Driving your own car inside the city is close to nightmare !!!
I highly recommend taking public transport within the city limits. A lot of scenic places outside the city is also accessible by public transport. the ferry terminals to Islands are also well connected through public transport. Yes, it takes a little longer, but enjoy the scenery as you travel, that’s the best thing Vancouver offers.
Public transport is managed by TransLink and a few auxiliary service providers. Transportation consists of the train (SkyTrain), busses and sea bus.
Inside the downtown bike share is also an option.
Your fare is determined by your mode of travel, time of day, and how many zones you travel in. Anytime on the on the Busses and after 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays travel across the entire Metro Vancouver region a one-zone fare (aprox $2.85). Busses are the only places you can pay cash (coins only and exact change required). A single fare is valid for 90 minutes of travel. If you “tap” your credit card or compass card, you can use the same card for 90 minutes and a single fare gets charged. Skytrain and SeaBus station you tap-in when you go through the gates and tap-out when you go out and you get charged based on how many zones you traveled. Please see the fare zones map below and detailed fare pricing in this link.
Single Use, Day Pass, and Monthly Pass
A single-use ticket is valid for 90 minutes for any number of transfers within that 90 minutes.
A DayPass provides unlimited transit use on all buses, SkyTrain and SeaBus for one day from the start of the first transit service to the end of the service day. Note Day passes is valid until midnight on the date of use. E.g. if you made your first journey at 11 AM on Monday, midnight Monday, the pass will expire. Monthly passes are multi-zone fare. You can also add day-pass or monthly-pass to compass card. Once you add a pass to your compass card, it gets activated on next time you travel.
If you are making more than 4 trips a day buying a day pass is economical and convenient. Also if you are here for a day or two, day pass takes away hassle for looking for the exact change or buying tickets for each journey. If you are staying longer or if you are making less than 4 trips a day, consider using your contactless credit card or just buying compass card and adding money will be good enough. Please note busses are all one fare (2.85) irrespective of how many zones you travel. Also, compass card has an initial fee of 6$, so if you are here for a day or two, DayPass or contactless credit card is better than buying compass card.
Where to Buy tickets and how to use it
There are three ways to purchase your tickets/fares:
Tap to Pay
- You can tap a contactless ( a credit card with tap functionality) Visa or Mastercard credit card or mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay ) on card readers to pay an adult, cash fare. You don’t need to purchase additional fare when transferring from bus to rail.
- Tap your Compass Card with stored value, day pass or compass ticket.
- Sold from a Compass Vending Machine (CVM). Locate a CVM nearest you using our Where to Buy map.
- You can transfer across all modes of transit with a Compass Ticket for 90 minutes.
- Compass Tickets purchased from a Compass Vending Machine expire at the end of service on the day they’re purchased, even if not tapped.
- You can also buy compass card (6$) and add stored-value to charge per trip.
Paying cash on a bus
- Exact coin fare is required.
- You can transfer to other buses with your bus transfer for 90 minutes, but you’ll need a Compass Card or Compass Ticket to transfer to SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express.
- You’re required to purchase the correct number of zones for your journey before you travel into another zone. There are vending machines in the train station before the exit gate to pay for additional fares when you have crossed zones than the original ticket.
For tourists, please note, you can receive your $6 deposit back, along with any remaining Stored Value only at the Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown Station or the West Coast Express Office.
Please note the $5 Canada Line YVR AddFare applies to Stored Value trips, or single-use fares and DayPassespurchased at Sea Island stations (YVR-Airport, Sea Island Centre, and Templeton), for eastbound travel beyond Sea Island. Compass Vending Machines (CVMs) and Compass fare gates at all three Sea Island stations are programmed to charge the $5 YVR AddFare on applicable transactions.
Please note the sea bus connects Waterfront to Lonsdale Quay on north Vancouver and considered as two zones.
Fare Zone Map