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Vancouver Airport Transportation (YVR) Cheap, Fast & Easy

Certainly, there are likely few topics less captivating for potential tourists than delving into a 3000-word piece on Vancouver airport transportation.

Navigating through numerous options can be bewildering, but fear not, we’ll simplify it for you, allowing you to focus on more exciting pursuits like hiking, skiing, and eating the world’s best salmon.

Whether your destination is from Vancouver airport to downtown or any other corner of the city, rest assured, that we have all the information you need. Let’s dive in!

  1. Train
  2. Buses
  3. Taxis
  4. Rideshare
  5. Private Transfers
  6. Car Rentals
  7. Car Share
  8. Hotel Shuttles
  9. YVR to Whistler Shuttle
  10. YVR to BC Ferries
  11. Vancouver International Airport

Vancouver Airport Transportation: How to Get to Downtown and Vancouver City Centre from YVR

A plane lands at dusk at YVR airport

First, let’s get oriented.

There are two airports serving the Greater Vancouver area. In this article we’ll be discussing the largest, which is Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

For those who’ll be entering Vancouver through Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) make sure to check out our Abbotsford International page.

Still confused? Get at us in the comments below and we’ll tell you how to do it like a local.

Vancouver Airport to Downtown Train

skytrain arrives at a stop in vancouver bc

We mentioned in our article on things to know before visiting Vancouver that this is probably the quickest and cheapest way to get downtown from any big city airport in North America.

You can get from YVR to Vancouver City Center Station in Downtown Vancouver in as little as 25 minutes.

The airport has its own station called YVR-Airport on the Canada Line branch of the Skytrain: Vancouver’s metro system.

This line offers service from YVR and the suburb of Richmond through Vancouver’s Westside before entering the downtown core, where it terminates at Waterfront Station.

vancouver whale tour banner

Vancouver Airport Train Times

The train runs every 6 minutes during peak hours and every 12-20 minutes otherwise. The first and last trains are listed below:

Destination                        First          Last

YVR-Waterfront                5:07am     12:56am

Waterfront-YVR                4:48am     1:05am

Be sure to consult the Canada Line schedule for exact times.

Vancouver Airport Train Prices

The cash fares for tickets purchased at YVR to Downtown Vancouver are outlined below:

  • Adult: $9.55
  • Concession (65+, 5-18): $8.10
  • Child (0-5): free

This figure includes a regular 2-zone fare and the YVR Addfare supplement of $5. This figure is not applied for trips from Vancouver that terminate at YVR when a normal 2-zone fare will suffice.

User Tips

To get to the train from the domestic and international arrival halls, go up the stairs to level three and simply follow the signs saying Canada Line or train to city within the airport.

Fares may be purchased from the ticket machines before entering the platform. They can be paid with cash, credit, debit card, mobile wallet or compass card.

The Compass Card is Vancouver’s comprehensive re-loadable fare card that works throughout the transit system (buses, Skytrain and the Seabus). It offers users slightly discounted travel in addition to increased convenience.

We strongly recommend taking the Skytrain to get downtown if:

  • You are travelling alone or as a couple
  • Budget is a factor
  • You are staying near Vancouver City Center, Yaletown, Waterfront or Gastown

Just keep in mind:

  • You may need to take another transport option (bus, taxi, etc.) upon arrival if you are not staying near a Skytrain station
  • It may be cheaper for a larger group to split the cost of a taxi or airport transfer that will deliver you right to your door

For more information on the Skytrain and the rest of the city’s transportation system, we recommend heading over to our Vancouver Public Transport guide.

✈️ Looking to get to YVR from Victoria? Check out the Victoria to YVR bus.

Vancouver Airport Bus

an express bus travels through vancouver bc canada

Due to the relatively cheap cost of the Canada Line, there is no dedicated public bus from the Vancouver airport to downtown during peak hours.

However, the N10 night bus does operate during the hours that the Canada Line is not in service (approximately 1:00 am-5:00 am) and during service disruptions.

Check out the schedule on the N10 night bus page on Translink.

We would only consider the N10 night bus as an option of last resort in the rare instance that a flight arrives very early in the morning.

In fact, we’d be more likely to recommend a taxi in such an event due to the relatively infrequent schedule and number of stops on the N10.

YVR South Terminal Bus

YVR’s South terminal offers service to small airlines that cater to domestic flights in BC’s North and Interior, meaning it’s rarely used by tourists.

Nevertheless, if you happen to arrive here, the terminal is served by the #412 Sea Island bus, which connects to the Canada line at Richmond-Brighouse station in Central Richmond.

Just keep in mind there is a free shuttle to the main terminal which will allow you to embark from YVR-Airport station on your way downtown.

For more information, visit YVR’s South Terminal page.

Vancouver Airport Taxis

A taxi drives through Vancouver’s Gastown

Vancouver taxi companies operate at stands just outside the baggage claim on level 2 of the Domestic and International terminals.

The trip to downtown from YVR by taxi takes around 30-35 minutes, though this number can rise significantly due to traffic during peak hours.

While taxis are slightly slower than the train, they do offer door-to-door delivery and may end up being cheaper for large groups or families.

Vancouver Airport Taxi Cost

Taxis from Vancouver International Airport operate on a fixed rate basis, meaning fares are fixed within several designated zones. For a look at the fare to your destination, check out the YVR taxi zone map.

*Note that the fixed rates only apply when leaving the airport.

Metered rates apply when returning to the airport from the city and when going to a zone outside those pictured on the map above.

Make sure to confirm the fixed rates with your driver.

We recommend taking a taxi if:

  • You are travelling in a group of 3 or 4
  • You are staying in Richmond or South Vancouver
  • Cost is not a major factor

Vancouver Airport Rideshare

In January 2020, Ride App services finally received approval to operate in the Metro Vancouver Area. Lyft, KABU and Uber have since become authorized providers of Ride App services at YVR.

Simply connect to the complimentary YVR wifi and book yourself a ride. Then follow the Ride App symbol and directional signage toward one of the three designated pick-up areas:

  • International Arrivals-Level 2
  • Domestic Arrivals-Level 2
  • South Terminal

For more information, check out YVR’s Ride App Services page.

Vancouver Airport to Downtown Private Transfer

A private chartered van drives down the highway

If you desire a higher degree of comfort, then there are several ultra-luxurious private transfers available to transport you directly to your destination.

While you may write them off as a needless extravagance, they can often be surprisingly affordable for larger groups or families.

Our partners at Viator offer a wide range range of limos, stretch SUVs and luxury sedans to bring you to your downtown hotel in the height of luxury. Going a little further afield? They’ve got you covered, too, with options heading throughout the Lower Mainland to Whistler and even from Vancouver to Seattle

The vehicles are located just outside the arrivals level of the Domestic and International terminals. Simply follow the signs to the ground transportation area, and you will see your vehicles waiting curb side to transport you to your destination.

Private transfers are the best option if:

  • You desire a high degree of luxury, comfort and convenience
  • Money isn’t an issue
  • You’re travelling in a group larger than 4

So, if this sounds like you, why not opt for the full celebrity treatment? You’ll be met at the arrivals gate by a driver holding a sign with your name and you can head directly to your hotel in style.

Vancouver Airport Car Rental

A man receives his rental vehicle

For the ultimate in flexibility and freedom to explore all of Vancouver’s top attractions, the most sensible option is to rent a car.

Remember! Vancouver differs from most tourist destinations in that many of the most popular sites are located outside the city centre.

While the Skytrain is easy and cost-efficient, it is predominantly used by suburban commuters heading Downtown to work, so don’t expect the coverage of metro systems in most European and Asian cities.

Consequently, we strongly recommend car rental for:

  • Families and groups
  • Business travellers
  • Those who intend to fully enjoy the outdoors
  • Travellers who intend to take a side trip (Whistler, Vancouver Island, The Rockies)

Luckily, YVR has a variety of car rental options available just steps from the main terminal. The following providers are available onsite:

  • National
  • Alamo
  • Hertz
  • Budget
  • Dollar/Thrifty
  • Avis

So head online to your favourite car rental site and compare options. There is bound to be something that fits your needs.

Vancouver Airport Carshare

An Evo customer admires the view Spanish Banks, Vancouver

In addition to the traditional car rental organizations, YVR offers a number of car share options for those travellers who prefer the flexibility of their own vehicle but do not want to be burdened with a rental contract.

These subscription-based services allow members to rent cars by the hour simply by scanning the car’s windshield using an app and then driving away!

YVR is serviced by two main car-share providers:

Zipcar from Vancouver Airport

Partnered with Avis, Zipcar is the only car-sharing option available on the YVR grounds.

The hourly rate is just $10, with the daily rate at $83.

It is important to note that, unlike other providers, Zipcar only offers one-way service, meaning that users must return their vehicles to the spot they picked it up.

For more info, visit the Zipcar website.

Evo from Vancouver Airport

This local car share company has a pickup/drop off location at the Park and Fly on Miller Road near YVR that is also accessible via a free airport shuttle from the Main Terminal.

Evo offers two-way service for $17.99 per hour and $104.99 per day. No drop-off fee is required.

For more information, check out the Evo website.

Modo from Vancouver Airport

Modo Car Sharing provides convenient access to a network of vehicles for short-term use from Vancouver Airport to Downtown, offering flexibility and sustainability in urban transportation

Their day tripper package offers discounted rates for full-day reservations, providing 250 kilometers per 24-hour period, with a charge of 28 cents per kilometer thereafter.

Any extra hours or kilometers will be invoiced at standard rates.

Modo plus daily drives rate is $90.

For more details, visit Modo website.

Vancouver Airport Hotel Shuttle

A number of hotels in the vicinity of YVR offer free courtesy shuttles right to their doorstep. Some luxury hotels in Downtown Vancouver also offer a private pick-up service for a small fee. Consult your hotel’s website for more information.

The pickup/drop off location for the courtesy shuttle can be found at the green canopy outside the International and Domestic terminals.

You can place a request for a courtesy shuttle from direct-dial phones located at arrivals level 2 of the International and Domestic terminal and at the shuttle bus pick-up area if your hotel offers this service.

The following hotels (mostly right by the airport) offer courtesy shuttles:


  • Abercorn Inn
  • Accent Inns
  • Days Inn Vancouver Airport
  • Executive Airport Plaza
  • Four Points By Sheraton
  • Hampton Inn Vancouver Airport
  • Hilton Vancouver Airport
  • Holiday Inn Vancouver Airport/Holiday Inn Express Vancouver Airport/ Express & Suites Riverport
  • La Quinta Inn
  • Marriot Vancouver Airport
  • Pacific Gateway Hotel
  • Quality Inn Hotel Vancouver Airport
  • Radisson President Hotel and Suites
  • Ramada Inn Vancouver Airport
  • Sandman Inn Vancouver Airport
  • Sheraton Vancouver Airport
  • Travelodge Hotel Vancouver Airport
  • Westin Wall Vancouver Airport


  • Coast Vancouver Airport Hotel

To check out our favourite airport accommodations, check out our Vancouver Airport Hotel page.

Long Distance Shuttles from Vancouver Airport

Vancouver Airport to Whistler Shuttle

The Skylynx bus in Whistler

Offered by Pacific Coach Lines, the Skylynx provides a one-way shuttle service to Whistler from $78.67.

You can get tickets at the Skylynx desk of Pacific Coach located on level 2 of the International Arrivals Terminal. However, for added peace of mind and security, I’d recommend booking your ticket online at least three days in advance to secure the best rates.

You can view the schedule and book your tickets through our friends at Viator:

For a complete list of Vancouver to Whistler transport options, check out our Vancouver to Whistler transport guide.

Vancouver Airport to BC Ferries

Passengers board the BCF Connector

There are two main ferry terminals servicing the Lower Mainland: Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay.

BC Ferries offers sailings to Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, in addition to smaller routes to the Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast.

Vancouver Airport to Tsawwassen

The closest of the two terminals, Tsawwassen also offers the advantage of not requiring passengers to traverse rush hour traffic in Vancouver’s busy Downtown area due to its location.

There are two options to get to Tsawwassen from Vancouver Airport; public transportation and private coach.

Public Transportation

The cheapest way to get from YVR to Tsawwassen Terminal is by using the #620 Tsawwassen bus.

  1. Follow the signs from the arrivals terminal leading to the Canada Line and purchase a one-zone ticket. Take the Skytrain 3 stops and get off at Bridgeport Station.
  2. Proceed down the stairs and follow the signs to the bus loop. At bay 12, get on bus #620. Your fare is still valid.
  3. Get off at Tsawwassen Terminal, which is the last station, and follow the signs to the ticket booth.

You can expect to get to Tsawwassen for $9.00 on weekdays before 6:30 and $7.75 at all other times. The trip takes around 90 minutes, depending on traffic.

You will be required to pay BC Ferries walk-on rates to continue onto Victoria or Nanaimo ($17.20 for Adults 12+ and $8.60 for children 5-11).

Children under five travel free.

Private Coach

Alternatively, for a much more comfortable and convenient option, a variety of private coach options exist linking YVR directly to Victoria.

BC ferry fares and fuel surcharges are included in the costno transfers are required, and you’ll proceed directly onto the ferry.

You will then be delivered right on to Capital City Station in Downtown Victoria.

Though slightly more costly, the comfort and accessibility of this service make it our recommended transfer option between YVR and Victoria for all but budget travellers.

Rates range from $85-90 for adults and $45-50 for children.

Vancouver Airport to Horseshoe Bay

An alternative option when travelling from YVR to Vancouver Island is to take the ferry from picturesque Horseshoe Bay, located 36 kilometres North of YVR on Vancouver’s North Shore.

You will need to take public transit from YVR, as private coach service favours Tsawwassen due to its closer proximity to the airport.

To get to Horseshoe Bay from YVR:

  1. Follow the signs leading to the Canada Line from the arrivals Terminal. Purchase a 2-zone ticket from the ticket machine and take the Skytrain towards Waterfront.
  2. Get off at Vancouver Airport to City Centre Station, the 11th stop.
  3. Walk up the escalator to West Georgia Street and proceed half a block East on the North side of the street (the mountainside) to the bus stop. Take Bus number 257 express onto Horseshoe Bay.

Again, you will be required to pay BC Ferries walk-on rates to continue onto Nanaimo ($18.50 for Adults 12+ and $9.25 for children 5-11). Children under five travel free. The trip takes around an hour and 40 minutes.


Vancouver International Airport

A plane boards at yvr airport

Vancouver International is located 12 kilometres South of Downtown Vancouver on Sea Island in the suburb of Richmond, British Columbia.

With 24.2 million passengers served in 2017, YVR is the second-largest airport in Canada and your most likely port of entry when arriving in Vancouver.

With a myriad of Vancouver shopping options, dining choices, and an extensive collection of local First Nations artwork, the airport has become renowned for its comfort, ambiance and ease of access.

In fact, it has been named North America’s best airport for eight years in succession!

YVR Airport Layout

Vancouver International is composed of three terminals:

  1. International Terminal- For flights to/from the USA and overseas
  2. Domestic Terminal– For flights to/from Canada
  3. South Terminal– For small regional flights, helicopters and float planes

The main terminal includes the International and Domestic terminals which are connected, while the South terminal is located in a separate building further South on Sea Island.

And remember, a complimentary shuttle is available for transit between the Main and South terminals.

For a complete Vancouver International Airport map, as well as further information on the various shopping and dining options located throughout the facility, check out the YVR website.

capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain tour banner for 2024

YVR Airport Wifi

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminal! Even better yet, there are no annoying sign-up procedures that typically characterize most airport wifi experiences.

YVR  also offers an excellent app for those looking to make their travel experience even more efficient. It can be found on Google Play or via the App Store.

Vancouver Airport Transportation FAQ

How do I get from Vancouver airport to my hotel?

To get from Vancouver airport to hotel varies depending on the specific location. If you’re uncertain, share your hotel address, and we’ll provide tailored guidance swiftly.

Is there a Vancouver airport map?

Yes! There’s a Vancouver airport map. We’ve got the .pdf version right here.

What is the distance between Vancouver Airport and downtown?

The distance between Vancouver Airport and Downtown is 15 km (9 miles), measured from the principal downtown intersection of Granville and Georgia.

What is the quickest way from Vancouver airport to downtown?

The quickest way from Vancouver Airport to Downtown would be to take the Skytrain from YVR to Waterfront Station in just 26 minutes. Driving/taxi times range between 20 minutes (off-peak) and 30-45 minutes (rush hour).

What is the Vancouver airport train timetable?

The Vancouver airport train timetable varies. Trains generally run every 6 to 20 minutes, depending on the time of day, with service starting around 5:00 AM and ending around 1:00 AM. It’s recommended to check the schedule for specific times.

Do rideshare apps offer service from Vancouver airport?

Yes, rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft offer service from Vancouver Airport. Passengers can request rides from designated pickup areas outside the terminals.

What is the taxi/Uber fare from Vancouver airport to UBC?

For Taxi or Uber fare from Vancouver Airport to UBC, expect to pay around $35.00-$45.00.

What are some downtown Vancouver hotels with airport shuttles?

The Vancouver hotels with airport shuttles, according to Tripadvisor, are Landis Hotel & Suites, Rosedale On Robson, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, and Ramada Limited Vancouver Downtown.

What is the Vancouver airport transportation to the cruise ship terminal?

Vancouver airport transportation to the cruise ship terminal includes taxis, limousines, shuttles, and public transit options like the Canada Line SkyTrain to Waterfront Station, followed by a short walk or taxi ride to the terminal.

Still Wondering How to Get from YVR to Vancouver City Centre?

If you’re still uncertain, please share your accommodation and arrival details in the comments section. I’ll get back to you ASAP with custom directions

Additionally, feel free to reach out with any inquiries regarding transportation to Vancouver airport, regardless of their scope, as we’re available both here and on the Vancouver Planner Facebook page.

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