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A quick guide to Vancouver's public transport

For international students who have just arrived in Vancouver, one thing that they’ll be interested in learning will be how to navigate the bustling metropolitan city on their own and through public transport as a more efficient way of getting around the city and neighbouring municipalities. Depending on their route, students can use the Sky Train, Translink bus, SeaBus and West Coast Express train service. All these modes of transportation are operated by Translink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority.

Load, tap and ride using the Compass Card

International students can purchase the Compass Card, a reloadable fare card that can be used for all Translink services in Metro Vancouver. Loading can be done online, at a Compass vending machine or by phone (604 398 2042). Each Compass Card is for one commuting student only and cannot be tapped twice to pay for a companion. But the same Compass Card’s Stored Value can be used to purchase another Compass card or ticket at any Compass Card vending machine. The Translink website also provides details on lost or stolen cards, balance protection, how to load, tap and ride as well as fare products and prices, getting around the metro, trip planner and alerts on its schedules and maps section.

Getting to and from Acsenda School of Management

Acsenda is adjacent to the public transport station at Burrard, a stop-off point for rail and bus interchange. The campus is housed within an iconic skyscraper in the city’s financial district and is conveniently located in downtown Vancouver. As such, students can easily take public transport to any point in the city as well as Metro Vancouver or walk and find their way around the city to explore places of interest such as the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre, Granville Street Entertainment District and Seaforth Armoury. Travelling from Acsenda to Sunset Beach, for instance, only takes 15 minutes with a combination of a 5-minute bus ride to Southbound Burrard Street and a 10-minute scenic walk to the beach.

Getting to and from Arbutus College

Arbutus College is also located in downtown Vancouver and public transport is accessible to and from Arbutus College. Translink buses are available on Southbound Richards and W Hastings streets, Eastbound W Hastings and Seymour streets and Westbound W Hastings and Richards streets. Students can get around the city by walking or biking. Places of interest around the area include the Vancouver Lookout at Harbour Centre where they can access a glass elevator to an observation deck with 360-degree views of the city and the Sam Kee Building which has made it to the Guinness Book of Records as the shallowest commercial building in the world.

With the Compass Card, students can navigate Vancouver’s nooks and crannies like any local. Alternatively, they can also use Mobi, a public bike share program which can be booked daily, monthly or annually. They can also combine these options by taking a bike ride with a bus ride, Sky Train rapid transit or SeaBus, depending on where they want to go.  All these transport options have bike racks which make it very convenient for students to travel around the city by bike.

In no time, international students can navigate Vancouver’s thoroughfares with confidence and take in the warm, friendly atmosphere of a multicultural city with a view to sunny summers, mild winters and scenic mountains.