The City of Vancouver has many of the features of modern cities worldwide. Unlike many large metropolises, Vancouver has no freeways into or through the downtown area. A proposed freeway through the downtown was rejected in the 19560’s by a coalition of citizens, community leaders and planners. This event “signalled the emergence of a new concept of the urban landscape” and has been a consistent element of the city’s planning ever since.

As the city is surrounded by water on three sides, it has several bridges to the north and south. Although similar to most other cities in that the automobile serves as the primary mode of transportation, it does have alternatives such as the SkyTrain system which is the longest fully automated light metro system in North America as well as an extensive network of bike routes. TransLink is main public transit company in the city.



Several private taxicab companies operate 24 hour service in Vancouver, including Yellow Cabs, Vancouver Taxi, Black Top Cabs, and MacLure’s Cabs. There are 477 licensed cabs operate in the city, including 59 wheelchair-accessible vehicles. As of 2009, a taxi ride between downtown Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport costs approximately $30-$32.

Bus Service – TransLink

TransLink provides continuous bus service throughout the day. In addition to traditional buses are express lines that make fewer stops, or smaller community shuttles that carry fewer passengers to specific areas of the city.

All buses are wheelchair-accessible and a large number carry bike racks, able to carry one or two wheelchairs and bicycles respectively.

Rapid Transit – SkyTrain

Rapid transit refers to the automated trains that run above and below ground. SkyTrain consists of the Expo Line and the Millennium Line. A third system called the Canada Line provides the travel from the airport to Downtown Vancouver.


The SeaBus is a passenger-only ferry that crosses the Burrard Inlet to provide travel between Waterfront Station in Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. There are three ferries in the fleet, which is owned and operated by the Coast Mountain Bus Company.


West Coast Express is a driver-led train that connects Waterfront Station in Downtown Vancouver to Mission with select stops along the way. On weekdays, five trains plus an additional three TrainBus coach buses travel into Vancouver in the morning, and leave Vancouver in the afternoon.

The Canadian is an inter-city passenger rail services operated by Via Rail to the interior and Eastern Canada, Toronto, and intermediate points.

Amtrak Cascades offers inter-city passenger rail services to Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

Rocky Mountaineer Station is a railway station which acts as the western terminus of the Rocky Mountaineer train service to Jasper, Banff and Calgary.

Whistler Mountaineer is a rail way service that operates vintage trains over numerous sightseeing routes in Western Canada. It offers daily service between North Vancouver and Whistler.


To BC Ferry terminals serve the Greater Vancouver area. One is to the northwest at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, and the other is to the south, at Tsawwassen. Routes link the mainland to Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and the Gulf Islands.


Aquabus and False Creek Ferries are private companies that operate passenger and bicycle ferries connecting the downtown peninsula with Granville Island and the Flase Creek neighbourhoods. English Bay Launch operates daily scheduled foot-passenger water taxi service between Granville Island, Coal Harbour and Bowen Island. Coastal Link Ferries operates daily scheduled foot-passenger water taxi service between Coal Harbour, West Vancouver, and Bowen Island.


Vancouver is served by a network of over 300 lane-km of on- and off-road bicycle routes. Most of these routes are local street bikeways (also known as bike boulevards), streets that have extensive traffic calming measures such as traffic circles, and signal control to facilitate crossing of major roads.

TransLink, the regional transportation authority, permits two bicycles aboard each SkyTrain car at all times except in the peak direction at morning and afternoon rush periods. The Canada Line SkyTrain permits one bicycle per care with no limitations on time of day or direction. All buses are now equipped with bicycle racks. The Seabus, which connects Vancouver to North Vancouver, allows up to six bicycles per sailing during all hours of operation.

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