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ElfenSky

Transport in and around Vancouver

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi, I'm a 24 year old coming over from Belgium, and many of my plans to rent a car and drive around places promptly sank when I realized the Turo isn't nearly as popular in Canada as it was in the USA, and the ridiculous prices I'd have to pay given I'm under 25 years old, if I were to go with large companies. (I would be paying more to rent a car than I paid for the flight tickets AND my airbnb. It's ridiculous).
 

Given that neither Uber or Lyft are available in Canada either, I'm looking to educate myself about the public transport situation in Vancouver. Thus, I'd like to ask for information, tips and anything else I should know from people who live in the area.

  • I'm aware of buses and the skytrain. Are there more less known ways or transit, or should I stick to those two as a tourist?
  • Do I buy a ticket/pass in advance, and if yes which one?
  • Is there an app to plan routes from address to address, or do I have to select specific stations?
  • How is the taxi service and price in the Vancouver area? I'm considering taking one from and to the airport, but are they reasonable or ridiculous?
  • Is there a way to hire a moped/scooter or maybe even a bicycle? I've only been able to find cars or motorcycles, and both are... expensive to say the least.
  • Is there a car-pooling app?
  • For going outside of Vancouver, are there specific tour buses, or do I take public transit too? Stuff like the National parks etc.

 

I think that about sums up my questions about public transport. I'd also like to know what (locals) consider as "must see" places. I'll be there from the 23rd up until the 2nd of August, so I'd like to make the most of my time there.

PS: Oh, and this is important: what's the best place to get a stack of pancakes with maple syrup? Something like this. I've been dreaming about it since I bought my ticket xD

image.png.b670f6281aba1d6ac44bb5d2ce381f00.png


I like questing in RuneScape and think that Assassin's Creed 3 was a great game. I've got a Surface Book 2 15" yet I still proudly consider myself a PlayStation peasant. I have a Pixel 2 XL, and the camera on it is absolutely amazing. No regrets.

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I'm not from VC but I'd like to imagine there is likely a bikeshare or bicycle shops in Vancouver that'll rent one out, I'll actually look into this because I just planned on walking about downtown otherwise. 

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5 hours ago, ElfenSky said:

 

  • I'm aware of buses and the skytrain. Are there more less known ways or transit, or should I stick to those two as a tourist?

Pretty much. There are passenger ferries across False Creek, which is not likely important unless you want to visit Granville Island. (It's accessible via bus as well but the ferries are faster.)

 

TransLink covers a large service area, roughly from the US border north to the suburbs of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, and between the ocean and Langley, though the further you go from the city proper coverage isn't as strong.

 

There are frequent connections to Seattle and Portland via Amtrak and Bolt Bus.

5 hours ago, ElfenSky said:
  • Do I buy a ticket/pass in advance, and if yes which one?

One day passes are CAD 10 and cover all Skytrain zones. Otherwise you can pay as you go on a contactless MC/Visa or get a Compass card (Compass is to TransLink what MoBIB is to SNIB) for lower fare costs.

 

5 hours ago, ElfenSky said:
  • Is there an app to plan routes from address to address, or do I have to select specific stations?

Network information is well integrated into Google Maps. The Transit app (@transitapp) gives up to the minute arrival times for any given stop.

5 hours ago, ElfenSky said:
  • How is the taxi service and price in the Vancouver area? I'm considering taking one from and to the airport, but are they reasonable or ridiculous?

Rates are $3.25 on flag pull and $1.88 per km. Not that bad, to be honest. Essentially the same rate as taxis in Brux except in CAD except EUR (Brux rate is €3 on flag pull and €1.90/km.)

 

I'd recommend taking Skytrain from the airport instead of a taxi, depending on your destination. If you're staying downtown, Skytrain is the fastest way in. If you insist on taking a cab from the airport, be aware that fares are fixed from the airport depending on your destination. (Cabs have been known to overcharge. Shocking I know.)

 

There is an app based taxi hailing service called Kater. You are paying the same taxi rates but you should also know that Kater drivers are paid a fair wage and benefits as opposed to TNC drivers that get nothing. (Sorry for the rant.)

 

Flip side is that Vancouver is #1 for carsharing. You might have enough time to get set up with Evo, a one way carshare service. We also have car2go, which has operations in Belgium as well. 

 

5 hours ago, ElfenSky said:
  • Is there a way to hire a moped/scooter or maybe even a bicycle? I've only been able to find cars or motorcycles, and both are... expensive to say the least.

Mobi is our Villo. (mobibikes.ca)

 

30 day pass is $25.

 

Waterfront Station, which is directly connected to the con site, has bike rentals. Renting a bike is pretty easy.

5 hours ago, ElfenSky said:
  •  
  • For going outside of Vancouver, are there specific tour buses, or do I take public transit too? Stuff like the National parks etc.

There are several parks within Translink service area. Pacific Spirit Park by UBC, Stanley Park, Dude Chilling Park, Burnaby  Mountain Conservation Area circling SFU, Capilano and Grouse Mountain.

 

 

5 hours ago, ElfenSky said:

 

I think that about sums up my questions about public transport. I'd also like to know what (locals) consider as "must see" places. I'll be there from the 23rd up until the 2nd of August, so I'd like to make the most of my time there.

PS: Oh, and this is important: what's the best place to get a stack of pancakes with maple syrup? Something like this. I've been dreaming about it since I bought my ticket xD

image.png.b670f6281aba1d6ac44bb5d2ce381f00.png

 

The parks are a good start, as are the unis. There are fantastic beaches, and a favourite spot of mine when the weather isn't as rotten as it is today is Kitsilano Pool, a 130+m saltwater pool on the edge of the ocean. 

 

Granville Island has a lot of touristy crap, but TheatreSports is world class improv. (Colin Mochrie of Whose Line started there, for example.)

 

A lot of cinema and TV is shot in the Lower Mainland. There are websites that direct you from site to site. You'll likely run across signs of a production wherever you go.

 

If you want to go a bit further out, BC Ferries will take you to Vancouver Island. Express buses will get you to the pier.

 

Depending on your preferred mind alterant, you can find great options. There are plenty of microbreweries, brew pubs, and microdistillaries across town. I have a soft spot for Liberty Distilling's "young whiskey". Fair warning: booze is pretty heavily taxed and consequently is pricey. Cannabis is an option as well, as it is legendarily legal in Canada. 

 

If you're looking for a stack of flapjacks, there are mom and pop diners that do a better job than the big chains. Fable Diner at Main/Broadway and the Ovaltine Cafe on Hastings/Main are great dives. (Warning about Hastings and Main: that is the epicentre of our opioid crisis but it is not nearly as bad as places stateside. I'm a chick who walks through that area regularly and I've never been accosted.)

 

There's also De Dutch which makes really great pannenkoeken with sweet and savoury toppings.

 

Oh, and bring an umbrella. Summer so far has been unusually cool and wet. 

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On 7/5/2019 at 7:10 PM, graphickal said:

Pretty much. There are passenger ferries across False Creek, which is not likely important unless you want to visit Granville Island. (It's accessible via bus as well but the ferries are faster.)

 

TransLink covers a large service area, roughly from the US border north to the suburbs of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, and between the ocean and Langley, though the further you go from the city proper coverage isn't as strong.

 

There are frequent connections to Seattle and Portland via Amtrak and Bolt Bus.

One day passes are CAD 10 and cover all Skytrain zones. Otherwise you can pay as you go on a contactless MC/Visa or get a Compass card (Compass is to TransLink what MoBIB is to SNIB) for lower fare costs.

 

Network information is well integrated into Google Maps. The Transit app (@transitapp) gives up to the minute arrival times for any given stop.

Rates are $3.25 on flag pull and $1.88 per km. Not that bad, to be honest. Essentially the same rate as taxis in Brux except in CAD except EUR (Brux rate is €3 on flag pull and €1.90/km.)

 

I'd recommend taking Skytrain from the airport instead of a taxi, depending on your destination. If you're staying downtown, Skytrain is the fastest way in. If you insist on taking a cab from the airport, be aware that fares are fixed from the airport depending on your destination. (Cabs have been known to overcharge. Shocking I know.)

 

There is an app based taxi hailing service called Kater. You are paying the same taxi rates but you should also know that Kater drivers are paid a fair wage and benefits as opposed to TNC drivers that get nothing. (Sorry for the rant.)

 

Flip side is that Vancouver is #1 for carsharing. You might have enough time to get set up with Evo, a one way carshare service. We also have car2go, which has operations in Belgium as well. 

 

Mobi is our Villo. (mobibikes.ca)

 

30 day pass is $25.

 

Waterfront Station, which is directly connected to the con site, has bike rentals. Renting a bike is pretty easy.

There are several parks within Translink service area. Pacific Spirit Park by UBC, Stanley Park, Dude Chilling Park, Burnaby  Mountain Conservation Area circling SFU, Capilano and Grouse Mountain.

 

 

 

The parks are a good start, as are the unis. There are fantastic beaches, and a favourite spot of mine when the weather isn't as rotten as it is today is Kitsilano Pool, a 130+m saltwater pool on the edge of the ocean. 

 

Granville Island has a lot of touristy crap, but TheatreSports is world class improv. (Colin Mochrie of Whose Line started there, for example.)

 

A lot of cinema and TV is shot in the Lower Mainland. There are websites that direct you from site to site. You'll likely run across signs of a production wherever you go.

 

If you want to go a bit further out, BC Ferries will take you to Vancouver Island. Express buses will get you to the pier.

 

Depending on your preferred mind alterant, you can find great options. There are plenty of microbreweries, brew pubs, and microdistillaries across town. I have a soft spot for Liberty Distilling's "young whiskey". Fair warning: booze is pretty heavily taxed and consequently is pricey. Cannabis is an option as well, as it is legendarily legal in Canada. 

 

If you're looking for a stack of flapjacks, there are mom and pop diners that do a better job than the big chains. Fable Diner at Main/Broadway and the Ovaltine Cafe on Hastings/Main are great dives. (Warning about Hastings and Main: that is the epicentre of our opioid crisis but it is not nearly as bad as places stateside. I'm a chick who walks through that area regularly and I've never been accosted.)

 

There's also De Dutch which makes really great pannenkoeken with sweet and savoury toppings.

 

Oh, and bring an umbrella. Summer so far has been unusually cool and wet. 

Thank you for this information @graphickal Very informative. I am sad to hear about the rain. The cold doesnt bother me. I will be at the Pinnacle Harbourfront hotel. What method would you suggest to get to LMG studios in Surrey? I am trying to decide between skytrain or cab. Thank you @ElfenSky also, for asking good questions!!! Needed this info.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 7/6/2019 at 1:10 AM, graphickal said:

One day passes are CAD 10 and cover all Skytrain zones. Otherwise you can pay as you go on a contactless MC/Visa or get a Compass card (Compass is to TransLink what MoBIB is to SNIB) for lower fare costs. 

Oh wow, I just checked and dat public transport integration 👌🏻. That puts many of my public transport fears to rest. The fares seem fairly cheap as well. A single bus ticket here in Belgium is valid for an hour and costs like 2.5€ at this point.

 

On 7/6/2019 at 1:10 AM, graphickal said:

Flip side is that Vancouver is #1 for carsharing. You might have enough time to get set up with Evo, a one way carshare service. We also have car2go, which has operations in Belgium as well.  

Tried to set up an Evo account, but they immediately want that membership fee, so I think I'll wait with that until I get there. Reading up about it does sound very promising though. I don't much understand how the parking situation works though, but nothing that won't be fixed after some reading.

car2go requires a canadian number, and I can't select Belgium as registration country (yet), so that'll have to wait until I'm there as well. Thanks for the info tho, very useful.

I've found these guys: https://vancouver.cyclebc.ca/scooters/single-seater but how realistic would it be to get around VC on something like this? It seems like a fun option.

Can't install Kater. Does not support any of my devices (which is really weird, but what can you do). I'm gonna try getting an .apk and installing it that way.

 

On 7/6/2019 at 1:10 AM, graphickal said:

Rates are $3.25 on flag pull and $1.88 per km.

If I can get these rates at the airport, that's quite reasonable. My airbnb is about 14km from YVR, and I think relaxing in a taxi after a 13+ hour flight will be worth the cost. Might still pick up a compass card at the skytrain terminals in the airport first tho.

 

On 7/6/2019 at 1:10 AM, graphickal said:

 

The parks are a good start, as are the unis. There are fantastic beaches, and a favourite spot of mine when the weather isn't as rotten as it is today is Kitsilano Pool, a 130+m saltwater pool on the edge of the ocean.  

 

Granville Island has a lot of touristy crap, but TheatreSports is world class improv. (Colin Mochrie of Whose Line started there, for example.)

 

A lot of cinema and TV is shot in the Lower Mainland. There are websites that direct you from site to site. You'll likely run across signs of a production wherever you go.

  

If you want to go a bit further out, BC Ferries will take you to Vancouver Island. Express buses will get you to the pier.

 

Depending on your preferred mind alterant, you can find great options. There are plenty of microbreweries, brew pubs, and microdistillaries across town. I have a soft spot for Liberty Distilling's "young whiskey". Fair warning: booze is pretty heavily taxed and consequently is pricey. Cannabis is an option as well, as it is legendarily legal in Canada.  

  

If you're looking for a stack of flapjacks, there are mom and pop diners that do a better job than the big chains. Fable Diner at Main/Broadway and the Ovaltine Cafe on Hastings/Main are great dives. (Warning about Hastings and Main: that is the epicentre of our opioid crisis but it is not nearly as bad as places stateside. I'm a chick who walks through that area regularly and I've never been accosted.) 

  

There's also De Dutch which makes really great pannenkoeken with sweet and savoury toppings. 

 

Oh, and bring an umbrella. Summer so far has been unusually cool and wet. 

Thanks for all that info. An umbrella is something I never even thought about, but I guess you guys are way up north compared to us here in Belgium. I need to actually brings some warmer clothing, I was planning on coming with t-shirts and shorts. I just though "eh, it's summer".

Huh, an improv theatre. That sounds interesting. Didn't know about the cinema thing, depending on some movies it would definitely be an interesting sight.

 

Is the Island just a scenic nature thing, or is there stuff to do there?

 

Added Liberty Distilling's to my "Vancouver" list in Google Maps. Not really a drinker tho so prices don't matter (I know, weird living in Belgium, but beer and alcohol in general just ain't my thing). Now, cannabis, I am curious about. Is public consumption allowed?

Heh. Flapjacks. That sounds funny :). Thanks for all the places, adding them all onto my saved list.
 


I like questing in RuneScape and think that Assassin's Creed 3 was a great game. I've got a Surface Book 2 15" yet I still proudly consider myself a PlayStation peasant. I have a Pixel 2 XL, and the camera on it is absolutely amazing. No regrets.

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