Transportation at McGill

McGill is committed to reducing carbon emissions from commuting and air travel, and encouraging active transportation methods.  

The current phase of the McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025 aims to address the GHG emissions from our commuting activities by finalizing the Master Transportation Plan, increasing the bike parking capacity across campus, and encouraging the use of sustainable transportation for commuters. 

Additionally, every two years, Transportation Research at McGill (TRaM) conducts a survey on transportation use to commute to McGill's Downtown Campus. The main goal of this group is to generate valuable research of benefit to the community and to educate students through real world transportation planning projects. We encourage your participation should a survey be available!

Sustainable Travel and Mobility Guide

Sustainable Travel and Mobility Guide cover

The Sustainable Travel and Mobility Guide contains guidance and resources to help University travelers—faculty, staff, and students—reduce some of the negative impacts from travel by following a series of best practices.

As a research-driven institution with an international population, three campuses in Québec, and numerous research and field stations, the McGill community has many reasons to travel. However, the way we travel (and how frequently we do it) can have significant impacts on the environment and local communities. For example, McGill’s emissions from travel and mobility accounted for 26% of our overall emissions in 2017.

As part of the McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025, McGill committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2040. Reaching this target will require the participation of our entire community and committing to more sustainable travel practices is crucial to achieving this goal.

University-related Travel refers to travel for university-related reasons, and is typically eligible for reimbursement by the University. This includes travel for research, fieldwork, conferences, lectures, recruitment, meetings, events, and travel by our varsity sports teams. It consists of transportation arrangements by various modes, vehicle rentals, and accommodation.

Person walking on McTavish Street

Local Travel and Mobility refers to commuting: the regular (and often daily) movement of our community members between their home and their place of work or study, as well as trips between our campuses. Mobility is typically not eligible for reimbursement, while local travel between campuses can be.

Biking in Montreal

Montreal's BIXI public bike system

BIXI was first launched in May 2009. Since then, bike stations have been installed around the downtown campus. BIXI subscription discounts are available to the McGill Community from May to November.

Biking Downtown

McGill's own bike collectives, The Flat (in the University Centre) and La Cave (in Solin Hall), are available to the McGill and the Montreal Community alike. The groups both offer workshops for all skill levels and provide the tools necessary to fix your bike.

McGill University is also planning to open a new Bike Centre in a former parking garage in the University Centre (SSMU Building). The centre would transform an unused campus space into a multi-user, year-round Bike Centre that would increase bike capacity on campus, support active commuters, and cultivate a stronger bike culture at McGill.

Biking at Macdonald Campus

A small fleet of bicycles is available free to staff and students on the Macdonald campus, upon presentation of a valid McGill ID card. Bikes are available from 6am to 11pm, from April to October, and can be borrowed for up to three hours at a time. To rent bikes, just bring your McGill ID to the Macdonald Campus Security Office in Laird Hall, Room 101. Bike helmets are also available. Macdonald's Campus Bike Loan program has been running since the program began in mid-June 2003

Inter-Campus shuttle

The Macdonald Campus shuttle service provides students with a free alternative to driving. The bus transports students between the Downtown Campus and the Macdonald Campus in approximately 30 minutes and operates on a regular schedule throughout the year.

Pedestrianization On Campus

Comparison between the Y-intersection on McGill College St. before (in 2006, on left) and after (in 2016, on right) becoming a car-free zone in 2008.
Comparison between the Y-intersection on McGill College St. before (in 2006, on left) and after (in 2016, on right) becoming a car-free zone in 2008.

Creating a greener, pedestrian-friendly downtown lower campus, as free as possible of motorized vehicles, is a key objective of McGill University’s Master Plan. The lower area of Downtown Campus was made a car-free zone in 2008. This action is only one part of an overarching initiative pushing towards Greening the Campus.

Vehicle circulation on the Lower Campus is limited to emergency, delivery, service and certain construction vehicles, as well as those used by persons with disabilities or limited mobility. Emergency vehicles are permitted at all times. For more information on accessing lower campus, see Campus Planning.

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