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Public transport in Vancouver - expat guide

Posted by By Kirsty Parsons - November 19, 2014

public-transport-in-vancouverWhether it be for work or to run errands, it’s important to know how to use public transport once you reach Vancouver. Luckily, the public transport links here are excellent, so if you’re without a car for a while then you can be assured that getting from A to B won’t be a problem…


1. Traveling by bus in Vancouver

Bus services in Vancouver are excellent, and are one of the most popular forms of public transport here. Run by the city's main transport provider, TransLink, buses around the city are continuous, so wherever and whenever you need to get somewhere there’s likely to be a service that meets your needs. All buses are accessible to wheelchair users and many are also fitted with bike racks.

2. Traveling by rail in Vancouver

Another popular method of public transport in Vancouver is the SkyTrain. An automated light rail system, this is an incredibly fast and efficient method of getting around and offers daily services between Vancouver and the outer suburbs every few minutes.

For commutes further afield, inter-city passenger rail services also operate from Pacific Central Station to all major outskirts of the city, including Seattle.

3. Traveling by sea in Vancouver

One of the more novel forms of public transport in Vancouver is via the city's SeaBus. A passenger only ferry, the SeaBus is a handy service linking Vancouver City to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. There are three vessels, all of which run from 6am-1am six days a week. With each crossing taking around 12 minutes, this is a stress-free and speedy way to get around! In addition to the SeaBus, you’ll also find a number of other passenger boats and water taxis operating in the area.

4. Traveling by bike in Vancouver

By far the fastest growing method of public transport in Vancouver (and the only free one), however, is the humble bicycle. Vancouver has an excellent city-wide network of cycle lanes and routes which supports an active population of cyclists all year round – perfect if you live a short distance from work or want to get out and about in your spare time.

Regular users of public transport in Vancouver might be also interested to note that the city is getting set to introduce its own pre-paid fare system this autumn. The Compass Card will allow passengers to top up prior to travel, deducting the necessary fares according to where you get on and off (in much the same way as the UK’s Oyster Card).

For more information on moving to Vancouver or anywhere else in Canada, see our Moving to Canada home page for lots more hints and tips on organising your move.

Topics: Expat life, Canada, Vancouver

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