October (10-5), air-conditioned People Mover buses travel on a loop route on the Niagara Parkway between the Table Rock Centre and the Whirlpool Aero Car parking lot (9 km [6 mi] north) and, from late June to early September, as far north as Queenston Heights Park, 15 km (9 mi) downriver. A day pass, available from Welcome Centres and at any booth on the system, is C$8 per person per day and includes the Falls Incline Railway. You can get on and off as many times as you wish at well-marked stops along the route.
Both the People Mover and Falls Shuttle pick up frequently (every 20 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively) and both are seasonal, but the People Mover operates only between 10 and 5 and only on a limited route along the Niagara Parkway, whereas the Falls Shuttle runs from around 9 am to midnight and has a much more extensive route. If you don't have a car (or you want to avoid pricey Niagara Parkway parking) and you need to get to some farther-flung destinations, consider the Falls Shuttle. The People Mover is convenient for visiting the main Niagara Parks destinations along the Niagara Parkway and makes it easy to hit all of these in a day.
Everyone—including children and U.S. citizens—must have a passport or other approved travel document (e.g. a New York State-issued "enhanced" driver's license) to enter the U.S. Go to the Department of Homeland Security Web site (www.dhs.gov) for the latest information. Avoid crossing the border at high-traffic times, especially Friday and Saturday nights. The Canada Border Agency and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection list border wait times into Canada and into the U.S., respectively, online at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/bwt-taf and apps.cbp.gov/bwt. Crossings are at the Peace Bridge (Fort Erie, ON-Buffalo, NY), the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge (Queenston, ON-Lewiston, NY), and the Rainbow Bridge (Niagara Falls, ON-Niagara Falls, NY).
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