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The only guide you’ll need on how to take transit from Vancouver to Victoria

The only guide you’ll need on how to take transit from Vancouver to Victoria

The inner harbour at Victoria

Don’t let the lack of a car stop you from exploring our beautiful capital city, Victoria, because you can easily ride public transit to get there! Visit Tourism Victoria‘s website for all the city has to offer.

In total, the trip from Vancouver to Victoria will take you about four hours, so plan accordingly whether you’d like to do a day trip or spend a few days there. You’ll be riding with TransLink, BC Ferries and BC Transit, so there will be three separate fares.

Check list before you go

  • $5 in coins for your BC Transit fare – $2.50 in coins to pay the fare for the bus ride from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria, and another $2.50 for the return trip. Alternatively, you can purchase a BC Transit DayPASS for $5 for unlimited travel for the entire day on any route! You can find all fare details at
  • Your TransLink fare, which varies depending on how many zones you travel. You can easily estimate your fare on our website.

Riding transit to the ferry terminal

To get to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, you’ll have to take the 620 Tsawwassen Ferry Express bus from Bridgeport Station. There are many ways to get to Bridgeport Station to catch the 620, so we’ll cover the most common way: taking the SkyTrain’s Canada Line to Bridgeport Station from downtown Vancouver. But first, determine if you’ll start your trip on a bus or at a SkyTrain station.

The bus-only transfer. You’ll want to make sure you have a Compass Ticket or Card if you’re planning to transfer from bus to SkyTrain

If you’re starting your trip on the bus before transferring onto the SkyTrain to get to Bridgeport Station, we recommend paying with a Compass Card or a contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card. If you pay by exact cash, the bus transfer is only works on other buses as it doesn’t open the faregates at SkyTrain stations. Operators also do not carry change.

If you’re starting at the SkyTrain station, you have three ways of paying your transit fare:

The benefit of a Compass Card is fares are discounted, so if you’re planning to travel lots by transit, we recommend you pick up a Compass Card. They are available online at, at Compass Retailers, SkyTrain stations, SeaBus terminals, the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay ferry terminals, and select London Drugs stores in Vancouver.

Your transit fare includes transfers for up to 90 minutes. In other words, you do not need to pay again when switching from the SkyTrain to the 620 bus. Just tap the same Compass Card, Compass Ticket, or contactless credit card again to open the faregates to access the SkyTrain station.

A few other things to keep in mind:

Once you’re inside the SkyTrain station, follow signs to the trains headed towards Richmond–Brighouse or YVR Airport (if you are travelling southbound) to find your platform. Both the trains bound for Richmond–Brighouse or YVR Airport will take you to Bridgeport Station.

After you arrive, exit the station and catch the 620 bus from Bay 12. To find this bay, you’ll have to double back after you exit the station. Please pay attention to the ground markings and follow the arrow and lines to queue up for the bus.

Queuing system for the 620 bus

The travel time from Bridgeport Station to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal is typically around 30-45 minutes and we schedule our buses to match the ferry schedules as best we can. However, please always plan for extra travel time as our buses are only as reliable as the road it travels on. There’s often congestion, especially during peak hours, on Highway 99 and the George Massey Tunnel, which the 620 uses to get to the ferry terminal.

Use our Trip Planner or Google Trip Planner on our website to make sure you make it in time to the terminal for the ferry you want to catch. You can view ferry schedules on the BC Ferries website. Don’t forget to account for the time to walk from the bus stop to the inside the terminal to purchase your ferry ticket and then the time to walk to the berth to get on the ferry.

Customers disembark from the 620 bus and head towards Departures at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal

At the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal

Once inside, proceed to the ticketing counters or self-service ticket booths to purchase your ferry ticket. They accept cash, credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), debit cards and BC Ferries Experience™ Card. Check out travel tips on the BC Ferries website.

Walk-on passengers can make free reservations when travelling on routes connecting Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, as well as on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route, to avoid sailing waits. BC Ferries customers can also take advantage of Saver fares, which can be booked for select off-peak sailings on many routes to help reduce lineups during peak hours.

The ferry terminal is like an airport, so your ticket will indicate a berth. Proceed to your berth to wait for boarding and be prepared to show your ticket to staff as you make your way there.

At the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal

Once you disembark from the ferry, follow the signs to exit and to the bus stop to catch the 70 Downtown or 72 Downtown buses.

While both buses take you to downtown Victoria, the 70 bus operates as an express — that means it doesn’t stop at as many stops between the terminal and downtown. Both bus routes will drop you off at Government and Superior Streets, near the Royal BC Museum and the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

If you’re planning to make a return trip on the same day or plan to use BC Transit buses throughout the day, we recommend you purchase a DayPASS from the operator. The cost of a DayPASS is $5, which is the price of two adult cash fares. Once you have your DayPASS, the next time you ride the bus, you “pay” by showing the front of the pass to the driver.

The single trip cash fare for the Victoria Regional Transit System, operated by BC Transit, is $2.50 cash for adults, seniors and youth. There are no transfers, which means purchasing a DayPASS is your best option otherwise you have to pay a new fare every time you board a bus.

Note fare payment through Compass Card and contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express payment is only possible on the TransLink system.

The 70 Swartz Bay-Downtown Express travelling along Highway 17
Photo: BC Transit

Returning to Vancouver

Ready to head home? Just make the reverse trip! The 70 and 72 bus departs from Government Street and Superior Street, or you can catch it along Douglas Street. The trip is typically between about an hour to an hour and 30 minutes from there to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.

Use NextRide on your computer and the Transit app on your mobile device to plan your trip and access real-time transit information.

If there’s anything we missed, let us know in the comments!


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