Travel to and within Vancouver

To Vancouver

Most of you will be traveling by air, arriving at YVR (Vancouver International Airport).  Take a moment as you arrive to appreciate your entrance to the Lower West Coast of British Columbia, the traditional and ancestral home of the Coast Salish First Nations.

After disembarking you will pass through the Pacific Passage (above), before arriving at the Musqueam Welcome Area immediately before international customs and immigration.

From the Airport to UBC Point Grey Campus

After arriving at YVR and passing through Canadian customs, you have two main options to get to campus.


There is a busy taxi rank just outside of the international arrivals hall.  Any taxi will be able to take you to UBC campus. Taxi rates FROM the airport are by zone: the zone rate for YVR - UBC campus is $35 per journey (not per person) (excluding tip; please note that tipping is customary in Canada. For cabs I would suggest 10%-15% (i.e. $3-$5). If you are staying in Gage Towers, they will know how to get there. Taxis take both cash and credit and (Canadian) debit cards.

Public Transit

The transit option is to take the Canada Line rapid rail transit / bus combination.  At the airport follow the Canada Line signs to the Airport Station. At the fare machines, you will need to purchase a Blue Compass card, and a 2-zone fare (plus $5 YVR addfare, which is automatically added to the card).  This fare care will cover your entire trip out to UBC, both the Canada Line and the bus connection (as long as both legs are completed in 90 minutes).

Take the Canada Line train to Broadway-City Hall Station, then exit. You will be at the SE corner of Cambie and Broadway. Cross twice to get to the NW corner of Cambie and Broadway and take the 99 Bus to UBC. The UBC bus loop is the final stop on this route. Gage Towers is 2 minutes walk north from the bus loop. The Ponderosa Suites building is about 10 minutes walk.

Travel while in Vancouver


The Translink site covers buses, skytrain (underground and elevated trains), and seabus routes.

If you are planning on using transit much while in Vancouver, you may wish to learn about the Compass Card, which is required to use the skytrain and Canada Line system. Cash fares ($2.75, exact change, coins only) can still be used on buses. These cards can be loaded online with credit, similar to an Oyster Card (for UK visitors) or many other types of metro card. If you buy a card at the YVR station, you can register it online at a later date.

There is very frequent bus service from UBC to other parts of the city, and if you are planning on exploring off-campus in the evening, or after the conference, I encourage you to use the system.

Taxis from and to Campus

Taxi service is readily available, although there can be a wait at busy times of the day. Taxi companies are familiar with Gage Towers as a pickup spot.

Taxi companies

Yellow Cabs          604 681 1111
Black Top Cabs     604 731 1111
MacClures Cabs    604 683 6666

Vancouver does not, as yet, have Uber or Lyft service.

Car-Share Schemes

For those of you who may be member of car-share programs, UBC has decent coverage with ZIPcar and Car2Go, which can be booked and used by members from other cities and countries.

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