Red Arrow Motorcoach-1

Travelling from one city to another often means renting a car or looking into flights. By the time you’ve arrived at the airport, gone through security, boarded and flown to your next destination, a more direct and often cheaper alternative can be the bus.

For many, this brings to mind the standard Greyhound. Red Arrow Motorcoach has been in the business of getting people around Alberta since 1979, including a luxury business class passenger service connecting several major Albertan cities.

Red Arrow Motorcoach-2

I boarded in downtown Edmonton (there are two pickup/drop-off points in Edmonton and three in Calgary, including daily direct and shuttle service to Calgary International Airport) for my three hour ride in comfort.

Red Arrow also offers a shuttle service from their North location at other times of the day.

Unlike cramped bus seats with outdated upholstery and lack of amenities, this large bus offers 36 reclining leather seats, on average 30% more legroom in both single and double row seating, and complimentary drinks and snacks on board.

If you need to get some work done, the free wifi will keep you productive. Otherwise, there’s a movie available (with earbuds for purchase) as well as satellite and local radio, or simply snooze your way from one city to the next.

Red Arrow Motorcoach-4

The rear of the bus has a clean washroom, a printer (USB, not wireless, I noticed) and the snacks/drinks area. The fridge is stocked with pop and water.

Red Arrow Motorcoach-5

Tables at each seat can fold down or stow away, much like in an airplane. The best part is being able to plug in with a variety of outlets at each seat.

Red Arrow Motorcoach-3

My coach was full with a combination of couples, elderly passengers, and business people. Red Arrow does offer wheelchair accessibility and a unique unaccompanied child program. If your child is between 6 and 12, up to three children can travel before adult supervision is required.

The only additional restriction is that one child be at least 10 years old. Kids will be seated as close to the front of the coach as possible. Once the parent has signed the form, the child(ren) will be able to travel, provided that the receiving party arrives at least 15 minutes prior to arrival time at the pick-up office and adheres to the form policy as well.

We arrived in downtown Calgary only slightly behind schedule, but I had already answered numerous emails, gotten a short nap in, and was within walking distance of my hotel.

And if you’re interested in getting to the University of Alberta, there’s a courtesy shuttle that will take you there from the downtown Edmonton ticket office. As well, Red Arrow offers Monday to Friday shuttle service to Calgary Airport from their North Calgary ticket office, in case you’re travelling outside the province.

A fare on the Edmonton/Calgary route is $72.45 one way ($144.90 return); Edmonton/Fort McMurray is $88.20 one way ($176.40 return) with discounted student, senior, and child pricing. Visit the Red Arrow Motorcoach website for more information.

My trip from Edmonton to Calgary on the Red Arrow was compliments of Red Arrow Motorcoach.

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