Driving in Grande Prairie: Grande Prairie Drive Times, Rush Hour, & Traffic Tips
Getting around Grande Prairie is, of course, essential to daily life. For homebuyers moving to Alberta, digging into the ins and outs of transportation in different communities is a vital step in the process. Grande Prairie’s transportation options, from driving personal vehicles to using public transit, play a crucial role in how people navigate their day. Grande Prairie's road network, bus routes, and cycling paths offer various choices for commuting. Understanding these transportation methods helps residents and visitors make informed decisions about their travel within Grande Prairie, one of Alberta's most affordable cities.
Get to Know Your Major Roads
The intersection of 100 Street and 100 Avenue (Township Road 714) marks the geographic centre of Grande Prairie. This makes an easy reference point for anyone trying to navigate the city. For about seven blocks in the middle of Grande Prairie, Township Road 714 splits into a pair of one-way streets, which are 99 Avenue (eastbound) and 100 Avenue (westbound). This area is the Central Business District, where residents can find banks, service stations, shopping, dining, and much more, with several condos within walking distance.
Driving north on 100 Street from the Central Business District takes commuters to another major shopping district in the northern part of the city. Residents can find groceries, hotels, and the Grande Prairie Mall here. The city is growing rapidly thanks in large part to its importance to the economy in Alberta, and more businesses are popping up here to meet the demand of its inflating population.
Highway 40 enters Grande Prairie in the southeast part of the city. Highway 43 is the northwestern bypass road that leads from 100 Street to Township Road 714. Highway 40 terminates where it meets Highway 43 at Township Road 714. Highway 43 continues west to the border with British Columbia.
Resources Road is another major commuting route motorists will want to know about. It's located on the city's east side and leads south from Township Road 714. It heads past the golf course homes in the Country Club Estates neighbourhood before continuing south out of town.
What to Expect Driving at Different Times of Day
Commuting around Grande Prairie is usually pleasant, but the roads can get more crowded during summer. Tourists from the city of Calgary, Edmonton, and the US pass through Grande Prairie on their way to the Yukon Territory or Alaska. Caravans of RVs or big rigs can sometimes slow things down by a few minutes, although many simply use the Highway 43X bypass road.
During the winter months, traffic can slow down on certain days due to snow, especially if the roads are being plowed. Grande Prairie can get a lot of snowfall, so owning a personal vehicle is necessary for most workers. A four-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance is recommended. Many residential neighbourhoods do not have sidewalks, so walking or biking to work becomes difficult, even after the roads are plowed. Workers should allow an extra 30 minutes to get to work on mornings after a heavy snowfall to be on the safe side.
The Central Business District in Downtown Grande Prairie has thousands of paid and free parking spaces. It's usually very easy for most commuters to find a parking spot within walking distance of their place of work.
The main thing to know about parking in Grande Prairie is that Winter Parking Bans are implemented anytime there is a heavy snowfall. Whenever there is heavy snow, the city enacts a two-week removal plan. During the first week, Priority One roads (Downtown, shopping and commercial areas, and major roadways) are cleared, and parking bans will be enforced on those streets. During the second week, snow removal happens on Priority Two roads (residential).
The city puts up signage along Priority Roads 24 hours before the parking ban goes into effect. Residents without a driveway or garage must find an alternative to parking on the street. Any vehicles left on the street that prevent snow removal can be fined or towed. If too many vehicles are left parked on a Priority Two street, clearance crews may skip snow removal there until the following week.
Public Transportation: Grande Prairie Transit
Grande Prairie Transit (GP Transit) runs seven bus routes through the city. While the bus routes are less comprehensive than the public transit system in Edmonton or other large cities, they offer decent coverage for a city of 63,000.
All students under 18 can get a free Youth SUPERPASS card to ride GP Transit buses. This includes students who attend public school, Catholic school, private school, and homeschoolers. The Youth SUPERPASS expires at the end of the year when a student turns 18. Kids 5 and under ride free with an adult.
Adult GP Transit Fares:
- Single trip: $3.00
- Day Pass: $7.00
- 10 Rides: $22.00
- 20 Rides: $44.00
- 30 Rides: $66.00
- Monthly Pass: $69.00
Senior (60+) GP Transit Fares:
- Single trip: $2.50
- Day Pass: $6.00
- 10 Rides: $17.00
- 20 Rides: $34.00
- 30 Rides: $51.00
- Monthly Pass: $39.00
Commute Times to Grande Prairie from Nearby Towns
Many people live outside of Grande Prairie in one of the smaller communities nearby. This allows them to live in a more rural setting—and to minimize their cost of living in Alberta—while commuting into the city for work or major shopping. Here are the commute times and routes from several nearby towns.
Westlake is a suburban community directly north of Grande Prairie. The town has several artificial lakes and ponds, and buyers can sometimes find luxury homes next to the water. The commute from Westlake to Grande Prairie is roughly 6 kilometres. To make this simple commute, motorists can simply get on Highway 43 southbound at either 156 Avenue or 148 Avenue. Follow the road south until it turns into 100 Street. Continue on this street to Downtown Grande Prairie/Central Business District. The total commute time is about 10 minutes, even during slow traffic. There is no public transit available.
Clairmont is 8.5 kilometres north of Downtown Grande Prairie and 2 kilometres north of Westlake. This area has some farms and larger industrial businesses. Homes tend to be on much larger lots with some acreage in Clairmont. It follows the same commute as Westlake, listed above. Get on Highway 43 and follow it south to Grande Prairie. It only takes two to three minutes longer than commuting from Westlake.
Grovedale is a large, rural area located about 25 kilometres south of Grande Prairie. There are many farms and horse properties in Grovedale, so residents living in Edmonton or Calgary looking for more space can give the community a look. The area also has several residential developments with large lots for new construction homes. To get to Grande Prairie, follow the 666 Highway north until it intersects with Highway 40. Take Highway 40 north from there. Although Highway 40 continues north to 100 Avenue, turning right on the 668 Highway is faster. Follow the highway for a few kilometres and then turn left on Resources Road. That route leads to Downtown Grande Prairie, for a total commute of 20 to 25 minutes.
Glen Leslie is a rural area located 22 kilometres east of Grande Prairie. It has many farms and equestrian properties on large acreage. The fastest way from Glen Leslie to Grande Prairie is to follow the 670 Highway west. Turn south on either Range Road 51 or Range Road 54. These long, straight roads make for short and easy commutes through beautiful farmlands. Turn west at Township Road 714, which will turn into 100 Avenue East once you arrive at the outskirts of Grande Prairie. Stay on this road to the Central Business District. The total commute time is about 20 minutes.
Wembley is a small town of about 1,500 people located about 24 kilometres west of Grande Prairie. It's a small town with several shops, service businesses, and family parks. It's also home to the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. This is another simple commute, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drivers can take 97 Street/Range Road 82 north from Wembley. Turn right (east) on Highway 43 and follow it the rest of the way to Downtown Grande Prairie.
Getting Around in Grande Prairie
In Grande Prairie—considered by many to be one of the best places to live in Alberta—the blend of driving and public transit reflects its commitment to accessible and varied transportation. These options cater to everyone's needs, ensuring that all can find a suitable way to navigate the city. The transportation infrastructure in Grande Prairie stands as a testament to the city's dedication to connectivity and mobility, highlighting the city's charm as a place where movement is seamless and every destination is within reach.