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Getting Here & Around

Visitors to BC Can Arrive by Air, Road, Rail, or Ferry

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Air

Vancouver International Airport is the main gateway to British Columbia, and there are dozens of smaller airports throughout the province. Seaplane and helicopter service is available along the coast, and seaplanes fly to many remote lakes. BC’s major airlines are:

 

Rail

VIA Rail operates two routes from the coast to the Canadian Rockies, one starting in Vancouver, the other in Prince Rupert. Rocky Mountaineer offers three scenic routes from Vancouver to Jasper and Banff in the Rockies, with the option of starting in Seattle. And Amtrak provides direct service to Vancouver from Seattle, and from Portland and Eugene, Oregon. Connecting service is available from across the US.

Ferries

BC Ferries, serving almost 50 ports of call, is the province’s main provider of ferry service. Access Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, Haida Gwaii, and other coastal communities on their fleet of 35 car-accessible vessels.

The Alaska Marine Highway System provides scheduled vehicle and passenger service between southeast Alaska and Prince Rupert, and from Washington State you can access Vancouver Island via Clipper Vacations, the Black Ball Ferry Line, or the Washington State Ferries.

The BC Government provides free passenger/vehicle ferry service via Inland Ferries across lakes and rivers that are not spanned by bridges. And water taxis provide access to many remote islands and inlets along the coast. They also ferry people short distances in waterfront cities and towns, such as Vancouver and Victoria.

Buses

Metro Vancouver’s buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and the West Coast Express commuter train are operated by Translink. The rest of the province is the domain of BC Transit

Pacific Coach connects Vancouver and Whistler, and Vancouver International Airport and Victoria; the BC Ferries Connector joins downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria; and Tofino Bus services a number of communities on Vancouver Island. During the ski season, SNOWBUS provides daily service between Vancouver International Airport and Whistler, with pick-up and drop-off points in Vancouver and North Vancouver. And Quick Shuttle operates between Seattle and Metro Vancouver.

For those travelling greater distances, Rider Express connects communities between Vancouver and Calgary, Ebus travels between Vancouver and the Okanagan, Adventure Charters operates between Prince George and Surrey and between Williams Lake and Kamloops, and BC Bus North covers communities in Northern BC.

Highways

BC has a well-maintained network of highways and roads with good signage, making road trips an ideal way to see the province. Car rental companies are conveniently located at or near most airports, and in larger communities. RV travel is also popular here, and many campgrounds offer RV-specific accommodation with hook-ups and other amenities. The majority of RVs do not require a special license to drive or tow.

For current road conditions, visit Drive BC. For information about rules and regulations, see our Need to Know page.

Electric Vehicles 

B.C. has an extensive network of charging infrastructure for visitors with electric vehicles to meet their travel needs. This provides drivers with a large choice of conveniently placed stations to charge their electric vehicles province-wide. Go Electric BC provides information on the location of public charging stations along highways, and in communities throughout the province, that are now open, making it easy to travel across the province in an electric vehicle.

There are a several charging networks that operate within B.C. – each with their own system, and membership cards, which are low cost or free to use. To save time when charging your electric vehicle, it is recommended that you register for these networks ahead of time.

Before you travel to B.C. you can also apply for a decal which allows electric vehicles to access the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in BC regardless of the number of people in the car.

For a seamless travel experience on your EV, please consider a few suggestions on EV Charging station etiquette.

For current road conditions, visit Drive BC. For information about rules and regulations, see our  Need to Know page.

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