Getting around Vancouver

Public transport

TransLink (tel: +1 604 953 3333; operates Vancouver’s buses, SkyTrain (a driverless light rapid transit system), SeaBus (a ferry connecting Downtown with North Vancouver) and West Coast Express (a commuter rail service).

Fares for the SkyTrain and the SeaBus are based on a three-zone system. Bus journeys use a one-zone fare. Transfers are valid for 90 minutes. Exact change is required on buses, while tickets for the SkyTrain and SeaBus are available from machines. A cheaper all-zone fare is available at evenings and weekends. Books of 10 FareSaver tickets and day passes are available.

Alternatively, you can pay using a reloadable smartcard, Compass. Cards are available from SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express vending machines as well as Compass retailers.

Connecting a number of points on either side of False Creek are tiny passenger ferries operated by Aquabus (tel: +1 604 689 5858; and False Creek Ferries (tel: +1 604 684 7781;


Downtown, you can hail a taxi or pick one up from a taxi rank or outside any large hotel. Elsewhere, it’s easier to book one by phone. The main taxi firms are Yellow Cab (tel: +1 604 681 1111; and Black Top & Checker Cabs (tel: +1 604 731 1111; A 15% tip is customary.


As Vancouver is spread out over a series of islands and peninsulas, the main traffic bottlenecks are the region's bridges. There are no highways in the centre of the city. It is easier to take public transport and/or walk in downtown Vancouver.

Beyond Downtown, north-south roads are named Streets and east-west roads are numbered Avenues. It’s easy to locate addresses on north-south streets by subtracting 16 from the first two digits of the address, to find the corresponding block (for example, 2630 Main Street would be between 10th and 11th Avenues). Ontario Street divides the city into East and West.

EasyPark Vancouver (tel: +1 604 682 6744; operates numerous car parks. 

Car hire

All the major car hire companies are represented in Vancouver, including Avis (tel: +1 604 606 2869;, Budget (tel: +1 800 299 3199; and Hertz (tel: +1 604 606 4711;

Bicycle hire

Bayshore Rentals, 745 Denman Street (tel: +1 604 688 2453; and Spokes Bicycle Rentals, 1798 West Georgia Street (tel: +1 604 688 5141; are both worth checking out. 

A highlight for many visitors is pedalling along the seawall, which curls round Downtown, Stanley Park and Kitsilano. Elsewhere, the city has a well-marked system of bike routes. You can download bike maps from TransLink (

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.