Vancouver: City Insider

Transportation

 

Getting There

Air

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
+1 604 276 6500
http://www.yvr.ca

Situated nine miles (14.4 kilometers) south of downtown, the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) ushers in more than 15 million passengers a year. Amenities include numerous restaurants and shops, a spa, dry cleaners, a kid's play area and even a dentist. The following major airlines all touchdown upon its runways:

Aero Mexico (+ 1 800 237 6639 / http://www.aeromexico.com) Air Canada (+1 800 776 3000 / http://www.aircanada.ca) Air China (+1 800 227 5118 / http://www.china-airlines.com) Air New Zealand (+1 800 663 5494 / http://www.airnz.com Alaskan Airlines (+1 800 252 7522 / http://www.alaskaair.com) American Airline (+1 800 433 7300 / http://www.aa.com) British Airways (+1 800 247 9297 / http://www.british-airways.com) Delta (+1 800 221 1212 / http://www.delta.com) El Al (+1 800 223 6700 / http://www.elal.co.il) Japan Airlines (+1 800 525 3663 / http://www.japanair.com) Korean Air (+1 800 438 5000 / http://www.koreanair.com) Lufthansa (+1 800 645 3880 / http://www.lufthansa.com)  Qantas (+1 604 279 6611 / http://www.qantas.com) Scandinavian Airlines (+1 800 221 2350 / http://www.scandinavian.net) Singapore Airlines (+1 800 742 3333 / http://www.singaporeair.com) United (+1 800 241 6522 / http://www.ual.com) US Airways ( +1 800 428 4322 / http://www.usairways.com ) Zoom Airlines ( +1 866 359 9666 / http://www.flyzoom.ca )

Airport Map & Information: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_yvr.htm
Airport Services: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_yvr2.htm
Airport Transportation: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_yvr3.htm

Helijet International provides service between Vancouver and Victoria. They also They also offer charter services from their Vancouver Airport base. (+1 604 273 4688/ http://helijet.com/)

From the Airport

Shuttle: The Vancouver Airporter Service (+1 800 668 3141) stands as the most popular form of ground transportation into downtown. Buses exit every 15 minutes from 6:30a-9:15p, and every 30 minutes from 9:15p-midnight. It services all major downtown hotels. One-way tickets cost around USD12.

Taxi: More than 400 metered taxis service the airport. Rides into downtown take 25 minutes and average USD25. They can be found outside of the domestic and international terminals and operate around the clock. Some of the more noted cab companies include:

Black Top & Checker Cabs Ltd (+1 604 731 1111)
Bonny's Taxi (+1 604 435 6655)
Yellow Cab Company
(+1 604 681 1111)

Car Rental:

Alamo (+1 800 327 9633 / http://www.alamo.com)
Avis (+1 800 831 2847 / http://www.avis.com)
Budget (+1 800 527 0700 / http://www.budget.com)
Hertz (+1 800 654 3131 / http://www.hertz.com)
National (+1 800 227 7368 / http://www.nationalcar.com)
Thrifty (+1 800 367 2277 / http://www.thrifty.com)

Another attractive ground transportation option is Zipcar, which operates in certain cities in Canada and the U.S. This new breed of rental car allows you to rent on an hourly basis rather than a daily basis. Be sure to register online before your trip. Zipcar (+1 866 404 7227 / http://www.zipcar.com)

By Bus

Pacific Central Station also serves as Vancouver's main bus station. Greyhound (+1 800 661 8747 / http://www.greyhound.ca) arrives from all points north, south, east and west. Pacific Coach Lines (+1 800 661 1725 / http://www.pacificcoach.com) confines its routes to the surrounding Vancouver area with daily service from Victoria, on Vancouver Island, every two hours.

By Train

Via Rail (+1 888 842 7245 / http://www.viarail.ca) chugs into Pacific Central Station at 1150 Station Street three times a week. It services the eastern half of Canada starting in Toronto. Its scenic wander through the Canadian Rockies makes it extremely popular with tourists. Amtrak (+1 800 872 7245 / http://www.amtrak.com) also huffs into Pacific Central Station, but from the south, beginning in Eugene, Oregon. BC Rail (+1 604 631 3500 / http://www.bcrail.com) operates from northern Vancouver's train station at 1311 West First Street. It services northern British Columbia and includes stops in Whistler, Lillooet, and Squamish.

By Boat

The port of Vancouver, managed by the Vancouver Port Authority (+1 604 665 9000 / http://www.portvancouver.com), ushers in more than one million cruise ship passengers a year through the Canada Place and Ballantyne Terminals. Waiting taxis are easy to find upon disembarking.

By Car

Highway 1, or better known as the Trans-Canada Highway, winds east out of the Canadian Rockies. Interstate 5 from the United States turns into Highway 99 at the border and snakes into Vancouver from the south and north. A drive from Seattle takes about three hours. Calgary, to the east, with good weather takes 11.5 hours.

Getting Around

Bus

Translink buses maze through downtown and the surrounding suburbs. Transfers are interchangeable with SkyTrain and the SeaBus. One-way fares cost USD2 and USD4 for rides to the suburbs. 

Train

TransLink, The Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (+1 604 953 3333 / http://www.translink.bc.ca), eases the need for a car. SkyTrain features 27 miles of tracks that service the area in an east/west direction. Both lines, the Expo and the Millennium, offer stops that are serviced every five minutes. This represents the fastest way for maneuvering through downtown. One-way fares are USD2.

Ferry

SeaBus, another TransLink subsidiary, provides passenger-only ferry service across the Burrard Inlet. The 15-minute ride links downtown Vancouver with the North Shore and costs USD2. Bikes are allowed on board.

BC Ferries (+1 888 223 3779 / http://www.bcferries.com) connects Vancouver with 46 surrounding ports via 25 routes. Its boats service Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, the Southern and Northern Gulf Islands, and the Saanich Inlet. One-way passenger fares are USD6.15 and cars are charged USD23.

Taxi

Taxis can be found at all hotels and are rather easy to hail in downtown. Some of the more prominent companies include:

Black Top & Checker Cabs (+1 604 731 1111) Bonny's Taxi (+1 604 435 6655) Royal City Taxi (+1 604 521 6666) Vancouver Taxi (+1 604 255 5111) Yellow Cab Company (+1 604 681 1111)

Even though no major highways slice through downtown it is still fairly easy to negotiate and rewards drivers with ample parking. However, take every measure to avoid driving during morning (7a-9a) and afternoon (3p-6p) rush hours. Especially avoid the North Shore Bridges, the Massey Tunnel, and Highway 1 through Coquitlam and Surrey.

Bike

Vancouver enjoys legendary status for being extremely bike friendly. It features 19 bikeways, including scenic passages along the seawall and through Stanley Park. Routes are designated with green signs every other block. Keep in mind that helmets are mandatory. Spokes Bike Rentals (+1 604 688 5141/ http://www.spokesbicyclerentals.com/) and Bayshore Bicycle & Rollerblade Skate Rentals (+1 604 688 2453 / http://www.bayshorerentals.ca) provide convenient rental service for downtown riders.

On Foot

Downtown is conveniently compact, making it conducive for walking.

Vancouver

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