We have plenty of transportation options here in Vancouver. There are lot of busses and the Skytrain to get you where you need to go. Here is what to expect when you ride the bus, Skytrain or Seabus.
Depending on where you are, busses come at different times and it is important to know when to catch the bus. You can find bus schedules and other information at: http://www.translink.ca/
This is the website for all of Vancouver’s transportation. It can tell you where to catch a bus, or if there is a major delay.
Riding the Bus or SkyTrain
If you ride the bus or Skytrain, you will need a ticket. We have a re-loadable card called the Compass card, and you use it to tap in and out of the Skytrain, or onto the bus. You can buy Compass cards at any Sktrain stations, or at any store that sells translink tickets, like convenience stores. If you don’t have a Compass card, you can still ride public transit, but you will need to buy a ticket. On the bus, you must insert the correct change (cash) as you get on the bus. A paper transfer will be printed for you.
Unfortunately, you cannot use that paper ticket on the Skytrain, so you must buy another ticket at the ticket machine at the station. You can buy one use tickets at the Skytrain if you don’t want a Compass card. The ticket you buy at the Skytrain station can be used on the train or on a bus as many times as you want for 90mins.
The Skytrain has different zones, and you pay depending on where you are and where you’re going. If you travel anywhere in one zone or on any bus, you pay $2.75. If you’re on the train and you travel into a different zone, you must pay different amounts depending on how many zones you travel to, so be careful and make sure you buy the correct ticket. There are signs at every station and workers that can help you.
Usually, Vancouver’s busses are on time, but it is still important to get to your bus stop early. You can never be quite sure when your bus will come because they are not always on time. It is also not unusual for busses to be 3-10 minutes late. Despite this, public transportation is actually quite reliable in Vancouver. The Skytrain usually runs every 5-7 minutes, so if you miss your first train, the next one will soon follow.
What to Expect on the Bus
On Vancouver transportation, there are some things you should expect that may be different from your home country. For example, you can eat, talk on your phone and even bring a bike! When you do these things, it is important to be polite to the people around you.
Make sure your food is not too messy. You do not want to spill food everywhere. Also make sure it is not too smelly. It can bother other passengers.
When talking on the phone, try to speak quietly. Do not yell into your phone. Because it can be hard to hear the person you are talking to, it is best to use your phone before you get on the bus, or after you get off.
Also, people are allowed to bring strollers or bikes onto public transit. Busses have bike racks on the front. So if you want to take your bike on the bus, you first put your bike on the rack, then get on the bus and pay your fare. There is no extra cost.
You can also bring your bike on with you on the Skytrain, but not during rush hour. On Mondays to Fridays, between 7am to 9am heading west, and 4pm to 6pm heading east, you cannot bring your bike on the Skytrain because it is too crowded. On the weekends, you can bring a bike with you at any time. Perfect for heading downtown to Stanley Park. 🙂
Taking public transportation in Vancouver is usually very safe, but it is best to be careful. If you ever feel threatened by another person while on the bus or skytrain, talk to a transit staff member. They will be able to help you.
Public transportation like busses, Skytrain or Seabus are great ways to see the city of Vancouver and are quite reliable. How does it compare to the transportation at home?