10 tips for going car-free this summer

10 tips for going car-free this summer

The 23 Beach bus travelling alone Beach Ave

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Metro Vancouver. It’s responsible for 35 per cent of all road-based transportation emissions in the region.

The good news is more and more of our favourite destinations in Metro Vancouver are accessible by transit making it an easy choice over driving. And hopping on transit means you’re taking one of the biggest steps to reduce your environmental impact, win-win!

Here are some tips for going car-free this summer!

1 | Make a list of all the places you want to go this summer

Once you have your list, group together activities that are near each other and assess your options for travelling there.

Transit reaches 90 per cent of the places where people live and work in Metro Vancouver. That means if you have a place to go, TransLink will most likely be able to take you there!

Many Metro Vancouver beaches and parks are accessible by transit. Plus, we increase transit service in the summer months to Stanley Park, the English Bay beaches, White Pine Beach, Buntzen Lake, Deep Cove, Lynn Valley, Grouse Mountain, and more to make it even easier for you to take transit.

2 | Discover options and compare travel times on Google Maps

Use our Trip Planner, powered by Google Maps, to tell us where you’re starting from and where you want to go, and we’ll find the best route to get you there. Enter your “departing from” and “going to” destination and open your trip plan results in Google.

You will also be able to easily compare how long it will take to drive, take transit, cycle, or walk. Cycling can be the fastest ways to get around in many cases within urban settings.

3 | Purchase a Compass Card and add Stored Value

Compass Cards are convenient, reloadable fare cards that can be used when taking transit within Metro Vancouver. When you use a Compass Card to pay your transit fare, you pay a discounted fare over cash and contactless payment fares.

Purchase a Compass Card for $6 refundable deposit from Compass Vending Machines at all SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express stations, and select London Drugs stores. Load it with Stored Value and tap your Compass Card to pay your transit fare.

Register your Compass Card and setup AutoLoad to have it topped up whenever your balance drops below $5.

4 | Purchase a DayPass or Monthly Pass

Planning to travel lots?  A DayPass allows for unlimited travel for a single day (from the start of service until 4 a.m. the following day), while a Monthly Pass is for a calendar month.

There are two ways to purchase a DayPass:

  • Load a DayPass onto your Compass Card. This can be done at a Compass Vending Machine at a SkyTrain station or online at compasscard.ca. These can be used the same day or on a future day.
  • Buy a Compass DayPass Ticket. This is a single-use paper ticket that’s available from Compass Vending Machines at SkyTrain stations. These must be used the same day of purchase.

A Monthly Pass can be loaded onto your Compass Card at a Compass Vending Machine at a SkyTrain station or online at compasscard.ca. They are available between the 20th of the previous month until the 15th of the current month.

5 | Sign up for Mobi by Shaw Go bike share

Mobi by Shaw Go is Vancouver’s bike share service that makes public bicycles available for shared use to individuals on a short-term basis. This is perfect for hopping between attractions in

The bikes can be unlocked from one station and returned to any station in the system, making bike share ideal for short, one-way trips. It starts at $15 for a 24-hour pass that allows for unlimited 30-minute rides.

6 | Pack a backpack with your essentials

Don’t forget your charger, USB power bank, water, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, hat, and anything else you may need for a day exploring Metro Vancouver! Don’t have a good transit-friendly backpack? No worries, we’ve got you covered at the TransLink Store!

7 | Be flexible and time shift

Transit’s typically busiest on routes headed into Vancouver in the morning and away from Vancouver in the afternoons. Consider shifting your travel time

System-wide ridership recovery has recovered to about 70 per cent, according to our latest numbers, so there continues to be excess capacity onboard transit. We are also monitoring and adding extra service where it’s needed.

8 | Download the Transit app

Open the Transit app and it tells you upcoming departure times for the transit routes nearest you. We have also partnered with the app to provide you with bus capacity predictions so you can see if there is room to ride on a bus before boarding.

9 | Park your car at a Park and Ride lot

Park and Ride is a parking lot that’s located at a transit station, allowing you to conveniently switch from car to transit! You can park all day at a Park and Ride lot for between $2 and $3.75, depending on the location. There are 20 locations across Metro Vancouver, serving SkyTrain, West Coast Express and major bus loops.

10 | There’s car-free ways to travel outside of Metro Vancouver

Want to visit places like Whistler, Kelowna, Calgary, Seattle, and beyond? Driving isn’t the only way to get there. There are many private bus operators.

Skylynx, Whistler Shuttle and Epic Rides all operate buses from Vancouver to Whistler. Ebus operates a bus from Vancouver to Kelowna. VIA Rail operates train service to Kamloops, Jasper, Edmonton and beyond. Greyhound operates buses from Vancouver to Seattle.

Looking for some fun car-free activities to take part in this summer? Check out a full list of how you can ride transit and enjoy the car-free days of summer on our website.