Lethbridge is a widely spread-out city which is divided by a river, and the winter months can be very cold, so walking to certain locations is not always practical. Unless you plan on purchasing and driving a car during your stay, you will most likely be using the public transit.

LA Transit is Lethbridge's public transit system and it has a number of bus routes to get you where you need to go. You can visit the Lethbridge Transit website to plan your trip or look up bus routes and times in your area. Lethbridge Transit is operational weekdays between approximately 6AM and midnight; weekend and holiday schedules usually differ. Depending on the route and day, buses may run anywhere from every fifteen minutes (during peak service hours) to only once per hour.

All students at the Lethbridge Main Campus are automatically enrolled in the UPass program, the cost of which (equal to one month pass plus a $5 administrative fee) will be included in tuition and fees for each semester. The UPass will provide you with unlimited access to local transit during any semesters for which you have registered in at least one credit course. You can use it during the summer as well, as long as you are registered in a summer course. There is an option to “opt-out” of the program and be reimbursed the fee if you meet certain conditions. Your uLethbridge Student ID card will serve as your transit pass.

As a full-time international student, you can drive in Canada with a license from your home country for up to a year. It is a good idea to obtain an International Driver's Permit in your home country before coming to Canada.

While driving, you should always have with you:

  • Your valid driver’s license
  • Your uLethbridge student ID card or other proof of student status at uLethbridge
  • An International Driver’s Permit (obtained from your home country) if your license is in a language other than English

If you do not have an International Driver’s Permit, you should carry a certified translation of your driver’s license.

When you need to, you can apply for an Alberta Driver’s License. You may need to take a written test and/or road test, depending on the country that issued your driver’s license. You will need to surrender your previous driver’s license, as it is illegal to hold more than one license.

If you plan to drive in Alberta, make sure you know the rules of the road. Laws and driving etiquette may be different from where you have driven before. For instance, did you know that in Alberta, it’s legal to turn right after coming to a complete stop at a red light, as long as it’s safe? Did you know that pedestrians always have the right of way?

Find out more here: Driver's Guide to Operating, Safety and Licensing.

You might want to rent a car if you are planning a short trip or need one for a specific occasion. There are a number of car rental options in Lethbridge to choose from. If you are considering renting a car, keep the following in mind:

  • You will need your valid driver’s license. Your International Driver’s Permit is only valid if presented with the original license.
  • You need to be at least 21 years old to rent a car. If you are 21 or older but younger than 25, you may have to pay a “young renter fee” surcharge. Additionally, if you are under 25 you may not be eligible to rent certain vehicles. Each car rental company will have their own individual policy, so do your research in advance.
  • You will typically need a credit card to pay for your rental car.
  • You may be liable for any damage done to the car while you are driving it. Consider the company’s insurance options carefully before you buy, to be sure that you will be covered in case of an unexpected collision.

A car is a pricey investment, so make sure to research thoroughly before deciding to purchase a vehicle. The costs of owning a car include not only the initial price of the vehicle, but vehicle registration, auto insurance, gas, and maintenance. All vehicles in Alberta must have valid insurance and a vehicle registration certificate; you cannot legally operate your vehicle without both.

When driving, be sure to keep your proof of insurance and registration certificate with you (in addition to your driver’s license) and in a location that is safe and easily accessible. For more information on vehicle registration, go here. For more information on personal auto insurance, go here.

Buying a used vehicle is usually much cheaper than buying a new vehicle, but make sure to educate yourself about the potential risks of buying a used car, especially if you are buying from an individual and not a dealership.

In Canada, driving in the winter is very different than driving in the spring, summer, or fall. Poor road conditions can make driving dangerous, especially if you are inexperienced with driving in severe winter conditions. There will often be snow or ice on the road, and snowstorms can impair visibility. Your car may need extra care or maintenance to keep it running smoothly in the winter. Here are some tips to ensure that you stay safe driving in the winter:

  • You will need good all-season or winter tires. If you do not have your car outfitted with the appropriate tires, you may get stuck in the snow or lose control of your vehicle more easily.
  • Slow down when driving on snowy or icy roads. Make sure you leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. You will require extra time to stop so start braking earlier, and brake gently.
  • Keep an eye on road conditions, and if possible avoid driving in extremely bad weather—especially on the highway.
  • Unless you are parked in a garage, you may need extra time in the mornings to brush snow off your car or scrape ice off your windshield. Plan accordingly.
  • In very cold weather, you may need to plug in your car so that it will start.

We do not recommend that you rely on taxis for your everyday transportation, as they are not as affordable or convenient in Lethbridge as they may be in some other places. There are taxi services available, but they can be costly and you will need to order them in advance. Taxis are appropriate for occasional use when other, more practical options such as walking, taking the bus, or riding a bike are not possible.

Many taxi services offer a student discount, so make sure to show your uLethbridge student ID card.

Bicycles are not suitable for year-round use and may not be a practical option for travelling long distances, but in the spring and summer months they are a good way of cutting down on walking time. They can even be used in conjunction with public transit. The University of Lethbridge has a number of bike racks and lockers around campus where you can safely store a bike. Bikes can be purchased new from stores such as Costco, Canadian Tire, and Walmart, or from many sport retailers. If you are looking for a cheaper option, you can try looking online for a used bike on websites such as Kijiji.

You should keep in mind that if you are riding a bike on a road, your bike is considered a “vehicle” and you must follow the rules of the road like drivers of other vehicles; this includes riding on the right side of the road, stopping at stop signs and red lights, observing speed limits, and signalling. If you are under the age of eighteen you are required by law to wear a helmet, however helmets are strongly recommended for all ages.

If you decide to purchase a bicycle, always secure it in an appropriate place with a bike lock before leaving it unattended. Your bike is more likely to be stolen if you leave it unsecured.

  • Walking: See this guide from the City of Calgary on pedestrian safety.
  • Uber: To access this local ride-sharing application, you will need to download the phone app and link a payment method to your account.