Vancouver’s public transportation is comprehensive. Most services are managed by TransLink (www.translink.ca), the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, which offers bus, metro and marine services. Vancouver has no freeways into or through the downtown area. Surrounded by water on three sides, the city has bridges on its north and south sides.

Fares Public transit in Vancouver is based on zones. If a trip is within one zone, the adult fare is $2.85. Between two zones the fare is $4.10. Across three zones the fare rises to $5.60. On weekends, the single-zone fare applies to the entire system. The fare allows passengers to hop on and off the system over a period of 90 minutes, transferring between bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain. Fares can be paid in cash on board or with a Compass card,a reloadable card that allows a passenger to travel at a discounted rate. For example, a one-way fare with the compass card is $2.20 rather than $2.85. Compass cards must be tapped upon entering the station gate or boarding a bus and tapped out when exiting the station (buses require you only to tap in). The card will automatically calculate the number of zones you have travelled and deduct the appropriate fare. If you forget to tap out, you will be charge the three-zone fare. Cards can be purchased and loaded at www.compasscard.ca or at machines at participating London Drugs stores.

Bus service The Coastal Mountain Bus service operates throughout most of the region. All buses are wheelchair accessible, and a large number offer bike racks that can carry one wheelchair or two bicycles. Vancouver is actively maintaining and upgrading its trolleybus fleet. Coast Mountain Bus serves downtown Vancouver, Burnaby, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Tsawwassen, the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond and West Vancouver, including Horseshoe Bay and White Rock. Certain commuter buses traveling to the suburbs, such as RapidBus, have bicycle racks, wheelchair lifts and comfortable high-back coach-style seats. The frequency of service in Greater Vancouver ranges from every couple of minutes in downtown Vancouver to two to three trips a day in suburbs such as Maple Ridge, Langley and Aldergrove.

SkyTrain The SkyTrain is an advanced rapid metro system operating fully automated trains on three lines. The Expo and Millennium lines link downtown to the suburbs of Burnaby, New Westminster and Surrey. The Canada Line, connects downtown Vancouver to central Richmond and Vancouver International Airport and the newly opened Evergreen Line connects Port Moody and Coquitlam to downtown Vancouver

West Coast ExpressThe West Coast Express, a commuter rail train, serves Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission. These services have an integrated ticketing system.

SeaBus The SeaBus is a passenger-only ferry connecting downtown Vancouver with the City of North Vancouver across the Burrard Inlet. There are four ferries in the fleet, which is owned and operated by the Coast Mountain Bus Company. The SeaBus operates on a proof-of-payment (“honour”) system. Fares should be paid before entering the SeaBus terminal, and passengers may be asked to show their ticket to a fare inspector before boarding. Large electronic displays inside and outside the terminal count down the time until the arrival of the next SeaBus.

Ferry Two B.C. Ferry terminals serve the Greater Vancouver area. One is to the northwest at Horseshoe Bay, in West Vancouver, and the other is to the south in Tsawwassen.Routes link the mainland to Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Gulf Islands. Aquabus and False Creek Ferries are private companies that operate passenger and bicycle ferries connecting the downtown peninsula with Granville Island and the neighbourhood of False Creek. English Bay Launch operates daily scheduled foot-passenger water taxi services between Granville Island, Coal Harbour and Bowen Island. Coastal Link Ferries operate daily scheduled foot-passengerwater taxi service between Coal Harbour, West Vancouver and Bowen Island.

Vancouver is served by a network of over 300 km of on- and off-road bicycle routes. Most of the routes are local street bikeways, also known as bike boulevards. In the downtown core, about half the population gets around by walking and cycling paths, although several segregated bike lanes have recently been added in the downtown core. The Central Valley Greenway, a 25-kilometre green bicycle corridor, forms a regional connection linking downtown Vancouver to Burnaby and New Westminster. A map of all bicycle paths in the Vancouver area can be found at http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/map-cycling-vancouver.pdf

Taxi Several private taxi companies offer 24-hour service in Vancouver, including Yellow Cabs, Vancouver Taxi, Black Top Cabs and MacLure’s Cabs. A taxi ride to or from Vancouver International Airport costs approximately $25.00. To calculate the cost of taxi fare to destinations within Metro Vancouver, visit http://vancouver.taxiwiz.com/. Cabs in Vancouver are powered by gasoline, natural gas and electricity.

Inter-city trains Rail service is operated from the following stations:

  • Waterfront Station (Vancouver): Regional rail service is operated by West Coast Express to Mission, BC.
  • Pacific Central Station: Canadian Via Rail operates inter-city rail service to the BC interior and Eastern Canada. American rail service Amtrak Cascades operates inter-city rail service to Seattle, Washington. The station also provides inter-city coach service, as it is the head office and bus depot of Pacific Coach Lines and the main Vancouver terminal for Greyhound Canada.
  • Rocky Mountaineer Station: Tour passenger train service is operated by the Rocky Mountaineer to the BC interior and Rocky Mountains on route to Jasper and Calgary.