So you have arrived in Vancouver now you want to get around just like the locals do.
Getting around some of Canada’s biggest cities can be a bit of a challenge especially if you are new to Canada. If you don’t know the transit systems don’t worry we created this little guide with a few useful points on getting the most out of the transportation system in Vancouver.
Travelling around Vancouver is pretty easy because there is plenty transportation options to choose from. Translink is the main public transport provider in Vancouver and they manage the daily bus routes which operate all over downtown and branch out to all the suburbs . The main transport methods in Vancouver are buses the Skytrain and the sea bus which accesses the north shore.
Buses in Vancouver
Buses come and go frequently (approx every 15 minutes). The cost differs depending on what zone you are travelling in:
To check what zone you are in visit the Fare zone map. Remember if you want to appear like a real local then always thank the bus driver (and admire their shorts if you like).
This driverless tram is a strange futuristic mode of transportation unique to Vancouver (Yes, you read correct, there is no driver). It is great for getting out to some of the well known Vancouver suburbs quickly especially if you are going to Commercial drive. The Canada Line connects downtown with the City of Richmond and more recently to YVR International Airport. It takes approximately 26 minutes commute to get there from Waterfront Station downtown to the airport. If you are planning to visit or work in the cities of Burnaby, New Westminster or Surrey than you will probably need to become familiar with the Expo and Millennium Skytrain Lines.
Leaving every 20 minutes from downtown, this passenger ferry will take you from downtown Vancouver to the North shore in approximately 12 minutes. Make your way to Waterfront station and take a trip across to Lonsdale Quay each trip costs $3.50 on weekdays and $2.50 on weekends. This is a fun, easy way to commute between Vancouver’s two shores and there are some fantastic photo opportunities on board.
For foodies a nice day out it is essential to explore Granville Island, take the Aquabus. The Aquabus has a cartoonlike resemblance and will start you off on a great day. It leaves from several docks located along the seawall downtown. Prices range from $3.25 – $5.50 per adult ticket, depending on the route.
This miniature boat is the perfect way to feast your eyes on all the scenery Vancouver has to offer. If you want to visit a place where the pace is much slower than city life and yet still get those fresh market vibes than there is no better place than Granville Island on a Sunday afternoon.
You will see these cute little cars on every corner and once you get settled in Vancouver it might be worth signing up to become a member. Once you are a member you get a card that allows you to take a Car2Go anywhere you find one and then you just drop it off in any of the Car2Go parking spaces that are dotted all over Vancouver. There is an annual fee of $35.00, plus tax and then you are charged a per minute rate of $0.41. It would be worth printing off the online pricing sheet. It is a convenient way to get from one place to another without relying on a cab service.
Why not be a true tourist and mark out your favourite places on a map. You can collect your maps from the tourist information centre at 200 Burrard Street, BC, V6C 3L6. Also, Google Maps is your friend when you are in a foreign land that is until your battery dies so make sure you have a back up plan!
If all else fails and you’re lost in the city ask a local (if you can find one). Canadian people are super friendly and will always go out of there way to point you in the right direction. I asked for directions once and thought the women was going to get in the car with me to show me exactly where to go. You also never know what great local tips you might from the locals.
Keep all of your transit passes and you may be able to get some tax back once you file your tax return. Register here with Taxback.com to get a reminder to file your tax return.
Tune in next time guys when I will break down the bustling modes of transportation in Toronto.