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Transportation in British Columbia
 
Transportation

If your flying into the area your most likely to land at Vancouver International Aiport in Richmond. Once you leave the airport it's a short hop over the Fraser River into the city itself with the down town core still a distance away. Heading east will bring you up into the Fraser Canyon and traveling north from the city brings you to Whistler or the Sunshine Coast.

 
 
 
If your traveling by car the access to the Vancouver Coast and Mountain area is essentially from the east or south (yes, you could come by Ferry via Vancouver Island as well). If you coming from the US to the south you'll follow the I5 to the border then Hwy 99 through the Fraser Delta and into Vancouver. If you coming from the east he only real choice is to cross the border and connect with the Trans-Canada highway through the Fraser Valley.

Driving

You are permitted to turn right on red lights (once you've come to a complete stop and have ascertained the way is clear). British Columbia is very strict in ensuring pedestrians have the right of way, so be alert when driving. Approach crosswalks and street corners with caution. Much of British Columbia is mountainous and driving conditions can deteriorate rapidly. In many areas snow is possible at any time of year. Check for road conditions and closures before setting out.

Special Note for Drivers Visiting BC: 1)British Columbia is a very mountainous area and during the winter months road closures in some areas are common. Avalanche chutes as well as heavy snow falls are key factors. When you plan your trip inquire about the route and check weather conditions before you go.

2) British Columbia is criss-crossed by thousands of logging roads, which are ofen the only access to back country areas. These roads where never intended for private vehicles (which can be damaged) and may present very serious problems with snow, mud ruts and rocks. Many require chains and/or four wheel drive. Roads connected to active logging areas will certainly have logging trucks running through them - proceed with extreme caution in these areas or perhaps pick another route.

3) Logging roads may be closed to private vehicles and many active roads are only open during weekends when the trucks aren't hauling. Contact the "Ministry of Forests" if you plans include travel on any of these roads.

Air

The Vancouver International Airport is located just to the south of the city on Sea Island in Richmond. It's just short of 15km (9 miles) to the downtown core. It will cost you about $35.00C by taxi to get downtown. A cheaper alternative is the airport shuttles which run to the hotels. There is no freeway into the core from the airport so traffic lights and speed limits will take there toll, plan on at least 30 minutes at the best of times and increase that proportionately as you approach rush hour.

There is currently an airport tax ($5-$10C)if you fly out of the city.

Airlines - National and International As this is written United, American Airlines, Continental and American West service Vancouver along with Canada's two (now one) domestic carrier.

Airlines - Regional

  • Alaska Air
  • Harbour Air - To Whistler, Powell River, Tofino, Powell River
  • Horizon Air
  • Kenmore Air - To Victoria
  • McLean and McLean Air Services - Surrey: BC
  • Northwest International Jet - Richmond: BC
  • Car Rental

    Distances / Mileage

    Harrison Hot Springs - Vancouver	120km		75 miles
    Hope - Vancouver			150km		94 miles
    Kamloops - Vancouver*       	 	350km 	        219 miles
    Powell River - Vancouver*	        130km 	        81 miles 	
    Victoria - Vancouver			70km 		44 miles
    Whistler - Vancouver			125km		78 miles
    Banff - Vancouver			850km		531 miles
    Calgary - Vancouver			975km		609 miles
    Edmonton - Vancouver			1150km	        718 miles	
    Jasper - Vancouver			800km		500 miles
    Seattle - Vancouver			226km		141 miles
    Portland - Vancouver			500km		313 miles
    San Francisco - Vancouver		1550km	        969 miles
    
    * (requires ferry transport)
    Road Conditions

    Maps

    Vancouver Coast and Mountians Region - From Out-There

    British Columbia Regions - from Hello BC

    Ferries

    Ferries play a large role in connecting the various regions of British Columbia along the coast and into the islands. In the Coast and Mountain region, exploration of the Sechelt/Sunshine coasts requires ferry crossings unless your willing to fly or boat in. BC's ferry system is excellent, if a little pricey (yes, we know its cheap compared to some areas of world). Check the web site for rates and sailing times. Be forwarned, in high season on the really popular runs, the spaces sell out quickly and you may have to wait for the next sailing or even the one after that - get the picture.

    Local Ferries: The Sea Bus runs from North Vancouver to the north shore of downtown and the Aquabus runs from the downtown areas southshore to Kitsilano. Of course you can take the bridges instead, but thats not as much fun.

    Rail

    The train ride across the rockies from Banff intoVancouver (or vise-versa) aboard The Canadian, Via Rail's Western Transcontinental, is an awesome introduction to this amazing part of the world. Contact Via for more information. There is also a scenic train from Vancouver to Whistler from BC rail. The main train terminus in Vancouver is on Main Street just up from Georgia in the downtown area.

    • BC Rail - Ride the Rails to Whistler
    • Via - National Passenger Service

    Bus

    The main terminal in Vancouver is the Pacific Central on Pacific just east of the down town core. The area is serviced by Greyhound and Pacific Coach Lines.

    Limosine Service

    Campers and Motorhomes