Greater Vancouver Transit Authority

From Dominion of British Columbia
Greater Vancouver Transit Authority
Jurisdiction Greater Vancouver Regional District
Headquarters 400-287 Nelson's Court
New Westminster NW6 0TA

The Greater Vancouver Transit Authority (GVTA) is the entity responsible for the provision of public transit in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. It is a department of the Dominion-level Urban Transit Authority, subordinate to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The GVTA provides a wide range of public transit services in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Busses and trolleybusses, the SeaBus passenger ferry across Burrard Inlet, and Community Shuttle services are operated by the GVTA itself. In addition, the City of West Vancouver operates its own bus system, and though the operating company, West Vancouver Municipal Transit, is an independent company, its operations and fares are fully integrated into the GVTA.

Rail-based services are operated by other railway companies under contract to the GVTA. Like the West Vancouver busses, these are fully integrated into the GVTA's fare structure.

Services

GVTA system map

Busses and trolleybusses

The GVTA has an extensive network of busses and trolleybusses throughout the Greater Vancouver Regional District (corresponding to Fare Zones 1 through 4). Most of these are operated by the Coast Mountain Bus Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GVTA, except for those routes within the City of West Vancouver and routes from West Vancouver to downtown Vancouver, which are operated by West Vancouver Municipal Transit. Bus services in Zone 5 are operated by the Central Fraser Valley Transit System, and in Zone 6 by Chilliwack Transit, both of which are departments of the Urban Transit Authority.

SeaBus

Since 1977 the GVTA has operated a passenger-only ferry between Waterfront-CPR Station in downtown Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.

SeaBus schedules

Departing from Waterfront-CPR
Day(s) Times Frequency
Monday to Friday 06:16 to 07:16
07:16 to 21:16
21:16 to 00:46
01:22
30 minutes
15 minutes
30 minutes
Last sailing
Saturday 06:16 to 09:16
09:16 to 21:16
21:16 to 00:46
01:22
30 minutes
15 minutes
30 minutes
Last sailing
Sunday/Holidays 08:16 to 09:16
09:16 to 21:16
21:16 to 23:16
23:46
30 minutes
15 minutes
30 minutes
Last sailing
Departing from Lonsdale Quay
Day(s) Times Frequency
Monday to Friday 06:02 to 07:02
07:17 to 21:02
21:02 to 00:17
01:02
30 minutes
15 minutes
30 minutes
Last sailing
Saturday 06:02 to 09:02
09:17 to 21:02
21:02 to 00:17
01:02
30 minutes
15 minutes
30 minutes
Last sailing
Sunday/Holidays 08:02 to 09:02
09:17 to 21:02
21:02 to 23:02
23:32
30 minutes
15 minutes
30 minutes
Last sailing

Rail-based services

Rail-based services are operated by other railway companies under contract to the GVTA.

  • Greater Vancouver Metro - five (six) lines within Fare Zones 1 through 3, operated by the BC Hydro Railway.
  • Interurban - this is a regular BC Hydro Railway passenger service; although not operated under GVTA contract, it is integrated into the GVTA fare system.
  • North Vancouver trams - three tram lines in North Vancouver, operated by the BC Hydro Railway - these are all that remains of a once-extensive network of trams.
  • RailBus - the RailBus brand is used in several places around BC for rail services under contract to various departments of the UTA; in the Lower Mainland, there are three RailBus services, one operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway, two by the Washington & British Columbia Railway.
  • West Coast Express - special peak-hour-only commuter trains on three routes, each operated by a different railway.

Fares

Official GVTA map of fare zones

Zonal fares are applicable during peak hours, which are defined as Monday through Friday, 05:00 to 10:59 and 15:00 to 18:59; all other times are off-peak periods, during which a one-zone fare is applicable.

Adult fares are applicable to passengers between the ages of 14 and 65; concession fares apply to children aged 6 through 14, to secondary school students aged 14-18 with school ID, and to university students with a U-Pass. Seniors (over age 65), children under 6, along with postal workers, police (municipal and RBCC, and members of the BC Defence Force in uniform, travel free; identification must be provided during fare checks.

Zonal fares are applicable as per the standard definition on the Greater Vancouver Metro and on SeaBus, but on other modes, differences exist. Travel on busses within Zones 1 through 4 are exempt from the fare zone system - a one-zone fare allows for trips across zone boundaries, so long as only busses and no other means of transit (e.g. Metro or SeaBus) are used. On the Interurban, which operates between Fare Zones 3 and 6, regular zonal fares apply in peak times - i.e., a one zone fare for travel within a single zone, a two zone fare for travel crossing one Zone boundary, up to a four-zone ticket for a trip from Zone 3 to Zone 6 or vice versa. However, outwith peak hours, a single-zone fare is applicable only to trips occurring within Fare Zones 3 and 4: a surcharge of £1 is applicable to trips from Zones 3 or 4 to Zone 5 and of £2 on trips from Zones 3 or 4 to Zone 6; off-peak travel within Zones 5-6 requires a single-zone fare, but for trips from Zone 5 to Zones 3 or 4 a surcharge of £1 is applicable, whilst for trips from Zone 6 to Zones 3 or 4 the surcharge is £2. Services located entirely within a single zone - the North Vancouver trams and the various RailBus services - naturally require only a single-zone fare.

The most basic tickets are the 90-minute and the 150-minute tickets. 90-minute tickets are available for travel through one to four zones, and are valid for unlimited travel (including return trips) during the period of validity - an hour and a half from the time of purchase. The 150-minute ticket is available for travel through three to six zones. Valid for two and a half hours from the time of purchase, they can be used for one-way travel only once a zone boundary is crossed, however whilst within a given zone, there is nothing to prevent one from doubling back on one's tracks. Tickets for return trips, valid all day, are available for travel through three to six zones. Two forms of long-term pass are available, fortnightly and monthly, which offer significant savings over full-fare travel when used at least five times per week.

Fare Type 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone
90-minute
Adult
Concession

18/3
14/3

£1.5s.3d
£1.2s.-

£1.10s.-
£1.6s.9d

£1.15s.-
£1.11s.9d
- -
1-way (150 min)
Adult
Concession
- -
£2.10s.-
£1.9s.9d

£3.1s.9d
£2.1s.3d

£3.14s.9d
£2.14s.3d

£4.16s.-
£3.15s.9d
Return (day)
Adult
Concession
- -
£4.16s.9d
£3

£5.18s.3d
£4.1s.9d

£7.10s.-
£5.13s.3d

£8.6s.8d
£6.10s.-d
Fortnightly pass
Adult
Concession

£19.12s.9d
£7.1s.9d

£24
£12.3s.3d

£38.8s.-
£15.5s.-

£39.2s.9d
£23.11s.9d

£46
£25.6s.-

£52.12s.-
£26.18s.9d
Monthly pass
Adult
Concession

£32.13s.3d
£12.16s.9d

£43.13s.3d
£22

£59
£27.13s.3d

£69.6s.9d
£42.16s.9d

£83.13s.3d
£53.2s.3d

£96.12s.-
£64.10s.9d

BC Pound exchange rates (for guidance only)