Vancouver 2010 Bus Schedules and Transportation

Comments 21 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last night John was looking over street closures during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and trying to figure out his new public transit route to work. I would imagine many who work in or around downtown Vancouver are also going through this phase of planning their commute (if they haven’t taken two weeks holiday during this time).

Where Trolleybuses Sleep
Photo credit: PiscesDreamer – submitted to the Miss604 Flickr Group

Here are some transportation options you’ll need to consider over the next two months, according to

Taking Transit in the Lower Mainland
The West Coast Express, Canada Line and SkyTrain lines will have expanded hours of service. You will still be able to take transit around the Lower Mainland (it’s encouraged as opposed to driving) so you’ll want to explore all options with regards to times of service, routes and fares.

  • SkyTrain: A train every 108 seconds during peak periods every day, including weekends, from 5:00am to 2:15am the following morning during all 17 days of the Olympics.
  • Canada Line: Operating from YVR, Richmond and Downtown 4:50am to 1:15am during the Olympics.
  • SeaBus: All three vessels will be running from 6:00am until 2:15am.
  • There will be a third Seabus in operation and the free streetcar line from Olympic Village Canada Line Station to Granville Island will be available as well.

    Transit buses will have extended day and night service although with road closures and pedestrian-only lanes, here are a few routes that will change to skirt them around the security zones:

  • #5 Robson / Downtown, #6 Davie / Downtown, N17, #17 UBC / Oak / Downtown, #15 Cambie / Downtown, #50 False Creek, C21 community shuttle and C23 community shuttle.
  • The North Shore buses that go along Georgia that will be re-routed include: 240, 241, 242, 246, 247, and 257 Horseshoe Bay Express.
  • Fare wise, souvenir 6-week monthly passes are available from Translink and will be valid February 8th until March 21st, 2010. If you’re in Whistler, Squamish or Pemberton you can also buy a souvenir monthly fare pass from BC Transit. If you have an Olympic event ticket, it serves as a day-pass for transit services such as buses, SkyTrains etc.

    Taking Buses to and from Olympic Events
    If you have tickets to an Olympic event and would like to book your transportation you will need to get your tickets ASAP. You can do so online and take note of the shuttle bus departure hub locations:

  • For Cypress Mountain: Capilano University, Simon Fraser University and Lonsdale Quay.
  • For Whistler Olympic Park: BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Lonsdale Quay.
  • For Whistler Sliding Centre: BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Lonsdale Quay.
  • For Whistler Creekside: Langara College and Lonsdale Quay.
  • Tickets to Cypress are $12 while Whistler is $25 and you may only pay by Visa online. NOTE: Prices will increase to $25 for Cypress and $50 for Whistler if purchased on or after January 11, 2010. All tickets are valid for a round-trip.

    It is highly recommended that you take public transit to get to these departure hubs. If you would like to “park & ride” there is no cost but you’ll require a parking pass to leave your car there. This pass can be obtained online when you book you bus tickets. You can contact the Olympic Bus Network by phone Monday through Saturday from Canada and the USA for more information.

    You can read about one blogger’s experience in purchasing Olympic Bus Network tickets here.

    In General
    If you need to come into work downtown (and cannot telecommute) see if you can carpool or take transit. Should you choose to carpool, make sure you can get to a parking space that is not in a locked down security zone or closed street / pedestrian corridor.

    Transit alerts will be available online and if you’re traveling up to the Squamish / Whistler region remember they are serviced by BC Transit.

    For more information refer to as they have plenty of resources available. There is also a guide to getting around on the City of Vancouver website.

    With all that being said, it’s best to leave the car at home and plan your transportation options well in advance. My best bet right now it to rely on my own two feet to get me around.

    21 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. Jhenifer @ TransLinkThursday, January 7th, 2010 — 11:02am PST

      What a super useful post! Good to hear you’re planning ahead for how to get around, too. I think I’ll be taking my bike a lot more for short to medium distances during the Games. There’s going to be bike parking at all the venues too.

    2. DarrenThursday, January 7th, 2010 — 11:24am PST

      If I may take a moment to whine, the Olypmic bus website is shockingly awful. The fact that they have to articulate a five step process on buying your tickets is evidence of this.

      More importantly, why isn’t it associated with my Olympic ticketing account? The websites look the same and come from the same organization, yet I have to create two separate accounts? Even better, why wasn’t I offered a bus ticket during the ticket buying process?

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    4. MandyThursday, January 7th, 2010 — 12:32pm PST

      I have tickets to the Whistler cross country ski event. Now that I’m beginning to see what a pain it is to get there from Vancouver – I don’t want them anymore!
      From what I understand, I can only book my bus tickets using VISA?! Seriously?
      What if I don’t have a visa card (nor want one). I’m happy with my mastercard. Since I can only book online or on the phone, cash is obviously out of the question. Paypal? Debit? Money order? Cheque?? My firstborn?
      Nope. Only visa.
      Is there any other way around this?

    5. BarbThursday, January 7th, 2010 — 12:38pm PST

      Your Olympic event ticket is actually your transit ticket for the day.

    6. Miss604Thursday, January 7th, 2010 — 12:41pm PST

      @ Mandy – Yes, much like in the Olympic Store in The Bay they only take Visa (or cash at that store)

      @ Barb – Yes, your event ticket is your Transit pass but not your Olympic Bus Network pass (so it works on SkyTrain & local buses, not the big shuttle to take you to venues)

    7. CeliaThursday, January 7th, 2010 — 1:16pm PST

      Great summary. I was aware of most, but hadn’t thought about bus route changes due to road closures. I am most concerned about the North Shore routes. Do you know how they are effected on Georgia? I tried to look on TransLink but couldn’t tell what was different.


    8. Miss604Thursday, January 7th, 2010 — 1:23pm PST

      @ Celia – They still go down Georgia but when they loop around downtown that’s where there’s a detour (cause it’s so close to the stadiums)

    9. PaulThursday, January 7th, 2010 — 3:46pm PST

      Well thanks to Vanoc and their lack of wanting to work with business I was was unable to complete an impact study that the company was going to use for looking at alternatives during the Olympics. They failed to give me road closure and lane closure information that was required. As such all 400+ workers will continue to go to work. Thanks Vanoc!

    10. John BollwittThursday, January 7th, 2010 — 7:16pm PST

      Let me echo what was said by Mandy…

      Why the hardcore VISA only credit cards and debit cards? When purchasing things from the store at HBC not long ago, all I have is my Interact debit card from my bank.

      I had money that I wanted to give to VANOC. Their choice of how to get that money meant I couldn’t, so I ended up not buying anything. Sure, VISA bought the rights to have that privilege/right/exclusivity, but it makes no sense whatsoever.

    11. Jhenifer @ TransLinkFriday, January 8th, 2010 — 9:22am PST

      OK, sorry for pulling this slightly off topic, but Paul, could you send your company’s contact info over to me at [email protected]? Staff at TransLink have been working with over 700 businesses in downtown Vancouver to plan transport alternatives in light of Games traffic — I’m sure they would love to help your company out!

    12. AngieFriday, January 8th, 2010 — 4:20pm PST

      Great post – thanks Rebbecca! This will be a big help as I organize commuting and telecommuting with my team at work.

    13. ChrisFriday, January 8th, 2010 — 5:08pm PST

      @ Darren – your review of the Olympic transit site is spot-on….we spent close to an hour trying to book our bus link to Cypress for a snowboard event. Lonsdale Key was (and still is) suggested on the site as a transit hub and would have been the best option for us as we would be coming from the Commercial Drive area. While listed as an option, it is no longer avaialble to book and the buses are first-come first reserved; and apparently we can only head in to Cypress from SFU now.

      What would have been a 30-min commute will now take 1 and a half hours and worst of all – we can’t reserve a seat on a bus that will get us to the venue for the begining of the event! We could only book seats on a bus that departs SFU 1 hour after the event starts and thus will get us there almost 2 hours into an event that we paid to attend.

      What happens to those ticket holders who wait another week to book, or worse still, buy their tix the week of the event, when they arrive here (through a reseller) and find that they can’t get to the venue at all?

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    16. RonThursday, January 14th, 2010 — 5:36pm PST

      Recently, I bought bus tickets from Lonsdale to Whistler Olympic Park (for ski jumping). The actual event tickets arrived last week with a book, and that book clearly indicates that Lonsdale does not serve Olympic Park and that you must depart from BCIT. Of course I can’t contact anyone to confirm whether the Offical book is accurate, or the bus ticket website?.

    17. fotoeinsSunday, January 24th, 2010 — 10:10am PST

      @RB, thanks for the summary! I’m hoping to get back at some point in the next 12 months to see (and photograph) all the funky changes in me town o’ birth.

    18. Tyler IngramSunday, January 24th, 2010 — 10:10am PST

      Last I read, I could only get on the bus at BCIT for the Winter Olympic Park in Whistler. But it goes to Lonsdale anyway? Bah!

      So we’ve got our Olympic Bus Network pass for the day of our event. Did I mention that it takes longer to get to the event we’re watching, than actually watching it? lol

    19. MartinaMonday, January 25th, 2010 — 8:24am PST

      I’m really confused. From all that I’m reading on the VANOC site, it sounds like you can only get into Whistler if you have an event ticket?? We’re interested in milling around the town and taking in the atmosphere for a day, but not attending sporting events. Can anyone confirm?

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