Bordered on its northwestern edge by spectacular Stanley Park – one of the continent’s largest downtown green spaces – Vancouver’s compact city centre is surrounded on three sides by water, with Burrard Inlet to the north, False Creek to the south and English Bay to the west. Several nearby neighbourhoods radiate from this downtown core, including Gastown, Chinatown, Yaletown, the West End and Granville Island. Nearby East Vancouver encompasses the Main Street and Commercial Drive communities while the West Side features beach-studded Kitsilano.
Transit throughout the Lower Mainland is run and regulated by TransLink (www.translink.ca), which is responsible for local bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus services. Its fare system allows passengers to purchase tickets and transfer across the entire network for up to 90 minutes. FareSaver ticket books (from $21.00) are available at retail outlets across the city, along with all-zone one-day passes ($9.75) that are popular with visitors.
The transit system is divided into three zones, covering Vancouver and many of its suburbs. Regular fares are one zone $2.50, two zones $4.00 and three zones $5.50. Concessions are available for seniors and school students. After 6.30 p.m. weekdays and throughout weekends and public holidays, the maximum fare is $2.75 no matter how many zones you’re travelling. Routes, schedules, a trip planner and service information are available on the TransLink website (www.translink.ca).
Vancouver has North America’s second largest bus transit fleet, dominated by wheelchair-accessible electric trolley buses. Regular services on the busiest routes run every 12 minutes from 5 a.m. to past midnight. There are also “Nightbus” services on some downtown suburban routes.
For more information about public transportation in Vancouver, including trip-planning, please visit the Translink website
Vancouver’s automated light rapid transit system, SkyTrain, offers a fast, efficient service between downtown Vancouver and the suburbs. Its original Expo Line operates from Waterfront Station to King George Station, via 20 stops in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and Surrey. Journey time is around 30 minutes. The Millennium Line shares the same stations from Waterfront to Columbia, before branching to Sapperton, Braid, Lougheed Town Centre and beyond to Commercial Drive. All stations and cars are wheelchair accessible and trains arrive throughout the day every two to five minutes.
Vancouver has North America’s second largest bus transit fleet, dominated by wheelchair-accessible electric trolley buses. Regular services on the busiest routes run every 12 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to past midnight. There are also “Nightbus” services on some downtown suburban routes.
Biking and Walking
Unlike many North American cities, Vancouver is highly walkable, with wide, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and an easily navigated grid street system. The compact downtown core — around one mile across — is a short stroll from neighbourhoods like Gastown, Yaletown and Chinatown as well as the beaches of the West End. Walking to Stanley Park along the seawall from Canada Place is one of the city’s signature promenades. And you’re never far from a bus, SkyTrain or mini-ferry service if it’s time to rest your legs.