There are a number of options for bus transportation in and around Calgary:
Greyhound is the major in-out bus company in Calgary (its Canadian head office is here, too!). You go from Calgary to practically everywhere in North America with them (1-800-661-8747). Greyhound (greyhound.ca) has several departures a day eastbound (towards Winnipeg & Toronto) and westbound (towards Vancouver).
Red Arrow (redarrow.pwt.ca) will take you to Red Deer, Edmonton, Rocky Mountain House, and Fort McMurray on their luxury coaches with comfortable seating, free pop, cookies, magazines, and videos with several departures a day.
To get to the mountains, the best bet is Brewster Bus Lines (brewster.ca 1-800-760-6934,), the pioneer in mountain transport (it's owned by Gray Lines, the tour bus people).
To get to and from the airport use the Airporter Airport Shuttle Express is a good bet, at $15 a person (this service was cancelled in Spring 2007, but has been restarted by another operator, in August 2007). There used to be buses painted like red cardinals serving hotels, but alas, no more. Its buses travel to parts of Calgary outside of downtown and also drop-offs and pick-ups at homes and businesses. Its perfect for those staying at Beds & Breakfasts, southside hotels, or transferring to the Greyhound Bus depot
To get to Banff from Calgary airport by bus, there are two competing services.
The Banff Airporter (banffairporter.com 403-2762-3330 or toll-free 1-800-661-1152) with 8
shuttles a day, and Sky Link (toll-free at 1-888-642-5252) with 6 shuttles a
day. The cost to Banff runs $50 one-way or $93 return
( half price for children 5 to 12 years, free for children under 5).
Rocky Mountain Sky Shuttle (rockymountainskyshuttle.com 403-762-5200, 1-888-762-8754) serves Canmore, Banff, Sunshine, Lake Louise, Fernie, Emerald Lake, and Kicking Horse, and Fernie
with year-round, daily schedule of door-to-door transfers between the Calgary International Airport and your hotel. Prices vary with destination.
Both require reservations for the return trip from Banff or Canmore to the airport.
You can also charter a bus. This is great if you travel in a group (a company ski trip, for example). This makes sure that, if you're drinking, nobody is driving, and that everybody gets to your destination together.
By the way, if your're looking for the CHEAPEST way to get into town from the airport (all you backpackers and students),
catch the Calgary Transit bus from the airport to the Northeast LRT. The bus leaves every half hour days & evenings,
and lets you transfer for the LRT (light rail transit) into downtown for an investment of $2.00.
The train ends at 10th Street SW, where you can catch a Greyhound shuttle to catch a Groundhound bus to wherever you're heading.
The shuttle is free and comes every half hour.
(If you need to trasfer to the Anderson/South LRT get off at City Hall/Olympic Plaza, and to transer to the
Brentwood/Northwest LRT get off & transfer trains at 8 Street SW station).
Find Local Bus Companies (charter & scheduled).