Living in Vancouver?
Driving and Transportation in Vancouver
It Could Be Worse: Driving Your Car in the City
In Canada, cars are the most popular way of getting around — 80% of Canadians have their own car. In rural areas, cars are more or less indispensable. In Vancouver, cars are still among the most popular means of transport, though they are by no means necessary.
Traffic in Vancouver is not as congested as in many other metropolises. Driving in rush hour traffic can be annoying, however, and parking — though readily available — is expensive. Also, there are no freeways which lead into downtown Vancouver. The only exception is Highway 1, which passes through the city’s eastern edge.
Drivers in Vancouver enjoy a good reputation: perceived as courteous and patient, the average driver always stops for pedestrians and hardly ever runs yellow — let alone red — lights.
Want to Avoid Traffic Jams? Public Transportation Is the Answer
There are, however, alternatives to driving your own car through Metro Vancouver’s rush hour traffic. One of them is Vancouver’s well-developed public transportation system. The city has a comprehensive network of bus and trolleybus routes.
Vancouver’s famous SkyTrain was originally built for the World’s Fair in 1986. Up until today it remains the world’s longest automated light metro system. Its three lines currently cover most of the Metro Vancouver area.
Vancouver’s transportation authority TransLink has a detailed online trip planner. This may also prove a valuable resource in estimating commuting times prior to your move to Vancouver.
The Green Alternative: Cycling
Another popular alternative to driving is cycling. As opposed to many other Canadian and American cities, cyclists are a common sight on Vancouver’s streets. The city is actively promoting the use of bikes as a method of transportation. Measures include separate bike lanes, specifically designated bike routes as well as bike racks on buses and other public transportation.
If cycling to work sounds appealing to you, you can find more information on riding your bike in Vancouver on the city’s official cycling website.
In Case You Need a Driver: Vancouver Taxis
There is also a fleet of several hundred taxis serving the Vancouver area and Vancouver International Airport. Four major taxi companies are operating in the region: Yellow Cab, Vancouver Taxi, MacLures Cab, and Black Top & Checker Cabs. All of them have wheelchair-accessible vehicles available.
Within downtown Vancouver, you can expect to pay up to 10 CAD to 15 CAD for a taxi ride. Service from downtown to Vancouver International Airport costs about 35 CAD to 40 CAD.
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