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Arrival in Nova Scotia 

When you first arrive in Nova Scotia, you will likely arrive via the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, the largest airport in Atlantic Canada. You will need to travel from the airport to the town/city where your chosen institution is located. If you do not have someone to pick you up from the airport, there are some options available to you:

  • Public Transit (Buses and Shuttles)

    Some buses and shuttles make the trip to and from the airport every day and can take you to many locations in the province, depending on the service.  

    Halifax Transit has regional express routes that travel between the airport and areas within downtown Halifax that depart approximately every 30 minutes Monday to Friday and every 60 minutes on Saturday and Sunday and holidays. The fare from the airport costs $4.25 for students and adults and $3.00 for children and seniors.  

    View schedules and routes

    Shuttle bus services are available from the airport to many locations across Nova Scotia. Passengers must book these services in advance, and cancellation policies will be in place. So, checking with the operator directly before you make or cancel a reservation is important. 

    View airport shuttle services

    Maritime Bus provides transit services to passengers who need to travel to a broader range of locations across Nova Scotia and the Maritimes. Maritime Bus has routes to most towns with a post-secondary institution in the province.  

    View Maritime Bus routes

  • Taxi

    Taxi services also service passengers flying into the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Some taxi companies have fixed rates, while others charge by distance. It is recommended you ask for a fare estimate before reserving a taxi. 

    Discover taxi services in Nova Scotia

    Note: it is customary to tip your taxi driver upon payment. Generally, a tip may comprise 10-15% of the total fare.  

  • Rental Vehicles

    If you have a valid driver’s license, you may rent a vehicle from one of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport rental counters. 

  • Online Ride Apps

    Online ride-hailing or ride-sharing apps are another option that can transport you from the Halifax airport to the area in which your post-secondary institution resides. 

    • Uber offers pickups from the airport to your destination. It is recommended that you obtain a price estimate for your intended journey before booking the service. 
    • Turo is a car-sharing marketplace that offers short-term car rentals for privately owned cars. You can rent a vehicle and have it dropped off and ready for you once you arrive at the airport. You will need a valid driver’s license to use this option.

Traveling Around Nova Scotia 

Many of the towns in Nova Scotia where schools are found are highly walkable and don’t require that you own a vehicle to get around. However, there are some instances when you may wish to drive or use the transit system to travel from place to place. Once you have arrived in your new area of residence, depending on the location, you may have the following methods of transportation available to you if you do not have access to a vehicle.  

  • Public Transit

    Public transit is available in many communities across Nova Scotia, providing hop-on/hop-off service to citizens for a fare. Here are some public transit options for various areas with post-secondary institutions. 

    Maritime Bus provides province-wide transit service, stopping in and between the following areas: 

    • Halifax 
    • Sydney (Northumberland Shore & Cape Breton Island) 
    • Amherst (Northumberland Shore, Bay of Fundy, & Annapolis Valley 
    • Kentville (Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley) 
    • Bridgewater (South Shore) 

    Halifax Metro Transit provides transit and accessible transit to areas in and around Halifax and Dartmouth. 


    Note: there is a selection of third-party mobile applications you can download to your phone that can provide you with up-to-date route information and real-time feed for Halifax Transit.  

    Transit Cape Breton provides transit in Cape Breton to Sydney & Metro Cape Breton communities. There are also accessible transit options for: 

    • Sydney 
    • North Sydney 
    • Sydney Mines 
    • Glace Bay 
    • New Waterford 

    Kings Transit provides transit to areas in and around Annapolis Valley, such as: 

    • Wolfville 
    • Greenwood 
    • Bridgetown 
    • Cornwallis 
    • Hants County border 
    • Weymouth
  • Bus Passes

    Halifax Transit UPass Program 

    If you are a full-time university or community college student in Halifax, Halifax Transit’s UPass Program is available as part of the enrollment fee paid to your educational institution. Service on any of Halifax Transit’s regular bus routes and ferry services are included. All you need to do to travel during the academic year is carry a valid Student ID card to show the Halifax Transit operator.  

    The UPass Program is available for students at the following institutions: 

    • Dalhousie University 
    • Mount Saint Vincent University 
    • Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCADU) 
    • Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) 
    • Saint Mary’s University  
    • University of King’s College  


    Cape Breton University Transit Discount 

    The Cape Breton University Students’ Union (CBUSU), in partnership with Transit Cape Breton, offers a 30-day bus pass for all CBU students at a rate of $60 CAD. 

    To purchase a bus pass, visit the CBUSU front desk, Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30 pm. Individual bus tickets can also be purchased on-campus at Caper Convenience or at your nearest Shoppers Drug Mart in Sydney, Sydney River, and North Sydney. 

    If you are moving to Nova Scotia with family who are not students, purchasing a regular bus pass or individual tickets is available. 

  • Rental Vehicles

    Rental vehicles are a good option if you are looking for temporary, short-term transportation. You will need a valid Canadian or International driver’s license to rent a vehicle in Nova Scotia. 

  • Purchasing a Vehicle

    When you arrive in Nova Scotia, you may be looking to purchase a vehicle. Many local dealerships offer programs or supports for newcomers to Canada who wish to buy or lease a car. 

    Some tips for when you decide to start looking for a new vehicle: 

    • Do your research on the different vehicle makes and models. 
    • Learn how the pricing system works. 
    • Take a test drive of the vehicle. 
    • Ensure you have a valid Canadian driver’s license. 
    • If possible, wait for the best time to buy (i.e. slow sales periods in the winter, end-of-year inventory clearances, and the end of the month when a car dealer is clearing the way for new models.)