Maps
A ferry on the water in front of large mountains behind it

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 Canadian Rockies. 

Amtrak operates a scenic rail journey to Vancouver, passing through multiple cities in Washington, USA, including Portland and Seattle.

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 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.

Enjoying the sun deck aboard BC Ferries | BC Ferries

New BC Ferries Saver Fare

This summer, travel for less on BC Ferries’ new BC Ferries Saver fare from $49 for a standard vehicle and driver, including a free reservation. Saver fares are available on select sailings on routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

Save Now

Buses

Metro Vancouver’s buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and the West Coast Express commuter train are operated by Translink. Visit the Translink Customer Service Centre at Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver to purchase transit tickets, get wayfinding advice, and more. 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. 

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 stations to meet the needs of visitors with electric vehicles. This provides drivers with a large choice of conveniently placed stations province-wide. Go Electric BC provides information on the location of public charging stations along highways, and in communities throughout the province, making it easy to explore B.C. in an electric vehicle.

To save time when charging your vehicle, it is recommended that you register for one or more charging networks before your journey. Most stations can be activated through your mobile phone or a membership card provided by the network.

Visit the PlugShare website and keep the app on your mobile device so that you can plan your charging stops. Signage at the charging stations will also provide instructions and customer support information.

Currently, there are six main networks in British Columbia:

* Networks that are interoperable with each others’ mobile app.

Travelling through B.C. in an electric vehicle is fun for everyone in your family. This has been captured in a newly released colouring book – Sunny and Zip’s BC Adventure.

Before you travel to B.C. you can also apply for a free decal which allows electric vehicles to access the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in B.C. regardless of the number of people in the car. When applying for the decal, please allow up to four weeks for processing.

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

Construction & Closures

Highway #1 Kicking Horse Canyon Construction Project

Construction on the Highway #1 Kicking Horse Canyon Project has begun, and the anticipated completion date is in winter of 2024. Highway #1 is currently closed at the Kicking Horse Canyon. The Fall 2022 extended closure begins at noon on September 26 and continues until 6 am on December 1. Please use alternate routes Highways 93S and 95.

View the schedule of closures here.

Highway #4 Kennedy Hill Safety Improvements

The Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project covers an area approximately 1.5 kilometers long that runs adjacent to Kennedy Lake. This section of the highway begins at the bottom/south end of Kennedy Hill at the TR19 Creek culvert, and continues up the hill towards Port Alberni. The anticipated completion date is in fall of 2022.

The closure schedule can be found here.

 

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